Hi Folks, well, I’m back. Did ya miss me? Did you notice I was gone? Seems I had some personal stuff coupled with some computer issues and before I knew it, the month is now over and we’re deep into the “Holiday” (aka Christmas) season. Ho Ho Hopefully things won’t be so messed up for the rest of the year. Since I’ve been gone for so long, why don’t we try once again to get down to some serious history, shall we? Yes, I think we shall.
30 November 1905
The launch of Zeppelin LZ2 from it’s Lake Constance base results in significant damage before it can fly.
30 November 1907
Glenn Curtiss forms the first aeroplane company in the United States.
5 December 1909
Florence Taylor became the world’s first woman glider (sailplane) pilot when she flew her husband’s home-built aircraft at Narrabeen Beach in New South Wales, Australia.
3 December 1910
Gaston Cugnet crashes his Blériot monoplane while demonstrating it at Melbourne Cricket Ground.
5 December 1912
In an effort to encourage the development of seaplanes, Frenchman Jacques Schneider announces that he will sponsor an international competition.
4 December 1914 The German Navy forms its first seaplane unit.
1 December 1915
The first United States Navy (USN) flying school is established at Pensacola in Florida.
4 December 1916
The United States National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics recommends that the Post Office establish airmail routes.
3 December 1917
It is announced that from February 1918, the Lafayette Escadrille will become part of the American Expeditionary Force.
1 December 1918
The Central Aero and Hydrodynamics Institute (TsAGI) is established in Moscow. It is the first establishment of its kind in the world, and becomes the most important aeronautical research center in the Soviet Union.
1 December 1919
Delag’s airship service between Friedrichshafen and Berlin is suspended on the orders of the Allied Control Commission after more than 100 flights, carrying 2,400 passengers.
5 December 1919
A Colombian airline, Aerovias Nacoinales de Colombia SA (Avianca) is formed. By 1982 it will have achieved the longest continuous record of scheduled services.
1 December 1921
The United States Navy (USN) dirigible (steerable airship), Goodyear C7, makes its first flight.
30 November 1922
The first aircraft carrier to be designed and completed as such makes its maiden sea trials. The Imperial Japanese Navy’s Hosho was laid down in December 1919 and could carry 21 aircraft.
3 December 1931
The Soviet Zveno-1 parasitic fighter/bomber combination makes its first flight. The first combination consists of a TB-1 heavy bomber with two I-4 fighters attached to its wing.
1 December 1933
The first daily air service in India is established by Indian National Airways between Calcutta and Dacca.
5 December 1934
A clash occurs between Ethiopian and Italian forces in a disputed zone of the Italian Somaliland border.
30 November 1939
Soviet Union invades Finland and Soviet planes bomb Helsinki and other Finnish towns.
2 December 1939
General H.H. Arnold, Chief of the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC), has his project for a four-engined bomber with a 2,000 mile radius of action approved. This will lead to the production of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress.
1 December 1941
The United States Civil Air Patrol is established to make use of American civilian pilots and their aircraft for wartime duties.
4 December 1942
9th United States Army Air Force (USAAF) Consolidated B-24 Liberators make the first American attack on Italy by bombing Naples.
2-3 December 1943
German aircraft drop bombs and parachute mines at Bari in Italy. An ammunition ship explodes and seventeen vessels are set on fire or sunk. Nearly 1,000 people are killed. The Germans drop, for the first time, metalized paper strips to confuse radar stations. Known as ‘Window’ in Bomber Command, it had been first used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the 24-25 July raid on Hamburg.
5 December 1943
Japanese bombers make their first daylight raid on Calcutta and 500 people are killed or injured in the attack
The first Soviet turbo-jet TR1 (VDR3) completes its official bench running tests.
4 December 1945
The United Kingdom government agrees to supply military equipment to the French Air Force and Navy.
1 December 1950
United States Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) units receive unarmed Bell 47 helicopters equipped for carrying casualties.
6 December 1950
Greek transport aircraft take part in operations in Korea for the first time assisting in the evacuation of American casualties.
The first space flight by a living creature takes place when four monkeys, code-named Albert 1, 2, 3, & 4 are launched 85 miles into the stratosphere from White Sands in New Mexico. The mission is known as Operation Albert and all four monkeys return safely to earth.
5 December 1951
It is announced that eleven airlines have agreed to introduce a Tourist Class service on the North Atlantic route.
3 December 1952
A Douglas C-47 transport aircraft is forced down by Soviet fighters in Hungarian territory.
5-6 December 1952
A Scandinavian Air Lines System Douglas DC-6B flies from Los Angeles to Copenhagen in 22 hours.
6 December 1954
The Curtiss-Wright Corporation announces the development of a new rocket engine.
2 December 1955
Vickers Viscount airliners go into regular service in the Caribbean area with British West Indian Airways.
1 December 1959
A twelve nation treaty establishes Antarctica as an area of the world only accessible for peaceful purposes.
4 December 1959
The Mercury capsule escape system is tested by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), launched with a Rhesus monkey aboard which is recovered alive and unharmed.
6 December 1959
A new world altitude record of 30,040 meters (98,556 feet) is established by Commander L. Flint flying a McDonnell F-4 Phantom II.
6 December 1960
France’s president General de Gaulle announces plans to establish an independent French nuclear strike force.
6 December 1966
The West German Air Force grounds all 770 of its Lockheed F-104G Starfighters, after the 65th aircraft of the type crashes.
1 December 1969
The United States Federal Air Regulation Pt36 is issued. It is the first piece of legislation aimed at limiting aircraft noise at airports.
3 December 1971
The Pakistan Air Force launches air attacks on all major Indian Air Force bases, sparking a war between India and Pakistan.
6 December 1980
The MacCready Solar Challenger flies 29 kilometres (18 miles), and the flight is only cut short by heavy rainfall.
5 December 1981
Jerry Mullen considerably extends the closed circuit distance record in Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) class C1d for piston-engined aircraft, flying 16,104 kilometrers (10,007 miles) in 73 hours 2 minutes in an aircraft named ‘Phoenix’.
1 December 1982
Suburban Airlines of Pennsylvania introduces the Shorts 360 into commercial airline service.
30 September 1983
The first production McDonnell Douglas (Hughes) AH-64A Apache attack helicopter is completed.
The Soviet Union launches its first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier from the Nikolayev South shipyard.
2 December 1986
Lockheed-Georgia delivers its 1,800th C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.
Mikhail Gorbachev announces the reduction of Soviet conventional forces over a 2 year period. The reductions include the removal of 800 combat aircraft from Soviet Europe.
4-10 December 1990
The first paying passenger in space, Japanese television journalist Toyohiro Akiyama, for whom TBS Television paid $37 million to accompany Soviet crew of Soyuz TM II spacecraft.
7 December 1990
An Alaska Airlines Boeing 727-200 takes-off in thick fog at Seattle/Tacoma International Airport, to make the lowest visibility take-off of a scheduled commercial jet airliner in United States aviation history.
4 December 1991
Pan American World Airlines (Pan-Am) stops flying after 73 years. The company is unable to continue because of financial difficulties.
30 September 1995
The Fiat G91 is retired by the Italian Air Force after over 30 years service.
4 December 1996
The Mars Pathfinder probe is launched from Cape Canaveral.
6 December 1998
The first American and Russian elements of the International Space Station are connected together in orbit.
6 December 2000
The Australian Government announces major boosts in funding for its armed forces. A 10 year program to boost spending on defense by 25% to $16 million will see an increasing emphasis on peace-keeping operations such as those recently conducted in East Timor.
4 December 2001
The United States Air Force (USAF) admits to using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), such as the General Atomics RQ1 Predator, to locate targets for other aircraft in Afghanistan and also to attack targets with its own weapons. It is thought to be the first time an autonomous, unmanned air vehicle has attacked targets directly.