Warbirds Online

Archive for August, 2009

This Week In Military/Aviation History 31 August – 6 September

August 30, 2009 7:06 pm

Hello Folks, sorry about being MIA for the last few weeks. I had an emergency gall bladder removal, but I’m feeling much better now, thanks for asking. Let’s get down to some serious history, shall we?

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3 September 1908
The United States Army begins flight trials of the Wright brothers’ Wright Model A begin at Fort Myer.

2 September 1910
Blanche Scott becomes the first American female pilot to fly solo, at Lake Keuka in Hammondsport, New York State.

6 September 1910
John Moisant wins the Daily Mail £50 prize for a flight from Paris to London.

September 1912
The Australian Army Aviation Corps is formed.

The Royal Hellenic Army establishes an Air Squadron.

3 September 1915
German Zeppelin LZ40 (L10) is destroyed when struck by lightning off Neuwerk Island.

September 1916
The French Spad VII fighter is introduced on the Western Front. Eventually operated by the air forces of eleven nations, the Spad is a major factor in the winning of air superiority for the allies.

2 September 1916
Two aircraft transmit and receive radio signals over a distance of over 2 miles at San Diego in California.

German Schutte-Lanz airship SL11 is destroyed to the north of London by a BE2c flown by Lieutenant W. Leefe-Robinson. Leefe-Robinson wins a Victoria Cross for the feat, while attacking airship crews suffer serious demoralization.

3 September 1917
The United States’ 1st Aero Squadron arrives in France.

Brigadier-General William L. Kenly is appointed the first Chief of Air Service of the American Expeditionary Force.

5 September 1918
The Royal Canadian Naval Air Service is founded.

1 September 1919
French aircraft manufacturers Forges et Ateliers de Construction Latécoère begin a regular airline service to Casablanca. The airline becomes known as Lignes Aériennes Latécoère.

4 September 1922
Lieutenant James H. Doolittle flies his de Havilland DH4A from Pablo Beach in Florida to Rockwell Field in California in 21 hours 19 minutes. This is the first American coast-to-coast flight to be completed in under one day.

4 September 1923
United States Navy (USN) rigid helium filled airship ZR1 ‘Shenandoah’ makes its first flight at Lakehurst in New Jersey.

3 September 1925
United States Navy (USN) airship Shenandoah breaks in two while flying over Caldwell in Ohio. The weather was squally at the time and fourteen men were killed in the wreck.

1-28 September 1927
South African, Lieutenant R.R. Bentley flies a de Havilland DH60X Moth from London to Cape Town.

3 September 1932
Major J.H. Doolittle wins the American National Air Race in Cleveland, flying a Granville Gee Bee racer at a new world record speed of 476kph (296mph).

1 September 1934
American Colonel Roscoe Turner sets a new United States coast-to-coast record of 10 hours 2 minutes.

1 September 1939
Germany invades Poland. Although Hitler states, “I will not war against women and children. I have ordered my air force to restrict itself to attacks on military objectives.” Early bombing attacks are made on Polish cities, including Warsaw.

2 September 1939
Eire declares its neutrality.

3 September 1939
European air services are temporarily suspended.

2 September 1940
The United States transfers fifty First World War destroyers to the United Kingdom in exchange for air and naval bases at eight strategic points.

September 1941
The first operational use of Soviet Polikarpov U2 biplanes as ‘night harassment bombers’.

September 1942
A Yokosuka E14Y1 (Glen) light submarine-borne reconnaissance floatplane is launched from the Japanese submarine I25. It makes two overflights of the wooded Oregon coast and drops four incendiary bombs. This is the only time Japanese fixed wing aircraft attack the USA during the Second World War.

1 September 1942
Royal Air Force (RAF) and United States Navy (USN) Consolidated Catalina flying boats disperse a German U-boat ‘wolf pack’ attacking a west bound North Atlantic convoy and one U-boat is sunk.

31 August 1943
United States Navy (USN) squadron VF5, operating off USS Yorktown makes the first operational use of the Grumman F6F Hellcat, in an attack on Japanese positions on Marcus Island.

3 September 1943
Peace negotiations between the Allies and Italy are concluded in secret. An Armistice will become effective on the 8 September.

British and Canadian troops cross the Straits of Messina and land on the mainland of southern Italy.

1 September 1944
Germany begins the launch of V1 rockets against targets in Europe.

5-6 September 1944
An unsuccessful German attempt to assassinate Stalin, Operation Zeppelin, begins. A task force flies from near Riga in Latvia to a point near Moscow where the Arado Ar 232B transport aircraft they were using crash lands. The assassins drive off by motorcycle but are soon caught by Soviet security authorities.

September 1945
A captured Focke Achgelis Fa 223 ‘Drache’ helicopter, flown by an ex-Luftwaffe crew, becomes the first helicopter to cross the English Channel.

2 September 1945
Surrounded by the United States Pacific Fleet, the Japanese sign surrender documents aboard the battleship USS Missouri, anchored in Tokyo Bay.

5 September 1948
The United States Navy’s Caroline Mars flying boat airlifts a record 28,390 kilos (62,262 pounds) of cargo from the Patuxent River base to Cleveland in Ohio.

4 September 1950
The first helicopter rescue of a downed pilot, behind enemy lines, takes place in Korea.

5 September 1950
It is announced that heavy bombs have been dropped from B-45 Tornado jet bombers at speeds of over 500mph.

31 August 1951
A Belfast to Gander point to point record is set by Wing Commander R.P. Beaumont flying an English Electric Canberra jet from Aldergrove in Northern Ireland and covering 2,072 miles in 4 hours 18 minutes.

5 September 1951
The United States Air Force (USAF) places an order with the Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation to build an airframe for an atomic powered aircraft.

2 September 1952
Qantas Empire Airways inaugurates a service from Sydney to Johannesburg via Perth, the Cocos Islands and Mauritius.

31 August 1953
An altitude of 83,235 feet is achieved by Lieutenant Colonel Marion E. Carl of the United States Marine Corps (USMC), flying a Douglas D558-2 Skyrocket research aircraft and launching from a Boeing B-29 Superfortress at 34,000 feet.

1 September 1953
Belgian airline Sabena inaugurates the first scheduled international helicopter services from Brussels linking with Maastrcht, Rotterdam and Lille.

2 September 1953
A world record speed of 690mph over a 100 kilometer closed course is set by Brigadier General J. Stanley Holtoner of the United States Air Force (USAF), flying a North American F-86D Sabre fighter at Ohio.

5-7 September 1953
The National Aircraft Exhibition is held at Dayton in Ohio.

1 September 1954
The United States Air Force (USAF) Continental Air Defence Command is established. Finnair inaugurates a Helsinki to London service operating Convair CV340s.

4 September 1954
A United States Navy (USN) Lockheed Neptune is shot down by Russian Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG15 jets.

4 September 1955
A new cease-fire agreement for the Gaza area is accepted by Egypt and Israel, subject to the countries having the right to defend themselves if attacked.

3 September 1958
The Chilean airline Ladeco is formed.

4 September 1959
An unmanned United States scientific balloon records an altitude of 45,720 kilometers (150,000 feet).

1-25 September 1965
India and Pakistan enter into hostilities and extensive use of air power is made during the fighting.

5 September 1968
The 3,000th production McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is delivered to the United States Navy (USN).

6 September 1970
Three airliners, a British Overseas Aircraft Corporation (BOAC) VC10, a TWA Boeing 707 and a Swissair DC8 are hijacked by Palestinian Terrorists and flown to Dawson’s Field in Jordan. A fourth aircraft, a Pan-Am Boeing 747 is flown to Cairo.

1 September 1974
A Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, flown by Major James V. Sullivan and Major Noel F. Widdifield, flies from Beale Air Force Base in California to Farnborough, a recorded distance of 3,490 miles in 1 hour 55 minutes 42 seconds.

6 September 1976
Soviet Lieutenant Viktor Belenko defects to Japan from the USSR in a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG25 ‘Foxbat’ fighter. Landing unannounced at Hokkaido airport at 1357hrs, he then requests asylum in the USA.

31 August 1977
Alexander Fedotov climbs to 123,524 feet in a Mikoyan Ye266M, a world record altitude for air-breathing craft.

3 September 1981
McDonnell Douglas delivers its 1,000th DC9 aircraft, a Super 80 (HB-INO), to Swissair.

1-30 September 1982
H. Ross Perot Jr. and J.W. Coburn complete the first round-the-world helicopter flight in a Bell Model 206L LongRanger II named ‘The Spirit of Texas’. Together they cover a distance of 41,850 kilometers (26,000 miles).

September 1983
The launch of the Soviet space vehicle Soyuz T10 ends when there is an explosion on the launch-pad. The crew escape to safety.

1 September 1983
269 people are killed as a Soviet aircraft shoots down a South Korean Boeing 747 near Sokhelin Island.

6 September 1983
The Soviet Union acknowledges that a Sukhoi Su15 of the Soviet Air Force is responsible for shooting down a Korean Airlines Boeing 747 with the loss of 269 lives.

2 September 1986
Henk and Evelyn Brink of the Netherlands make a record-breaking flight across the Atlantic in a Cameron combined hot-air/helium balloon. They fly from St Johns in Newfoundland to near Amsterdam in around 50 hours.

1 September 1991
Boeing announces that 707 production is finally to end after 37 years.

1 September 1995
A Luftwaffe Panavia Tornado ECR takes part in operation ‘Deny Flight’ over the former Yugoslavia. This is the first combat mission flown by a Luftwaffe aircraft since the end of the Second World War.

September 2000
Syria test launches two Scud-D missiles. The missile has a range of 700 kilometers (435 miles) and is similar to the No Dong-1 developed by North Korea, which provided technological assistance to Syria.

5 September 2005
Mandala Airlines Flight 091 737 crashes in Indonesia killing at least 117.

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That’s it for this week Folks. See ya in seven. (I hope)

This Week In Military/Aviation History 3 – 9 August

August 2, 2009 10:07 pm

Let’s take a look at this week, shall we?

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8 August 1908
One of the Wright brothers, Wilbur Wright, makes his first European flight at Le Mans in France in the new two-seat Model A.

8 August 1910
The first aircraft tricycle landing-gear is installed, on a United States Army Wright biplane.

3 August 1911
A Voisin biplane lands on the River Seine using the aircraft’s amphibious landing gear.

5 August 1912
United States Army officers gain double pay for volunteering for flying training, after the Hardwick Bill is passed in Washington, USA.

6 August 1913
Johnny Bryant becomes the first pilot to be killed in Canada when his floatplane disintegrates in flight at Victoria.

8 August 1914
An unnamed observer of a French aircraft, piloted by Sadi Lecointe, is wounded by German rifle fire and becomes the first French casualty of the First World War.

6 August 1915
German Naval Zeppelin LZ28 (L5) is hit by Russian ground fire and forced to land.

6 August 1916
French fighter pilot Rene Paul Fonck claims his first victory by forcing down a German Rumpler biplane.

8-9 August 1917
The first Allied bomber is shot down by German night fighter defenses near Frankfurt in Main.

7 August 1918
The first Fokker E.V parasol wing fighters are received on the Western Front by Jagdgeschwarder I, commanded by Goering. However, wing failures result in the quick withdrawal of the type by August 21.

7-8 August 1919
Captain Earnest Hoy, flying a Curtiss JN4 Jenny, makes the first aeroplane flight across the Canadian Rocky Mountains, from Vancouver to Calgary, in 12 hours 34 minutes.

3 August 1921
The first experiments in aerial crop dusting are carried out by Lieutenant John B. Macready on behalf of the Ohio Agricultural Experimental Station at Troy in Ohio. Using a Curtiss JN6 with a specially designed hopper fitted to the side of the fuselage 175 pounds of powdered arsenate of lead is distributed over 4,815 trees in an orchard.

The flight takes place at 20-35 feet and is accomplished in six nine-second discharges. Two days later C.R. Neillie, the Cleveland entomologist who had suggested the idea, reported “evidences of the wholesale destruction of insects were everywhere apparent.” Less than 1% of the insects in the dusted area had survived.

8-29 August 1929
German LZ127 Graf Zeppelin makes the first airship circumnavigation of the world. It leaves and returns to Lakehurst in New Jersey. The journey takes 21 days 5 hours 31 minutes and goes via Germany, Japan and Los Angeles. The distance covered is 35,200 kilometers (21,873 miles).

5-7 August 1933
French Air Force pilots Lieutenant Maurice Rossi and Paul Codes establish a new world distance record of 9,104 kilometers (5,657 miles) from New York in the United States to Rayak in Syria, using a Blériot Zapata aircraft.

7 August 1936
Six Heinkel He51 fighters, plus pilots and ground crew, arrive in Spain. This is the first consignment of German assistance to the Nationalist forces of General Franco.

7-8 August 1941
A small force of Soviet Naval Aviation Il-4 (DB3F) bombers takes-off from Estonian Islands of Dagö and Saaremaa and attacks the Berlin area. The city was brightly lit and the raid precipitates the introduction of blackout regulations in the German capital.

7-8 August 1942
With considerable early air cover United States Marines begin landings on Guadalcanal.

4 August 1944
The first ‘Aphrodite’ mission is undertaken by the United States Army Air Force (USAAF). Radio-controlled Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses, packed with 9,072 kilos (20,000 pounds) of TNT, are launched against German V2 sites under construction in the Par de Calais in France.

7 August 1944
United States Carrier Division 11 is commissioned. This is the first division intended for night operations and consists of the carriers USS Ranger and USS Saratoga.

8-9 August 1944
Mediterranean Air Forces begin dropping arms and supplies to the Polish Home Army in Warsaw.

6 August 1945
Boeing B-29 ‘Enola Gay’ of the 509th Composite Group, piloted by Colonel Paul W. Tibbets Jr, drops the world’s first operational atomic bomb over the city of Hiroshima. The bomb is dropped at 0815hrs local time at a height of 1,900 feet and generates a yield equivalent to 12,500 tons of TNT.

Of the 76,000 buildings in Hiroshima, 48,000 were destroyed and 22,000 damaged. The bomb destroyed 4.7 square miles of the city and over 80% of its buildings. Japanese estimates put casualties at 71,379 killed or missing and 68,023 wounded.

9 August 1945
Lieutenant Robet H. Gray of the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve (RCNVR) is killed attacking a Japanese destroyer. Attached to the Fleet Air Arm and flying a Corsair, he is posthumously awarded the last air force Victoria Cross to be won.

A second atomic bomb is dropped over Nagasaki from Major Charles W. Sweeney’s Boeing B-29 ‘Bock’s Car’. The primary target is Kokura but weather over this city forces a diversion to the secondary target.

Due to the topography of Nagasaki with its hills and rivers, damage was far less than Hiroshima. However, 1.4 square miles of a built up area of 3.8 square miles was destroyed. Japanese estimates, which were comparatively low, put the casualties at 25,680 killed and 23,345 wounded.

3 August 1947
The first public appearance of the Tupolev Tu4 heavy bomber takes place at the Soviet Aviation Day parade. The aircraft is a reverse engineered copy of the American B-29.

9 August 1949
The first use in the United States of an ejection seat for an emergency escape from an aircraft. Lieutenant J. L. Fruin of the United States Navy (USN) ejects from a McDonnell F2H-1 Banshee flying in excess of 925kph (575mph) near Walterboro in South Carolina.

6 August 1950
A French memorandum on rearmament and defense is given to the United States Ambassador in Paris.

7 August 1951
The United States Navy’s ‘Viking’ single-stage rocket reaches a height of 135 miles at 4,100mph after launching at White Sands in New Mexico. Major William Bridgeman, test pilot for Douglas flies the United States Navy’s Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket research aircraft reaching 1,238mph.

3 August 1954
The 2nd prototype of Convair XF2Y1 Sea Dart exceeds Mach 1 in a shallow dive, becoming the first water-based aircraft in the world to exceed the speed of sound.

7 August 1959
National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Explorer 6 is launched into Earth orbit and returns the first television pictures of the Earth as seen from space.

6 August 1961
The Soviet Union launches its second man into space in Vostok 2. Cosmonaut Herman Titov completes 17 earth orbits before landing 1 day 1 hour 19 minutes after lift off.

5 August 1964
President Johnson orders United States carrier aircraft to attack North Vietnamese naval bases as retaliation for the two earlier attacks on United States destroyers.

7-9 August 1964
Turkish aircraft attack Greek Cypriot positions on Cyprus, but the United Nations intervenes and the attacks stop.

7 August 1980
Janice Brown pilots the MacCready Gossamer Penguin on its first solar powered flight.

8 August 1980
The death of Jacqueline Cochran is announced. A successful businesswoman, she was also the first female to fly an aircraft at more than the speed of sound and held over 200 United States aviation records simultaneously.

3 August 1981
The Boeing company delivers its 4,000th jetliner, a 727-200, for Ansett Airlines of Australia.

6 August 1981
The United States President Ronald Reagan sacks all striking Air Traffic Controllers.

5 August 1982
Australian Dick Smith begins the first solo helicopter flight around the world.

4 August 1995
A new world altitude record for manned, piston-engined aircraft of 18,545 meters (60,867 feet) is set by a Grob G820 Strato 1c high altitude environmental research aircraft.

2 August 2005
Air France Flight 358 bursts into flames after skidding off the end of a runway after landing at Toronto Pearson International Airport. All 309 people aboard survive.

6 August 2005
A Tuninter ATR-72 heading from Italy to Tunisia crashes into the Mediterranean Sea, killing 16 of 39 on board.

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That’s it for this week. See ya in seven.

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