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October 2018 Fly Bites

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Angry Turnip:
Well,another new month,lets see what bits of interest happened this month in aviation history.


1st Oct 1861....The United States Army Balloon Corps,consisting of five balloons and fifty men,is formed.Ballons were used for recon and to assist with artillery range finding etc.

1st Oct 1917....The Royal Navy tests an aircraft catapult for the first time,using a compressed-air catapult aboard the catapult trials ship Slinger,to launch an unmanned Short 184 minus the engine.

1st Oct 1931....KLM begins a regular service between Amsterdam and Batavia by Fokker F.XII.It was the longest regular air route in the world at the time,all 8540 miles of it.

1st Oct 1935....Allied British Airways Ltd is formed,by merger of Hillman Airways,Spartan Air Lines and United Airways.29 Oct 1935,the name changed to British Airways Ltd,the corporate emblem was a                                       winged lion.

1st Oct 1936....CWA.Scott and Giles Guthrie,win the Schlesinger Race from England to Johannesburg,flying Vega Gull G-AEKE.They were the only ones to finish,winning the 10,000 pounds prize.

1st Oct 1940....A RAF bomber is shot down over the Netherlands by German anti-aircraft artillery,after being detected and illuminated by a radar-guided searchlight.

1st Oct 1942....First flight of the Bell P-59 Airacomet,a twin jet-engined fighter,the first produced in the US.One was supplied to the RAF in exchange for the first production Gloster Meteor I.

1st Oct 1947....First flight of the Beechcraft Model 34 "Twin-Quad",a prototype airliner.A four engine twinprop with a V-tail and a tricycle undercarriage were features of this odd design.

1st Oct 1950....The Royal Danish Air Force is re-established.As of V-E Day the Danish armed forces had no aircraft.It received six F-84E Thunderjet and 238 F-84G Thunderjet from the US.

1st Oct 1950....First flight of the Ilyushin Il-14,a Soviet twin-engine commercial and military personnel and cargo transport.It replaced the DC-3 and its Soviet built version,the Lisunov Li-2.

1st Oct 1958....NASA replaces NACA,most US space exploration efforts have been led by NASA,including the Apollo Moon landing missions,the Skylab space station,and later the Space Shuttle.

1st Oct 1959....Test pilot Johnny W.C. Squier,flying prototype English Electric Lightning T.4,ejects at Mach 1.7, becoming first UK pilot to eject above the speed of sound.He landed in the Irish Sea,                                             despite an extensive search,Squier has to make his way ashore by himself after 28 hours in a dinghy.

1st Oct 1964....The Dassault Mirage IV enters service.A supersonic strategic bomber and deep-reconnaissance aircraft,powered by two SNECMA Atar turbojets.All were retired by 2005.

1st Oct 1964....Derby Airways changes its name to British Midland Airways after buying Mercury Airlines.BMI was a member of Star Alliance from 1 July 2000 until 20 April 2012.

1st Oct 1969....Concorde 001 breaks the sound barrier for the first time.

1st Oct 1975....First flight of the Bell YAH-63 (Model 409),an experimental attack helicopter that lost to the Hughes' Model 77/YAH-64, later developed into the AH-64 Apache.Just 3 built.




Angry Turnip:
2nd Oct 1910...The first mid-air collision takes place near Milan.Both pilots survive.René Thomas,flying in an Antoinette IV monoplane,collided with Cpt Bertram Dickson in a Farman III biplane.

2nd Oct 1923...First flight of the de Havilland DH.53 Humming Bird,an ultra light low wing single seat monoplane,powered by a Douglas 750 cc motorcycle engine.The RAF ordered eight as trainers.

2nd Oct 1938...First flight of the Dewoitine D.520,a French fighter aircraft that entered service in early 1940.It proved to be relatively capable as a dogfighter against the Luftwaffe's inventory.

2nd Oct 1941...Heini Dittmar sets a new airspeed record of 624 mph in a Messerschmitt Me 163A.The record is unofficial because the flight (and the Me 163 programme) is kept secret.

2nd Oct 1946...First flight of the Vought F6U Pirate,it featured turbojet power as the first naval fighter with an afterburner and a composite construction,the aircraft proved to be underpowered.

2nd Oct 1956...First flight of the Hughes TH-55 Osage,a piston-powered light training helicopter for the US.Army.It was also produced as the Model 269,and further developed by Schweizer after 1983.

2nd Oct 1966...First flight of the Grumman Gulfstream II,a twin engine business jet.Its Grumman model number is G-1159.It has served with civil and military operators in several versions.

2nd Oct 1969...The Hawker Siddeley Nimrod MR1 entered RAF Service.A maritime patrol aircraft,which was an extensive modification of the de Havilland Comet.All versions were retired by June 2011.

2nd Oct 1984...The US Navy awards McDonnell Douglas a $US 438 million contract to develop the T-45 Goshawk.Approx 60% of the work on the T-45 was undertaken by BAE Systems.

2nd Oct 2001...Once known as the “Flying Bank” thanks to its financial stability,Swissair grounds its fleet after running out of cash.Most of its routes and fleet are eventually taken on by Swiss.




Angry Turnip:
3rd Oct 1901...Wilhelm Kress trials his Drachenflieger twin-hulled tandem triplane seaplane,the first powered marine aircraft,in Austria-Hungary.It manages a few hops before capsizing.

3rd Oct 1908...George P.Dicken of the New York Herald,becomes the first newspaper reporter to fly in an airplane,when he rides as a passenger with Wilbur Wright at Camp d’Auvours.

3rd Oct 1931...Hugh Herndon and Clyde Pangborn start the first non-stop flight across the Pacific Ocean.Leaving from Samushiro Beach,Japan to Wenatchee,Washington in 41 hours in a Bellanca Skyrocket.

3rd Oct 1935...Italy invades Ethiopia from its colony in Eritrea,beginning the Second Italo-Abyssinian War.The Italian force has 150 aircraft.The Imperial Ethiopian Air Force has 3 obsolete biplanes.

3rd Oct 1942...The first A4 rocket,later dubbed the V-2 flies from Peenemünde,covering 119 miles in 296 seconds at five times the speed of sound,reaching an altitude of 53 miles.

3rd Oct 1951...HS-1 is commissioned,the US Navy's first ASW helicopter squadron," The Seahorses " operated the Sikorsky H-19/HO4S-3 Chickasaw (1951-57).The unit was disbanded in 1997.

3rd Oct 1962...Project Mercury – Sigma 7 launched from Cape Canaveral,with Astronaut Wally Schirra aboard for a six-orbit,nine-hour flight.

3rd Oct 1967...William J.Knight sets a new airspeed record in a North American X-15,of Mach 6.72 (4,543 mph).This is the fastest flight that the X-15 will make.The record still stands.

3rd Oct 1985...Launch:Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-51-J at 15:15:30 UTC.Mission highlights:Second classified DoD mission;DSCS satellite deployment;first flight of Atlantis.

3rd Oct 2002...Grumman F-14A Tomcat, BuNo 162594, coded AD 136, of VF-101,crashes in the Gulf of Mexico after the crew eject.5 May 2006,one of this Tomcat's tailfins is found on a beach near Cork.

3rd Oct 2006...Hakan Ekinci hijacks Turkish Airlines Flt1476,demanding to be flown to Rome,to speak to Pope Benedict XVI.Greek and Italian F-16's escort the plane to Brindisi,where Ekinci is arrested.

Angry Turnip:
4th Oct 1784....James Sadler(balloonist),becomes the first British aeronaut when he makes a flight in a Montgolfier-type balloon,it rose to about 3,600 feet and landed near Woodeaton,six miles away.

4th Oct 1946....The B-29 Pacusan Dreamboat sets a world nonstop,unrefueled distance record of 9,500 miles on a flight from Honolulu to Cairo,Egypt.The flight took 39 hours, 36 minutes.

4th Oct 1957....The Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow rolls out from the Malton plant in Toronto,Canada.A delta-winged interceptor,testing began with RL-201 on 25/3/1958,the design demonstrated excellent handling.

4th Oct 1957....Sputnik 1,the world's first artificial satellite is launched into orbit by the Soviets,It was a 58 cm diameter polished metal sphere,with four external radio antennas.

4th Oct 1958....BOAC de Havilland Comet 4 G-APDB after making a positioning flight to New York G-APDB made aviation history,when it operated the first scheduled service by a jet-powered airliner from New York to London,in the then record time of 6 hours 11 minutes.At the same time G-APDC flew in the opposite direction,from London to New York,the Comets passing each other in mid-Atlantic,when congratulatory radio messages were exchanged.The westbound flight against the prevailing wind took ‘DC a total of 10 hours and 13 minutes,including a refuelling stop at Gander.

4th Oct 1968....First flight of the Tupolev Tu-154,a Soviet three-engine medium-range narrow-body airliner.It was the standard domestic-route airliner of Russia and former Soviet states until the mid-2000s.It was exported to 17 non-Russian airlines and used as a head-of-state transport by the air forces of several countries,with over 1000 built.

4th Oct 1984....61 year old Elaine Yadwin lands a Piper Cherokee Warrior II safely in Florida after her husband,the plane's pilot,dies during the flight.

4th Oct 2004....SpaceShipOne is retired.It was an experimental air-launched rocket-powered aircraft,with sub-orbital spaceflight capability.It won the US$10 million Ansari X Prize.

Angry Turnip:
5th Oct 1907...British Army Dirigible No 1,the UK‘s first powered airship,flies from the School of Ballooning at Farnborough,to London in 3 hours 25 min.

5th Oct 1914...First aerial combat kill in history recorded when a Voisin of the French Air Service shot down a German two-seater Aviatik B.II,using what is believed to have been a Hotchkiss machine gun.

5th Oct 1918...French pilot Lt Roland Garros,is shot down and killed in combat.His adversary was probably German ace Hermann Habich from Jasta 49,equipped with Fokker D.VII fighter`s.

5th Oct 1929...First flight of the Boeing Model 40 B-4,It is the first plane in the Model 40 series to use the two-way radio,designed by Thorpe Hiscock,William Boeing’s brother-in-law.

5th Oct 1944...Five Pilots from the No.401 Squadron RCAF,destroyed a German Me-262,becoming the first jet-propelled aircraft shot down by the Royal Air Force or the Royal Canadian Air Force.

5th Oct 1951...First flight of the Convair CV-340,a slightly larger version of the CV-240 airliner.The fuselage and wings were lengthened,giving four more seats,and better handling.

5th Oct 1967...NASA astronaut Clifton Williams is killed ejecting from his stricken T-38.He was due to go on Apollo 12,The Apollo 12 mission patch has four stars on it,on extra for Williams.

5th Oct 1967...First flight of the Shin Meiwa PS-1 and US-1A,large STOL aircraft designed for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and air-sea rescue (SAR) work respectively.43 combined aircraft were built.

5th Oct 1984...Launch:Space Shuttle Challenger STS-41-G at 11:03:00 UTC.Mission highlights:Earth Radiation Budget Satellite deployment;First flight of two women in space; First spacewalk by US woman.

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