Portal:Aviation/Anniversaries

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Today in Aviation

May 22

  • 1990 – The German Luftwaffe flies the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter for the last time before it is withdrawn from service; the airplane was nicknamed “the widow-maker” because of its terrible safety record – In its years of service, 110 Starfighter pilots were killed.
  • 1986 – US Navy Grumman A-6E Intruder, BuNo 162181, c/n I-674, of VA-65, bound for the USS John F. Kennedy at Puerto Rico, crashes on take-off from NAS Oceana, Virginia Beach, Virginia, at 1105 hrs., killing two crew and one motorist on Oceana Boulevard. Aircraft had no munitions but carried a full fuel load and burst into flame as it came down just outside the station perimeter, killing pilot Lt. James P. Hoban, 26, of River Vale, New Jersey, and bombardier-navigator Lt. Michael F. Wilson, 27, of Medford, New Jersey, as well as Navy wife Tammy Fowler, 25, of Virginia Beach, in the vehicle on Oceana Boulevard. Navy officials said that this was the first Navy plane crash in the area in more than two years. Witnesses reported that the Intruder's tail appeared to be on fire as it came down.
  • 1984 – ULockheed U-2R, 68-10333, Article 055, fifth airframe of first R-model order, first flight 8 May 1968, registered N812X; delivered to the CIA, 28 May 1968. To 100th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing mid-1974. To 9th SRW in 1976. Damaged at Akrotiri, Cyprus, 24 April 1980 - repaired. Crashes this date at Osan Air Base, South Korea, pilot Capt. David Bonsi survives. Aircraft suffers tailpipe failure on climb-out at ~3,000 feet forcing an ejection. This was the first of three such tailpipe-related crashes.
  • 1983 – A Canadian Forces Lockheed CF-104 Starfighter, 104813, of 439 Sqn., explodes in mid-air during airshow performance at Rhein-Main Air Base, Frankfurt, Germany, wreckage falling onto parked cars in woods near the airport, setting several afire and killing three adults and two children watching the display, Reuters news service reported. A Canadian Forces spokesman said that the CF-104, flown by Capt. Alan J. Stephenson, 27, was in a formation of five Starfighters, and that he was to do a solo display. He had done two complete circuits and had leveled off for a low-speed fly-past when the plane malfunctioned. He ejected safely. The spokesman said that a board of inquiry has been convened to investigate the cause of the crash.
  • 1982 – The first aircraft carrier to be launched in Spain, Principe de Asturias, is launched at Ferrol.
  • 1976NASA launches space vehicle S-179
  • 1970 – A USAF Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star of the 1st Composite Wing, Andrews AFB, Maryland, crashes just short of the north runway on approach to that base, killing pilot Maj. John H. McDowell Jr., 37, Clinton, Maryland, and Lt. Edwin D. Billmeyer, 24, of Baltimore, Maryland, and injuring three motorists on the ground.
  • 1969 – The lunar module of Apollo 10 flew to within nine miles of the moon’s surface in a dress rehearsal for the first lunar landing.
  • 1962Continental Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 707, breaks up in mid-air near Unionville, Missouri after a passenger's bomb exploded in the lavatory; all 45 people on board are killed.
  • 1961 – (22 or 24) To celebrate the 50th anniversary of naval aviation in the United States, five United States Navy McDonnell F4 H-1 F Phantom II fighters fly across the United States in less than three hours in Operation LANA. The fastest, flown by Lieutenants Richard F. Gordon, Jr., (pilot) and Bobbie Long (radar intercept officer), sets a new record for a transcontinental flight across the United States, flying from Ontario, California, to Floyd Bennett Field in New York City in 2 hours 47 min at an average speed of 869.74 mph (1,400.28 km/hr) with three in-flight refuelings. They receive the 1961 Bendix Trophy for their flight.
  • 1958 – (22-23) Flying a Douglas F4D-1 Skyray, United States Marine Corps Major N. LeFaivre breaks five world climb-to-height records, including 15,000 m (49,221 feet) in 2 min 36 seconds.
  • 1957 – A U.S. Air Force B-36J-5-CF Peacemaker, 52-2816, (c/n 372), ferrying a Mark 17 nuclear bomb from Biggs AFB, Texas to Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, accidentally drops it through closed bomb doors, impacting 4.5 miles (7.2 km) south of Kirtland tower. High explosives detonate creating crater 25X12 feet, but no fuel capsule fitted, no injuries.
  • 1953 – S/L Keith R. Greenaway won the McKee Trans-Canada Trophy in recognition of his new methods of aerial navigation in the Arctic regions.
  • 1947 – The prototype Boeing XC-97 Stratofreighter, 43-27472, c/n 8483, on a flight out of Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, comes down in a wheat stubble field and bursts into flames.
  • 1943 – A U. S. Navy antisubmarine hunter-killer group scores a kill of an enemy submarine for the first time, when TBM Avengers of Composite Squadron 9 (VC-9} from the escort aircraft carrier USS Bogue (CVE-9) sink the German submarine U-569 in the North Atlantic Ocean. Aircraft of U. S. hunter-killer groups will sink – or cooperate with surface warships in sinking – 31 more German and two Japanese submarines in the Atlantic during World War II.
  • 1943 – 19 Mitsubishi G4 M “Betty” torpedo bombers based at Paramushiro make the only Japanese air strike of the Battle of Attu, attacking the U. S. Navy destroyer USS Phelps (DD-360) and gunboat USS Charleston (PG-51) off Attu. They lose two aircraft and score no hits.
  • 1941 – German dive bombers attack a British naval task force as it retires westward after raiding caiques carrying German troops north of Crete. They sink the light cruisers HMS Fiji and HMS Gloucester and the destroyer HMS Greyhound and damage the battleship HMS Warspite and the light cruisers HMS Carlisle and HMS Naiad.
  • 1937 – The Spanish Republican Air Force sends fighters on a risky flight across Nationalist-controlled territory to Republican bases in northern Spain to support the Basque defense against Nationalist forces there; seven of them arrive safely. Over the next several weeks, 50 more Republican aircraft – Polikarpov I-15 and I-16 fighters and Polikarpov R-5 light bombers – will make the trip, with 45 arriving safely.
  • 1929 – Pan American Airways inaugurates a new passenger service from Miami, Florida to Managua, Panama with stops at Belize. The journey by a F. VII/3 ns takes 56 hours.
  • 1920Bristol F.2C Badger partial prototype, completed in 1919 for aerodynamic tests, using Armstrong-Siddeley Puma engine, but only the wings and undercarriage of the Badger design (and locally referred to as the Badger X - for experimental) crashes this date. It is entered on the civil register as K110, AFTER it has already been written off.
  • 1906 – The Wright brothers are granted US patent No. 821,393 for their airplane control.

References


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