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May Aviation Bites

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Angry Turnip:
1st May 1912.....The first flight of the Avro Type F,an early single seat aircraft.It was the first aircraft in the world to fly with a completely enclosed cabin for the pilot as an integral part of the design.

1st May 1940.....The first flight of the Douglas SBD Dauntless,a US built naval scout plane and dive bomber.In the Battle Of Midway it gained the nickname "Slow But Deadly",nothing to do with flatulence.:-)

1st May 1942.....The first flight of the Miles M.35 or Miles Libellula was a tandem wing research aircraft built by Miles Aircraft as a precursor to a proposed naval carrier fighter.

1st May 1945.....The U. S. Navy’s mixed-propulsion,unfortunately named Ryan FR Fireball,becomes the first aircraft incorporating jet propulsion to qualify for use aboard aircraft carriers.

1st May 1952..... (TWA),British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) and Air France launch the world’s first scheduled tourist-class flights on their transatlantic routes from New York,London and Paris.

1st May 1954.....The Myasishchev M-4,the first Soviet bomber designed to reach the United States and return to the Soviet Union,is displayed to the public for the first time.

1st May 1960.....A CIA Lockheed U-2A,56-6693,flown by Francis Gary Powers is shot down by a SA-2 missile near Degtyarsk in the Soviet Union during an overflight codenamed Operation GRAND SLAM. OOPS!

1st May 1965.....A Lockheed YF-12 sets a new international airspeed record of 2,070 mph (3,331 km/h).

1st May 1982.....BAE Sea Harriers attack Falklands targets for the first time,and shoot down two Argentine Mirage III fighters.They are the first air-to-air kills of the Falklands War.

1st may 1982.....Black Buck 1,RAF Avro Vulcan XM607 bombs the airfield at Port Stanley involving a complex refueling operation that included eleven H.P Victor`s.Five of the seven planned raids were completed.

1st May 1990.....The first flight of the MD520N,introduced a revolutionary advance in helicopter design,dispensing with a conventional anti-torque tail rotor,for a  NOTAR system.


--- Quote from: Angry Turnip on May 01, 2018, 08:33:50 PM ---1st May 1945.....The U. S. Navy’s mixed-propulsion,unfortunately named Ryan FR Fireball,becomes the first aircraft incorporating jet propulsion to qualify for use aboard aircraft carriers.

--- End quote ---

The Fireball could shut-down either engine, but would normally cruise on the R-1820 ( same engine as the much earlier Wildcat ) and add the jet for combat. This gave lower cruising fuel consumption than a big piston engine yet better accleration for intercepting Kamikazes.

Somewhere on the web is a wartime anecdote of a schoolboy who lived near the Ryan plant at San Diego.  One day he saw an aeroplane flying steadily with its propellor feathered, and another a few days later. At the time the jet engine was on the secrets-list and no-one believed him until he persuaded his best friend to cycle all morning to reach the edge of the airfield where they stood gobsmacked at Fireballs flying around with no visible means of propulsion!

Ryan received orders for 1,300 Fireballs, which at the end of the war was cut to ... 66.  It was the closest the company got to breaking into the big-league.

Angry Turnip:
2nd May 1909.....John-Moore Brabazon becomes the first resident Englishman to make an officially recognized aeroplane flight in England.He uses a Voison biplane.

2nd May 1925.....The Douglas C-1 biplane makes its first flight,it was a cargo transport aircraft for the USAAS.It was powered by a 435HP Liberty V-1650-1 V-12 water-cooled engine.

2nd May 1935.....The first flight of the Soviet Bolkhovitinov DB-A,a long range four engine bomber,it had many advanced features for the time.Only 14 aircraft were completed.

2nd May 1952..... BOAC introduces the de Havilland DH.106 Comet on its London-Johannesburg route,the first regular service flown by a jet airliner.G-ALYP makes the first flight.

2nd May 1957.....The McDonnell F-101 Voodoo,a supersonic jet fighter enters service with the USAF.The F-101A was powered by two Pratt & Whitney J57-P-13 turbojets.

2nd May 1966.....BEA (British European Airways) opens the first jet service between London Heathrow and Glasgow, using de Havilland Comet 4 Bs.

2nd May 1998.....The 100th and last Rockwell B-1B is delivered to the USAF.The Rockwell B-1 Lancer is a supersonic variable-sweep wing,heavy bomber.

2nd May 2009.....Uli Dembinski, German aerobatic pilot, establishes a record of 333 loops with his Yak-55.

Angry Turnip:
3rd May 1923....U. S. Air Service Fokker T-2 pilots Lt`s Oakley G.Kelly and John A.Macready complete the first non-stop flight across the United States in 26 hours,50 min,38.4 seconds.

3rd May 1950....The prototype Blackburn B-54 Y. A.8.with a crew of three makes his first flight.It is a carrier-borne anti-submarine warfare aircraft,powered by a Griffon 57 engine.

3rd May 1950....HMS Ark Royal (R09) is Launched at Birkenhead.It was the first aircraft carrier to be commissioned with an angled flight deck.It was scrapped at Cairnryan in 1980.

3rd May 1952....The first landing at the North Pole is made by Americans Lt. Col. William Benedict and Lt. Col. J.Fletcher on a ski-and-wheel equipped Air Force Douglas C-47.

3rd May 1976....A Pan Am Boeing 747SP makes a record around-the-world flight, taking 1 day 22 hours.It took off on May 1,and refueled in Delhi and Tokyo.

3rd May 1977....The first flight of the Bell-XV15,tiltrotor VTOL aircraft.It was a successful experimental tiltrotor aircraft,and the first to demonstrate the concept's high speed performance.

3rd May 2009....XM715,a Handley Page Victor,briefly becomes airborne during a fast taxi run at Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome.

Angry Turnip:
4th May 1916.....Zeppelin LZ-32 is shot down and destroyed by British naval gunfire,from HMS Phaeton and HMS Galatea.

4th May 1924.....First flight of the Sikorsky S-29-A,it was an all-metal,twin-engine biplane airliner.It was the first aircraft that aviation pioneer Igor Sikorsky designed and built after coming to the United States.

4th May 1927.....First flight of the Short Crusader,a racing seaplane one-off,built to compete in 1927 Schneider Trophy race.It had a Bristol Mercury I 9 cylinder air-coled radial, 810 hp engine.

4th May 1936.....Amy Johnson sets out to set a new England-South Africa speed record in a Percival Gull Six,G-ADZO powered by a 200 hp (149 kW) de Havilland Gipsy Six.

4th May 1942.....The Battle of the Coral Sea begins-it is fought between USN and Japanese carriers.It is the first carrier vs carrier engangement.The battle rages for 4 days.

4th May 1949.....The Canadian "Blue Devils" Aerobatic team is formed.The unit was the RCAF's first postwar aerobatic team,and flew de Havilland Vampire jet aircraft from 1949 to 1951.

4th May 1950.....The sole prototype reconnaissance platform of the Northrop YRB-49A Flying Wing,takes to the air for the first time.After only 13 flights it is scrapped 1st Dec 1953.
4th May 1953.....Canberra B2 WD952,fitted with Rolls-Royce Olympus engines,set a world altitude record,flying at 63,668 ft (19,406 m).

4th May 1959.....The first flight of the Swiss built Pilatus PC-6 Porter,a single-engined STOL utility aircraft.Built with both piston and turboprop power,production is due to end in 2019.

4th May 1963.....The fist flight of the Dassault Falcon 20,it is a French business jet,it became the first of a family of business jets to be produced under the same name.

4th May 1989.....Launch: Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-30 at 14:48:59 EDT. Mission highlights: Magellan Venus probe deployment.

4th May 2004.....US Airways becomes the 15th member of the airline coalition Star Alliance.


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