This Day in Aviation History Files, compiled by Don Kutter on the AVSIG forum at

                           May 1

In 1920, developmental and experimental work in metal
        construction for aircraft was disclosed in a Bureau
        of Construction and Repair report. Twelve Fokker
        (German) D-VII planes, which used welded steel
        extensively, were to be obtained from the Army
        and two sets of metal wings for the HS-3 flying boat
        were being procured from Charles Ward Hall.

In 1925, Lieutenants C. H. Schildhauer and J. R. Kyle, on a
        test flight over Philadelphia of the PN-9
        manufactured at the Naval Aircraft Factory, broke
        the FAI Class C-2 world endurance record,
        remaining in the air for 28 hours, 35 minutes,
        27 seconds. The plane, a metalhulled flying boat
        equipped with two Packard engines, was used by
        Rodgers later in the year on his record flight
        toward Hawaii.

Scott Carpenter:  born May 1, 1925
        born in Boulder, Colorado; BS from U Colorado in
        Aerospace Engineering; entered the U.S. Navy in
        1949 and received flight training at Pensacola,
        Florida, and Corpus Christi, Texas.  During the
        Korean War, he served in Patrol Squadron SIX,
        flying anti-submarine, ship surveillance, and
        aerial mining missions in the Yellow Sea, South
        China Sea, and the Formosa Straits.
        Attended the Navy Test Pilot School at Patuxent
        River, Maryland; assigned as Air Intelligence
        Officer to the Aircraft Carrier U.S.S. HORNET;
        in 1959, was selected as one of the original
        seven U.S. Astronauts; flew the second American
        manned orbital flight on May 24, 1962.  He
        piloted his Aurora 7 spacecraft through three
        revolutions of the earth, reaching a maximum
        altitude of 164 miles.  

In 1934, Lieutenant Frank Akers made a hooded landing in an
        OJ-2 at College Park, Md., in the first
        demonstration of the blind landing system intended
        for carrier use and under development by the
        Washington Institute of Technology. In subsequent
        flights, Lieutenant Akers took off from Anacostia
        under a hood and landed at College Park without

In 1935, a new pilot training syllabus was issued requiring
        completion of about 300 hours of flight instruction
        and 465 hours of ground school in a total time of
        one year. The new course made no differentiation
        between student naval aviators and student
        aviation pilots, but specified an additional
        90 hours of indoctrination courses for members of
        the Reserve.

In 1943, in China, the forward echelon of the Fourteenth
        Air Force, under Colonel Clinton D Vincent and
        Lieutenant Colonel David L ("Tex") Hill,moves
        into E China along the Hengyang-Kweilin line.
        This brings US aircraft within range of all major
        Japanese-held bases from N China to Indochina and
        Thailand, and makes shipping in the China Sea more
        vulnerable to US air strikes.

In 1952, the first commercial flight of the DeHavilland
        Comet. This was the Mk 1 model which had the
        4 wheel main bogie, a different window from the
        original prototype and different layout for the
        emergency exits. The MTOW was increased to
        107 Klb and the engines were Ghost 50 Mk1's.

        This flight began the first commercial jet
        passenger service.  The flight was operated by
        YP (BOAC?) and flew from London to Johannesburg.  
        In all, there were only 9 Mk-1's built.

In 1954, the first time the Myasishchev M-4 was put on
        display in Moscow.

In 1959, NASA's Administrator announced the naming of
        Goddard Space Flight Center under construction near
        Greenbelt, Md., in commemoration of Robert H.
        Goddard, American pioneer in rocket research.
        Dr. Harry J. Goett was appointed Director in

In 1961, the May Day parade in Red Square, Moscow, reviewed
        by Major Yuri Gagarin beside Premier Khrushchev.

In 1964, a P-3A Orion, commanded by Captain P. L. Ruehrmund
        of VX-1, returned to NAS Key West completing an
        18 day, 26,550 nautical mile flight which, in
        several stages, carried it around the world.

In 1965, a YF-12A interceptor set 9 world records including
        2,070.101 mph and 80,257.65 ft.
In 1965, Boeing officially occupied its new aerospace
        facility in Kent, Washington.

                         May 2


Henry Martyn Robert:  born May 2, 1837
        US Army officer; authored "Robert's Rules of Order"

Manfred Albrecht Frieherr von Richthofen:  born May 2, 1892
        Top German ace in WW-I; The Red Baron; credited with
        80 victories; first victory 17 Sep 1916; last victory
        20 April 1918; died in combat on Sunday, 21 April 1918,
        coming down in the Vaux sur Somme at 1100-hrs
        (British time); at the time of his death he was
        Rittmeister of Jagdgeschwader 1.

In 1914, the AH-3 hydroaeroplane, piloted by Lieutenant (jg)
        P. N. L. Bellinger with Ensign W. D. LaMont as
        observer, flew the first mission in direct support
        of ground troops as the Marines, encamped near
        Tejar, reported being under attack and requested
        the aviation unit at Veracruz, Mexico, to locate the

In 1923, the beginning of the first nonstop transcontinental
        flight of 2,520 miles from New York to San Diego was
        flown by Lts. O. G. Kelly and J. A. Macready, in a
        Fokker T2-Liberty 375. They would complete the
        flight on May 3rd after 26 hours 50 minutes.

In 1924, an unofficial two-man altitude record of 31,540
        feet was set by Lts. John A. Macready and A. W.
        Stevens (USAS) on a flight during which an aerial
        photograph covering the greatest area of the earth's
        surface to date was obtained.

In 1924, a DT plane, carrying a dummy torpedo, was launched
        by catapult from Langley, at anchor in Pensacola
        Bay. The plane was piloted by Lieutenant W. M.
        Dillion and also carried Lieutenant S. H. Wooster as
        gunnery officer.

In 1932, the Bureau of Aeronautics directed that hydraulic
        cylinder type arresting gear be installed on Langley
        to replace weight type gear used earlier. This
        decision resulted from operational experience of
        Langley with two sets of hydraulic gear installed in
        June and September 1931.

In 1943, the Mediterranean, Northwest African Strategic Air
        Force (NASAF)B-26's and P-38's fly uneventful shipping
        sweep. In Tunisia, Northwest African Tactical Air Force
        (NATAF) fighters and A-20's hit shipping in the Gulf of
        Tunis and jetties at Sidi Daoud and Kelibia, and attack
        positions in the NE Tunisian battle area as Allied
        ground forces regroup for the final Tunisian offensive.

        During the month of May, the 15th Bombardment Squadron
        (Light),Twelfth Air Force with A-20's and A-36's transfers
        from Nouvion, Algeria to Sale, French Morocco. The
        squadron flew the first USAAF mission in Europe but is
        relegated to a training role. The 81st and 82d Bombardment
        Squadrons (Medium), 12th Bombardment Group (Medium) with
        B-25's transfer from Canrobert, Algeria to Thibar, Tunisia.

In 1945, --First Helicopter Rescue-- Lieutenant August
        Kleisch, USCG, flying a HNS-1 helicopter rescued 11
        Canadian airmen that were marooned in northern
        Labrador about 125 miles from Goose Bay.

In 1970, twenty-six persons were rescued by a VC-8
        helicopter from a ONA DC-9 ditched in the Caribbean.
        The helicopter was piloted by Lieutenant Commander
        James E. Rylee and Lieutenant (jg) Donald Hartman;
        crewmen were ADC William Brazzell and AD Calvin Lindley.

In 1975, development of a new carrier-based fighter by the
        McDonnell Douglas and the Northrop aircraft
        corporations was announced by the Naval Air Systems
        Command. To be designed for speeds in excess of 1.5
        Mach, a combat ceiling in excess of 45,000 feet and
        a radius of action of more than 400 nautical miles,
        development is to emphasize improved maneuvering
        performance, reliability, and maintainability.

        This aircraft would be based on the F-17 design of
        McDonnell Douglas with design help from Northrop.
        The F/A-18 "Hornet" would have its first flight on
        18 Nov 1978.

                   May 3

Henri Pitot:  born May 3, 1695
        born in Aramon, France; French hydraulic engineer;
        elected to the French Academy of Sciences in 1724;
        began working on the flow of water in French rivers
        and canals; devised the pitot tube; credited with
        designing the aqueduct for the city of Montpellier
        which included a stone arch section 1 km in length.

Harry Lillis Crosby:  born May 3, 1903
        aka Bing Crosby; born in Tacoma, Washington; began
        as a drummer / vocalist while in college; went solo
        in 1931 when he did many nightclub appearances and
        appeared in 8 Mack Sennett short films.

In 1913, Alys McKey Bryant flew her first exhibition flight
        at North Yakima, Washington.  Her first flight
        lessons were in 1912 in a Curtiss biplane ... the
        result of answering an ad stating "Wanted: young
        lady to learn to fly for exhibition purposes."  She
        was interviewed and hired by Fred Bennett and his
        pilot, John Bryant, of the Bennett Aero Company of
        Palms, California. 

        On May 29, 1913, she secretly married John Bryant.
        Alys Bryant was the first woman to fly in Washington,
        Idaho and Oregon and in Canada, where she performed
        for the Prince of Wales and Duke of York. In Seattle,
        she set a new women's altitude record of 2,900 feet.
        Following the death of her husband in August of 1913,
        she stopped flying. She later returned to do a few
        movie flights in Seattle and then permanently retired.
In 1928, Lieutenants Arthur Gavin and Zeus Soucek, in a
        PN-12 equipped with two Wright Cyclone engines, set
        the FAI Class C-2 world duration record in a
        flight of 36 hours 1 minute over Philadelphia.

In 1941, Project Roger was established at the Naval Aircraft
        Factory to install and test airborne radar
        equipment. Its principal assignment involved support
        of the Radiation Laboratory at the Massachusetts
        Institute of Technology and the Naval Research
        Laboratory in various radar applications including
        search and blind bombing and in radio control of

In 1943, Air Transport Squadron 1 (VR-1), based at Norfolk,
        extended the area of its operations with a flight to
        Prestwick, Scotland, via Reykjavik, Iceland. This
        was the first R5D operation in the Naval Air
        Transport Service.

In 1948, Howard C. Lilly was killed in takeoff of D-588-I
        (No. 2) research airplane at Muroc, the fist NACA
        test pilot killed in line of duty.

In 1952, a USAF C-47 made worlds first successful landing at
        the North Pole.

In 1956, plans were disclosed by the Air Force and Convair
        for a $41 million guided-missile facility at
        Sorento, Calif., for work on Atlas.

In 1990, the first flight of NASA's program to investigate
        laminar flow at supersonic speeds. The program is
        using two F-16XL prototypes to investigate passive
        and active methods of reducing turbulence on wing
        surfaces at high speeds.

                       May 4

In 1927, a record balloon flight by Capt. H. C. Gray (AAC)
        reached 42,470 feet over Scott Field, Ill., but he
        was forced to bail out successfully so that record
        was not official.

In 1929, in winning the National Elimination Balloon Race
        with a flight from Pitt Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pa., to
        Savage Harbor, Prince Edward Island Canada,
        Lieutenant T. G. W. Settle and Ensign W. Bushnell
        won the Litchfield Trophy, qualified for the
        International Race to be held later in the year, and
        established world distance records for balloons in
        three categories from 1,601 to 4,000 cubic meters
        capacity with a flight of 952 miles.

Edda Van Heemstra Hepburn-Ruston:  born May 4, 1929
        aka Audrey Hepburn; actress; born in Brussels, Belgium;
        trained as a ballet dancer; made her film debut
        in 1948; first big film was Gigi in 1951.

In 1932, Daniel Guggenheim Gold Medal for 1932 awarded to
        Juan de la Cierva for development of the autogiro.

In 1943, the first regular patrols began from Amchitka,
        extending the search coverage by Fleet Air Wing 4
        beyond Attu toward the Kuriles.

In 1954, the third Symposium on Space Travel was conducted
        at the American Museum, Hayden Planetarium, New
        York. Harry Wexler of the Weather Bureau presented a
        proposal for a meteorological satellite program.

In 1958, practical test of an all-jet program in basic
        training began as 14 students reported to ATU-206 at
        Forrest Sherman Field, Pensacola, for instruction in
        the T2V Sea Star.

In 1961, a world record balloon altitude of 113,739.9 feet
        was reached in a two-place open gondola Stratolab
        flight by Commander Malcolm D. Ross and Lieutenant
        Commander Victor A. Prather (MC). Launched from
        Antietam off the mouth of the Mississippi, the
        balloon, which was the largest ever employed on
        manned flight, reached its maximum altitude 2 hours
        and 36 minutes after takeoff 136 miles south of
        Mobile, Ala. This achievement was marred by the
        death of Lieutenant Commander Prather who fell from
        the sling of the recovery helicopter and died on
        board the carrier about an hour after being pulled
        from the water.

In 1961, the first part of MR-3 firing countdown began at
        T-640 minutes (7:30 a.m. eastern standard time) and
        held at T-390 minutes until final countdown began at
        11:30 p.m. eastern standard time. This would be the
        Freedom 7 capsule with Alan Shepard.

In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson announced the formation of
        the FAA's Women's Advisory Committee on Aviation.
        Most of the 27 non-government members, including
        Jane Hart and Jean Ross Howard, co-chairman, and
        five government members, were 99s.
In 1971, the Pratt & Whitnet JT15D was certified by the
        Canadian Department of Transport. This engine was
        chosen as power in several Cessna, Beechjet and
        Aerospatiale aircraft.

In 1972, the Navy's first night carrier landing trainer was
        unveiled at NAS Lemoore. This trainer permitted
        pilots to simulate night landing of the A-7E on
        carrier decks.

In 1989, STS-30 was launched. It was the 4th flight for
        Atlantis, and the first shuttle to deploy a
        planetary probe (Magellan Venus).

In 1993, first flight of the Boeing 747-400 freighter.

                        May 5

In 1917, Pensacola reported on a test in which a Berthier
        machine gun, synchronized to fire through the
        propeller, was fired from a Curtiss R-3 taxiing on
        water and standing on the beach.

In 1927, Lieutenant C. C. Champion took off from Hampton
        Roads, Va., in a Wright Apache, equipped with a
        Pratt & Whitney Wasp engine and NACA supercharger,
        and climbed to an altitude of 33,455 feet, breaking
        the existing FAI Class C-2 record  by better than
        3,000 feet.

        The Apache was also known as the Navy F3W-1, a
        small fighter weighing 965 kG with a wingspan of
        only 8.3 meters.  This aircraft flew on floats about
        as commonly as it did on wheels. It had a top speed
        of 260 km/h and a stated service ceiling of
        10,058 meters (33,000-ft) which is just 455 feet
        below the "statement of record" [33,455]

In 1939, Kilner-Lindbergh Board was established by Gen. H.
        H. Arnold to revise military characteristics of all
        U.S. military aircraft, including the B-29 design in
        the AAF 5-year program.

        The Board was composed of Gen. W. C. Kilner, Charles
        A. Lindbergh, Cols. Carl Spaatz and Naiden, and
        Major Lyon.

In 1946, Fighter Squadron 17-A, equipped with 16 FH-1
        Phantoms, became the first carrier qualified jet
        squadron in the U.S. Navy. In three days of
        operations aboard Saipan (CVL-48), all squadron
        pilots plus Commander Air Group 17 were qualified
        with a minimum of eight takeoffs and landings each.

In 1955, Patrol Squadron 1, with 12 P2V-5 Neptunes,
        returning from duty in the Far East by way of Asia,
        Europe, and North Africa, arrived at NAS Whidbey
        Island. Although a tour of duty separated the
        Pacific Ocean leg from the rest of the flight,
        this was the first round-the-world flight by a Navy

In 1959, the first Boeing VC-137 was delivered to the Air
        Force for presidential use.

In 1960, NASA held a press conference on high-altitude
        weather research using Lockheed U-2 aircraft, one of
        which was reportedly lost on May 1 over Turkey.

In 1961, Freedom 7, manned Mercury spacecraft (No. 7)
        carrying Astronaut Alan B. Shepard, Jr., as pilot,
        was launched from Cape Canaveral by Mercury-Redstone
        (MR-3) launch vehicle, to an altitude of 115.696
        miles and a range of 302 miles. It was the first
        American manned space flight. Shepard demonstrated
        that man can control a vehicle during weightlessness
        and high G stresses, and significant scientific
        biomedical data were acquired. He reached a speed of
        5,100 miles per hour and flight lasted 14.8 minutes.
        His space capsule was recovered at sea by an HUS-1
        helicopter of Marine Corps Squadron HMR(L)-262
        which transported it and Commander Shepard to the
        USS Lake Champlain (CV-39).

In 1961, the US Air Rescue Service participated in first
        NASA sub-orbital flight.

In 1970, FAA certification was obtained for the McCulloch
        J-2 Gyroplane.  A production line had been set up in
        the McCulloch chain saw factory for production of
        the aircraft.  Production of the J-2 lasted only a
        couple of years, with about sixty aircraft produced.
        It was claimed to offer the "simple control and
        economy of powered fixed-wing aircraft along with
        the maneuverability of powered rotor helicopter

                       May 6

Gaston Leroux:  born May 6, 1868
        Author; wrote Phantom of the Opera; though
        "Le Fantome de l'ope'ra" was written in 1910 it did
        not receive world acclaim until it was performed by
        Lon Chaney in a silent-film production in 1925.
        Leroux died at Nice on April 15, 1927, living long
        enough to enjoy notable credits for his work.

Sir Alan John Cobham:  born May 6, 1894
        attended Wilson's Grammer School in Streatham, England;
        joined the British Army Veterinary Unit at the start
        of WW-I; made Staff Sargeant in 1917 and transferred
        to the Royal Air Force; post-war he joined the British
        Aerial Transport Company; shortly after joined forces
        with Fred and Jack Holmes to form the Berkshire
        Aviation Company; during 1919 and 1920 he toured
        England and Scotland giving rides in an Avro 504K.

        Left Berkshire to work for George Holt Thomas'
        Airco Mfg Co as an aerial photographic pilot; in 1921,
        he was hired as the first pilot for the de Havilland
        Aeroplane Hire Service; in 1924, flying the prototype
        D.H.50 (G-EBFN) he won the King's Cup Air Race; in
        1924, he flew Sir Sefton Brancker, Director of Civil
        Aviation, to India and Burma; in 1926, he flew from
        Rochester to London by way of Australia landing on
        the River Thames.

        In 1927, he founded Alan Cobham Aviation Limited; in
        1932, he debuted Cobham's Flying Circus as a touring
        air show; in 1936, he founded Flight Refueling Limited
        and began pioneering work on air to air refueling

In 1896, Samuel P. Langley attempts to launch a 9 lb.
        steamdriven model, Aerodrome No.5.  Launched from a
        house boat on the Potomac River, it soared into the
        air, flew half a mile and landed without mishap.
        Alexander Graham Bell attended and took pictures.

In 1912, three Army planes make first group cross-country

In 1914, the Curtiss AH-3 hydroaeroplane, piloted by
        Lieutenant (jg) P. N. L. Bellinger with Lieutenant
        (jg) R. C. Saufley as observer, was hit by rifle
        fire while on a reconnaissance flight over enemy
        positions in the vicinity of Veracruz, Mexico -- the
        first marks of combat on a Navy plane.

George Orson Welles:  born May 6, 1915
        born in Kenosha, Wisconsin; made his broadway debut
        when he was 19; became one of the Mercury Players
        on CBS Radio (famous War of the Worlds halloween
        broadcast); went to Hollywood and made his film
        debut in Citizen Kane in 1941.

In 1930, the first flight of the Boeing Model 200 Monomail,
        the first Boeing all metal low wing cantilever
        monoplane with retractable landing gear.

In 1936, construction of the facility, which was later named
        the David W. Taylor Model Basin, was authorized by
        legislation, providing buildings and appliances for
        use by the Bureau of Construction and Repair in
        investigating and determining shapes and forms to be
        adopted for U.S. vessels, including aircraft.

In 1937, German dirigible Hindenburg destroyed at Lakehurst,

In 1941, the first flight of the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt.
        In March of 1942 the 56th Fighter Group (U.S.)
        received the first production P-47s [B-Models].

In 1957, the ZPG-2W, an early-warning airship with a large
        radar antenna mounted within the envelope, made its
        first flight at Akron, Ohio.

In 1958, Lt. Comdr. M. Ross (USNR) and A Mikesell (Naval
        Observatory) used open gondola STRATO-LAB balloon to
        reach 40,000-feet altitude from Crosby, Minn.;
        Mikesell becoming the first astronomer to observe
        stratosphere, and it was first flight in which crew
        remained in stratosphere in open basket after

                        May 7

Edwin Herbert Land:  born May 7, 1909
        born in Bridgeport, CT; early pioneer in polarized
        light; founded Polaroid Corp in 1937 where he used
        polarization for sunglasses, 3-D movies and the
        military; in 1947 he demonstrated the single step
        photographic process; the color process was
        marketed in 1963; in 1973 he developed the self-
        developing positive print; holds over 500 patents.

In 1942, --Battle of the Coral Sea-- in the first naval
        engagement of history fought without opposing ships
        making contact, United States carrier forces stopped
        a Japanese attempt to take Port Moresby in southwest
        New Guinea and Tulagi in the eastern Solomons.
        The Lexington and Yorktown (Air Groups) were working
        the sea lanes between Rabaul and Morse. Some of the
        aircraft participating included F4F's, B-17's, SBD's
        and TBD's.

In 1943, Navy representatives witnessed landing trials of
        the XR-4 helicopter aboard the merchant tanker
        Bunker Hill in a demonstration sponsored by the
        Maritime Commission and conducted in Long Island
        Sound. The pilot, Colonel R. F. Gregory, AAF, made
        about 15 flights, and in some of these flights he
        landed on the water before returning to the
        platform on the deck of the ship.

In 1952, the first flight of USAF X-17 ramjet test vehicle.

In 1961, flying a Lockheed F-104A Starfighter at Edwards
        AFB, Calif., Major Howard C. Johnson (USAF) set a
        91,249-foot world altitude record for ground-
        launched planes.

In 1964, the Chief of Naval Operations informed the Chief of
        Naval Personnel of an agreement by which the U.S.
        Air Force and U.S. Coast Guard would train Navy
        pilots in the techniques of operating HU-16
        seaplanes in Search and Rescue and requested
        its implementation.

In 1969, the Westland SeaKing helicopter makes its first

In 1991, the space shuttle Endeavour was delivered to
        Kennedy Space Center.

In 1992, the first flight of Endeavour was launched as
        STS-49, exactly one year after delivery to KSC. This
        was also the first shuttle flight to use a drag
        chute on landing.

                       May 8

Jean Henri Dunant:  born May 8, 1828
        Founded the International Committee of the Red
        Cross; founded the Geneva Convention; first
        to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1901; it is
        claimed he witnessed Napolean's battle at
        Solferino in June 1859 and it moved him to found
        the Red Cross; born in Geneva, Switzerland.

In 1911, Captain W. I. Chambers prepared requisitions for
        two Curtiss biplanes. One, the Triad, was to be
        equipped for arising from or alighting on land or
        water; with a metal tipped propeller designed for a
        speed of at least 45 miles per hour; with provisions
        for carrying a passenger alongside the pilot; and
        with controls that could be operated by either the
        pilot or the passenger. The machine thus described,
        later became the Navy's first airplane, the A-1.

        From this, May 8 has come to be considered the date
        upon which the Navy ordered its first airplane and
        has been officially proclaimed to be the birthday
        of naval aviation.

In 1915, Lieutenant (jg) Melvin L. Stolz, student aviator,
        was killed in a crash of the AH-9 hydroaeroplane at

In 1919, Seaplane Division One, comprised of three NC flying
        boats, took off from the water by the seaplane ramp
        at NAS Rockaway, NY at 10:00 AM for Halifax, Nova
        Scotia on the first leg of projected transatlantic

        Commanding the Division, and the NC-3, was Commander
        John H. Towers. The NC-4 was commanded by Lieutenant
        Commander Albert C. Read. The NC-1 was commanded by
        Lieutenant Commander P.N.L. Bellinger. Other
        aviators included Mitscher, Lavender, Byrd, and the
        "Coastie", Elmer Stone.

        The conclusion of this flight is in the 27th of May
        post.  Historical note: Lieutenant Commander Albert
        C. Read's widow christened the commencement of the
        re-enactment of that flight in 1986 at Pensacola.

Colonel Harold Edward "Hal" Fischer:  born May 8, 1925
        USAF F-86 pilot; Ace in Korea; trained at Nellis AFB
        and was assigned to the 80th FBS Headhunters; based at
        Itazuke Air Base flying Lockheed F-80 Shooting Stars;
        after flying 105 missions with the 80th FBS, he
        requested transfer to F-86s. His request was approved
        and [as a 1st Lt.] joined the 39th FIS (Fighter
        Interceptor Squadron) of the 51st FIW at Suwon,
        Korea; recorded his first victory 26-Nov-52 against
        a MIG at Kanggye, Korea; 7-Apr-53 was forced to
        bailout over China;  he was a POW held at "Mukden"
        and released at "Hong Kong" 31-May-55. He became a
        "Double-Ace" with 10-credited kills

In 1929, the Bureau of Aeronautics announced the policy of
        providing all carrier airplanes with brakes and
        wheel type tail skids, following successful
        operations of T4M so equipped in tests carried out
        aboard Langley in conjunction with the elimination
        of the fore-and-aft wire arresting gear.

In 1929, Lieutenant Apollo Soucek, flying a Wright Apache
        equipped with a 425-hp. Pratt & Whitney Wasp engine
        set a new FAI Class C-1 world record,
        reaching 39,140 feet over Anacostia.

In 1942, research begun at the NACA Aircraft Engine Research
        Laboratory at Cleveland.

In 1942, the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Lexington was lost in the
        Battle of the Coral Sea. The Coral Sea action resulted
        from a Japanese amphibious operation intended to
        capture Port Moresby, located on New Guinea's
        southeastern coast.

In 1944, Commander Naval Forces, Northwest African Waters,
        approved the assignment of nine Naval Aviators from
        Cruiser Scouting Squadron 8 (VCS-8) to the 111th
        Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (TRS) of the 12TH
        Army Air Force for flight training and combat
        operations in North American P-51C Mustangs.
        Previous combat experience with Curtiss SOC Seagulls
        and Vought OS2U Kingfishers being used in air
        spotting and reconnaissance missions proved both
        types were vulnerable to enemy fighters and
        antiaircraft fire. The higher performance of
        fighters such as the P-51 was expected to result in
        a reduction of casualties on these missions.

In 1945, --V-E Day-- the President proclaimed the end of the
        war in Europe.

In 1946, Bell receives Helicopter Type Certificate #1 by
        U.S. CAA (predecessor of FAA).

In 1961, Alan B. Shepard, Jr., Mercury astronaut, was
        awarded NASA's Distinguished Service Medal by
        President Kennedy in a special White House ceremony.

In 1963, the Air Force announced that two squadrons of A-1E
        Skyraiders would be added to the 1st Air Commando
        Group at Hurlburt AFB, Florida. This decision
        followed field tests of two Skyraiders loaned by the
        Navy in mid-1962 and led to a further decision,
        announced by the Secretary of the Air Force in May
        1964, that 75 Skyraiders would be sent to Vietnam as
        replacements for B-26 and T-28 aircraft employed
        there by the 1st Air Commando Wing.

In 1973, in a ceremony at the Douglas Aircraft Division,
        Long Beach, the first McDonnell Douglas C-9B
        Skytrain jet transports were accepted by the Navy
        and delivered to Fleet Tactical Support Squadrons
        One and Thirty. A commercial version of the DC-9,
        the C-9B has a maximum 32,444 pound payload range of
        1,150 statute miles with a ferry range of about
        3,400 miles. It accommodates 107 passengers

                    May 9

Adam Opel:  born May 9, 1837
         Founded Opel in 1862; initially, Opel manufactured
         sewing machines, taking up bicycle production in
         1866; in 1899 after Adam's death, his brother Fritz
         took the step into automobile production; Opel's
         company became Adam Opel AG and was acquired by
         General Motors Corp. in 1929.

Sir James Matthew Barrie:  born May 9, 1860
        Author; created Peter Pan; born in Kirriemuir
        (northwest of Forfar), Angus, Scotland.

In 1917, Pacific Aero Products officially changed its name
        to Boeing Airplane Company.

In 1926, Lieutenant Commander R. E. Byrd and Aviation Pilot
        Floyd Bennett, flying a trimotor Fokker named the
        Josephine Ford, are credited with making the first
        flight over the North Pole, reaching it at 9:03 GCT.
        After circling the Pole, they returned to base at
        Kings Bay, Spitzbergen, completing the round trip
        in 15 1/2 hours.

In 1930, Dr. Ludwig Prandtl of Germany received second
        Daniel Guggenheim Medal for his pioneering work in
        the theory of aerodynamics; the first medal was
        awarded to Orville Wright.

In 1932, the first 'blind' solo flight (without a check pilot
        aboard) solely on instruments was made by Capt. A.
        F. Hegenberger (AAC) at Dayton, Ohio.

In 1936, George W. Lewis, Director of NACA Aero nautical
        Research, received Daniel Guggenheim Medal for 1936
        for direction of aeronautical research and for the
        development of original equipment and methods.

In 1937, H. F. Pierce launched a liquid propellant rocket to
        250-foot altitude at Old Ferris Point, N.Y.

In 1944, the first flight of an aircraft modified to
        demonstrate high-lift boundary layer control made by
        Lt. Col. R. E. Horner, a project initiated in May
        1942 by USAAF contract. The aircraft was a Dow
        Modified Stinson-Vultee L-1 [40-255].

In 1945, this day is declared Victory Day in Russia for their
        victory on the eastern front.

In 1949, the Republic XF-91 Thunderceptor completed its
        first test flight at Muroc AFB, California. This
        aircraft had variable incidence wings of inverse
        taper design (wider at the tips than at the roots).

In 1967, the first flight of the Fokker F-28 (-1000).

In 1969, the Dryden HL-10 became the first lifting body to
        fly supersonic. John Manke, who later became the
        Dryden site manager, was the pilot.
In 2000, FedEx took delivery of the first of 89 MD-10s it
        had ordered from Boeing, accepting the modified DC-10
        in a joint Boeing-FedEx-FAA delivery ceremony in
        Mesa, Arizona.  The MD-10 is a DC-10 with Boeing's
        Advanced Common Flight deck (ACF) and several other
        modifications, including a thrust reverser system that
        meets standards updated since the DC-10's certification.
        FedEx launched the program in 1997 with a deal to
        retrofit 70 DC-10s and the option to retrofit 50 more.

In 2005, Governor Jodi Rell of Connecticut signed into law a
        bill that designated the Corsair F4U as the offical
        state airplane.

                      May 10

William R. Grace:  born May 10, 1832
        Founded the W.R. Grace shipping company

In 1913, the first 4-engine flight of the Sikorsky, LeGrand. 
        The world's first four-engine airplane flew from St.
        Petersburg, Russia commanded by Igor Sikorsky. 
        Its wingspan was 92 feet, three fourths the total
        distance traveled by the Wright Brothers'
        Flyer.  It weighed 9,000 lbs and had four
        100-horsepower engines mounted between the wings.

        The Grand would make a total of 53 flights, including
        a world endurance record of one hour, 54 minutes with
        eight passengers aboard.  A freak accident ended its
        career. While it was participating in an air show,
        an engine broke loose from another plane in flight
        and fell on it.

George Schwartz "Wheaties" Welch:  born 10 May 1918
        born in Wilmington, Delaware; USAAC Serial
        Number O-398557. He received official credit
        for four (4) victories at Pearl Harbor on
        7 Dec 41. He became an "Ace" getting his fifth
        kill exactly one year later on 7 Dec 42 northeast
        of Buna flying a P-39 with the 36th FS of the 8th
        Fighter Group. In the Pacific he has been credited
        with 16 victories.

        Joining North American in 1944 as a test pilot, he
        was the first to fly the P-82B Twin Mustang on
        31 October 45 and also flew the F-86 Sabres first
        flight on 1 Oct 1947. George "Wheaties" Welch was
        killed at Edwards AFB on 12 October 1954 while
        testing an F-100. +RIP  

        Randy, found this on another web site: The first YF-100A
        (52-5754) was completed on April 24, 1953. It was moved
        in high secrecy from the Los Angeles factory out to
        Edwards AFB. Company test pilot George S. Welch made the
        maiden flight on May 25, 1953. The aircraft exceeded
        the speed of sound on its first flight.

In 1929, the Distinguished Flying Cross was awarded to
        Lieutenant A. J. Williams by the Secretary of the
        Navy for extraordinary achievement in aerial flight
        during March 1928 in which he studied the action of
        aircraft in violent maneuvers and inverted flight,
        and developed and applied principles of operation
        which contributed directly to safety in flight and
        the development of more accurate methods of testing
        the performance capabilities of aircraft.

In 1941, the Naval Aircraft Factory reported that it was
        negotiating with the Radio Corporation of America
        for the development of a radio altimeter suitable
        for use in radio-controlled assault drones.

In 1942, the 80th Fighter Squadron moved to the Petrie
        Aerodrome, just east of Brisbane, Australia
        for training.

In 1942, the possibility of increasing the range of small
        aircraft, by operating them as towed gliders, was
        demonstrated at the Naval Aircraft Factory when
        Lieutenant Commanders W. H. McClure and R. W. Denbo
        hooked their F4F's to tow lines streamed behind a
        twin-engined BD (Army A-20), cut their engines and
        were towed for an hour at 180 knots at 7,000 feet.

In 1942, Ranger on a transatlantic ferry trip, reached a
        position off the African Gold Coast and launched 60
        P-40 Warhawks of the Army Air Force to Accra, from
        which point they were flown in a series of hops to
        Karachi, India, for operations with the 10th AAF.
        This was the first of four ferry trips made by the
        Ranger to deliver AAF fighters across the Atlantic,
        the subsequent launches being accomplished on
        19 July 1942, 19 January 1943, and 24 February 1943.

In 1944, Bell helicopter made an indoor demonstration flight
        at Buffalo, N.Y., Floyd Carlson as pilot.

In 1955, GE XJ-79 turbojet engine first flown in B-45
        testbed, later powered the B-58 and F-104.

In 1972, the first flight of the Fairchild Republic A-10A

                       May 11

In 1910, Glacier National Park was created by an Act of

In 1918, the first American-made DH-4, with a Liberty
        engine, received in the AEF.

In 1942, the President ordered that an Air Medal be
        established for award to any person who, while
        serving in any capacity in or with the Army, Navy,
        Marine Corps, or Coast Guard after 8 September 1939,
        distinguishes or has distinguished himself by
        meritorious achievement while participating in
        aerial flight.

In 1949, President Truman signed a bill providing a
        5,000-mile guided-missile test range, which was
        subsequently established at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

In 1958, Lieutenant Commander Jack Neiman completed a
        44-hour simulated high altitude flight in the
        pressure chamber at NAS Norfolk under conditions
        existing between 80,000 and 100,000 feet.

In 1966, the Commanding Officer of MAG-12 piloted an A-4
        Skyhawk on a catapult launch from the Marine
        Expeditionary Airfield at Chu Lai, Vietnam. It was
        the first combat use of the new land based catapult
        capable of launching fully loaded tactical aircraft
        from runways less than 3,000 feet long.

In 1987, the first flight of the Lear Model 31.

I've received some intel that in 2005, a new aircraft was
        designed and built. Initial reports called in the
        attack C-150. Other names linked to this have been
        the AC-150 and the "TURKEY GOBBLER". New information
        always welcome.

                         May 12

In 1917, Captain W. A. Robertson established a new American
        altitude record of 17,230 feet over North Island
        Flying School, San Diego, California.

Yogi Berra:  born May 12, 1925
        born in St Louis, MO; joined the US Navy at 18;
        during his tour he participated in the D-Day
        invasion at Omaha Beach, served in North Africa
        and Italy; hall of fame baseball player;
        NY Yankee catcher.

In 1926, Lincoln Ellsworth, American explorer, flew across
        the North Pole in the dirigible Norge.  The (Italian
        built) "Norge" was commanded by Colonel Umberto
        Nobile.  Colonel Nobile also designed and built the
        "Norge".  Roald Amundsen and Lincoln Ellsworth
        were, distinguished, as the Co-Leaders of the
        They arrived over the North Pole at 1:30 AM. This
        aircraft was the second to fly over the "Pole".  The
        first was the "Josephine Ford" - Fokker F-VII-3m at
        9:02 AM, on the the 9th of May, 1926, with Floyd
        Bennett as airplane commander and Lt. Cmdr. Richard
        E. Byrd as expedition leader.

        Historical Note:  Benito Mussolini agreed to sell
        the Italian Army Airship N-1 (later named "Norge")
        for the sum of $75,000 "if" the designer (Nobile) be
        given command of the airship (and) that the Italian
        Flag be dropped along with the Norwegian & American
        Flags...if the ship reached the North Pole. All
        three flags were dropped: E.g., [order]  Norwegian,
        American, Italian.

In 1928, Lt. Julian Dexter of the Air Corps completes a
        3,000 square mile aerial mapping assignment over the
        Florida Everglades. The project took 6 months and
        total flight time was 65 hours.

In 1936, world's largest high-speed wind tunnel (8-foot
        throat) was placed in operation at Langley
        Aeronautical Laboratory, under Russell G. Robinson.

In 1942, P-40 pilots of the 2nd and 3rd A.V.G. Squadrons
        destroy fourteen (14) Japanese fighters and one (1)
        transport at 1735-hours in an attack on the Gia
        Lam Airfield at Hanoi, French Indochina.

In 1950, the last flight of X-1 (No. 1) rocket research
        airplane, for RKO motion picture "Test Pilot". 
        During its career, it made eighty-three flights with
        ten different pilots. It was formally retired on
        August 26, 1950 and currently hangs in the
        Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.

Bruce Boxleitner:  born May 12, 1951
        born in Elgin, Illinois; actor; Captain John
        Sheridan on Babylon 5

In 1953, the first Bell X-2 exploded during a captive flight
        killing Jean Ziegler, Bell test pilot, over Lake
        Ontario near Buffalo, N.Y.

In 1959, NASA announced training program for seven Project
        Mercury astronauts to provide them with technical
        knowledge and skills required to pilot the Nation's
        manned orbital capsule.

In 1960, speed of Mach 3.2 and 78,000-foot altitude attained
        in X-15 (No. 1) with interim engines by NASA's
        Joseph A. Walker. This was the first remote-launch
        operation (100 miles from release from "mother"
        aircraft to landing site at Edwards AFB).

In 1964, the second woman to complete an around the world flights
        was Joan Merriam Smith flying a Piper Apache named the
        "City of Long Beach".  She flew the equator route (Oakland
        to Oakland) and landed on May 12, 1964. This made her the
        first woman to fly solo around the world on an equator
        route. She actually took off one day ahead of the world
        RTW setter, Jerrie Mock; who, however, finished ahead of
        her on 17 April 64.

                        May 13

In 1911, Lts. H.H. Arnold and T.D. Milling became first
        Wright School Army pilots.

In 1916, the Chief of Naval Operations requested appropriate
        Bureaus to undertake development of gyroscopic
        attachments for instruments and equipment, including
        compasses, bombsights and base lines, the latter
        being a forerunner of the turn and bank indicator.

In 1929, the first cross-country flight of the Packard
        Diesel Powered Aircraft, the Stinson "Detroiter",
        X7654. The 650 mile trip from Detroit to Langley
        Field was hailed by technical experts.  The
        aircraft was unveiled as part of the fourth annual
        Aircraft Engineering Research Conference.

        The plane made the flight on ordinary domestic
        furnace oil. It accomplished the trip at an average
        speed of eighty-five miles an hour, through adverse
        weather. The airline distance is 560 miles, but the
        plane, in fighting its way around and through
        rainstorms, traveled approximately 650 miles. The
        cost of the fuel for the flight was $4.68. The cost
        of high test aviation gasoline wouild have been
        approximately $24.

        Pilots were Captain Woolson and Walter Lees.
In 1940, Sikorsky VS300 takes first free flight.

Ritchie Valens:  born May 13, 1941
        Musician; wrote "Donna" and "LaBamba"

In 1942, the first US Army helicopter, the prototype of the
        Sikorsky XR-4, began a 761 mile journey from
        Sikorsky's Bridgeport plant to Wright Field near
        Dayton, Ohio. Instead of dismantling the aircraft
        for road transportation, the decision was made to
        fly the distance, carefully skirting the intervening
        Appalachian Mountains. The helicopter left
        Bridgeport followed by a car-load of engineers. It
        took five days, with a total flight time of just
        over sixteen hours and an average cruising speed of
        sixty miles an hour, to complete the journey.

In 1949, the prototype of the British Canberra medium jet
        bomber was first flown, at Warton, England.

In 1995, the X-31 completes its last research flight, the
        555th in the program.

                        May 14

Gabriel Fahrenheit:  born May 14, 1686
        born in Danzig, Germany (now Gdansk, Poland);
        settled in Ansterdam in 1701 and became interested
        in making scientific instruments; constructed the
        first mercury in glass thermometer in 1714;
        devised the Fahrenheit scale to provide greater
        sensitivity over Claus Roemer's scale.

Claudius Dornier:  born May 14, 1884
        born in Kempten, Bavaria; aircraft designer and
        builder; in 1910, he began working for Ferdinand,
        Graf von Zeppelin at the airship factory in
        Friedrichshafen; in 1911 he designed the first all
        metal plane; in 1929 he introduced the Do X, at the
        time the World's largest aircraft.

In 1908, the first passenger flight in a powered aircraft
        took place in Wright plane at Kitty Hawk.

        The passenger was "Charles Furnas. Charles Furnas
        of West Milton, Ohio, was the first airplane passenger.
        He first flew with Orville Wright on the Wright Flyer 3.
        That same day, he also took flight with Wilbur Wright,
        becoming one of very few people who flew with both Wright
        brothers. Charles was a mechanic for the Wright brothers
        and was on board, not only as a passenger, but also to
        monitor the engine on the airplane. So that also made
        him the first Flight Engineer!

In 1919, the airship C-5, Lieutenant Commander E. W. Coil
        commanding, made a record flight from Montauk Point,
        Long Island, to St. Johns, Newfoundland, covering
        the 1,050 nautical miles in 25 hours and 50 minutes.

In 1926, the Curtiss Marine Trophy Race, held off Haines
        Point over the Potomac, was won by Lieutenant T. P.
        Jeter in a Curtiss F6C-1 Hawk with a speed of
        130.94 m.p.h.

In 1933, American Interplanetary Society Rocket No. 2 was
        successfully fired, attaining a 250-foot altitude in
        2 seconds, at Marine Park, Staten Island, N.Y.

George Lucas: born May 14, 1944
        Producer and director; American Graffiti; Star Wars

In 1944, TACTICAL OPERATIONS (Twelfth Air Force): In Italy,
        support for the Allied ground assault into the Gustav Line
        continues as aircraft hit at lines of communications N
        and NW of Rome and blast targets in the immediate battle
        area; medium bombers claim hits on bridges, bridge
        approaches, and viaducts at Chiani, Marsciano, Monte Molino,
        Castiglione d'Orcia, San Giovanni Valdarno, Poggibonsi,
        Tabianello and Arezzo;

        A-20s pound command posts in the battle area;
        fighter-bombers hit stations, tracks, roads, town areas,
        bridges, gun positions and targets of opportunity in the
        immediate battle area and in or near Esperia, Terni, Narni,
        Itri, Terracina, Perugia, Chiusi, Orvieto, San Giovanni
        Valdarno, Maranola and other locations N of Rome.

In 2004, AVSIG, the oldest continuously-operating online forum
        in the world, turns the lights off at the CompuServe network at 17:45 ET,
        May 14, 2004 with 2,089,409 (give or take) messages
        posted over 23 years. The lights go on at
        at 17:00 ET.

                        May 15

In 1918, the Bureau of Steam Engineering reported that the
        Marconi SE 1100 radio transmitter, designed for use
        on the H-16 flying boat, had demonstrated
        dependability in voice communications at distances
        up to 50 nautical miles and in code communications
        at up to 120 nautical miles. This was one of the
        first radio sets used in, and the first tube set
        developed for, naval aircraft.

In 1918, the Post Office's first regular airmail route,
        Washington to New York, was inaugurated by Army
        pilots with the Aviation Section of the Signal

        The route was between Washington, Philadelphia
        and New York.  Second Lt. George L. Boyle, who
        had just graduated from flying school, was
        chosen to make the inaugural flight.  However,
        his choice was political rather than for
        recognition of his skill. His fiancee' was
        the daughter of Charles McChord, a Commerce
        Commissioner who had befriended the Postal

        Boyle took off for Philadelphia with 140-lbs
        of mail in the front seat of his Curtiss JN-4H.
        However, he started south instead of north.
        More than an hour later a telephone call
        was received by Capt Benjamin Lipsner,
        Administrative Officer in Washington. It was
        from 2nd Lt. Boyle, who reported to Lipsner
        that he was down in a plowed field near
        Waldorf, Maryland, and had broken his

        A mail truck was dispatched to Waldorf to
        pick up the mail with orders to return it
        to Washington.

        The other leg from New York, to Philadelphia
        to Washington "was" successful and 1st Lt.
        Torrey Webb did the NYC-PHL leg with 2nd Lt.
        James Edgerton doing the PHL-DCA leg.
        Edgerton arrived in D.C. at 2:50 PM.

In 1930, Ellen Church became the first 'stewardess'. She
        served chicken, fruit salad and rolls to United
        Airline passengers flying from San Francisco,
        California to Cheyene, Wyoming.

In 1939, a contract was issued to Curtiss-Wright for the
        XSB2C-1 dive bomber, thereby completing action on a
        1938 design competition. The preceding month,
        Brewster had received a contract for the XSB2A-1. As
        part of the mobilization in ensuing years, large
        production orders were issued for both aircraft, but
        serious managerial and developmental problems were
        encountered which eventually contributed to 
        discarding the SB2A and prolonged preoperational
        development of SB2C. Despite this, the SB2C
        Helldiver would become the principal operational
        carrier dive bomber.

In 1941, the first official flight of British turbojet,
        Gloster E./28/39 with Whittle WIX jet eingine, at
        Cranwell, England, flown by Flight Lt. Sayer for
        about 17 minutes.

In 1941, British De Havilland Mosquito equipped as night
        fighter (W4052) made its first flight with AI radar.

In 1941, Joe DiMaggio began his famous 56 game hitting streak.
        Joe went 1 for 4 against the Chicago White Sox.
        The streak lasted until July 17, 1941 against the
        Cleveland Indians. DiMaggio hit .408 during the streak
        (91 for 223) with 15 home runs and 55 RBIs. Many don't
        remember that Lou Gehrig died on June 2 in the middle
        of Joe's streak that year.

In 1942, a VR-2 flight from Alameda to Honolulu, the first
        transoceanic flight by a NATS aircraft. The flight
        was the first of a new air transport service between
        NAS Alameda and NAS Pearl Harbor.

In 1942, the 35th Pursuit Group and the 49th Pursuit Group
        officially changed to Fighter Groups.

In 1948, the first flight of the Northrup YB-35 (42-102366)
        Flying  Wing Bomber. It was the only example
        actually fitted with defensive armament. The two
        XB-35s had carried only dummy turrets. The YB-35 was
        fitted with single-rotation propellers. This was
        destined to be the only one of the 13 YB-35s ordered
        that actually flew.

In 1950, the Navy announced the completion of a new test
        chamber at the Ordnance Aerophysics Laboratory,
        Daingerfield, Texas, making it possible for the
        first time to conduct tests of full scale ramjet
        engines up to 48 inches in diameter at simulated
        altitudes up to 100,000 feet.

In 1952, the C-202 Halcon made its first flight. It was
        developed and built by CASA in Spain.

In 1960, the first service for the Convair 880 by Delta

In 1961, in testimony before House Appropriations Committee,
        Hugh L. Dryden revealed that simulated free-flight
        speeds just under 30,000 miles per hour had been
        achieved at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett
        Field, Calif.

In 1961, test firing of GE plug-nozzle engine developed
        50,000 pounds of thrust.

In 1965, Gordon Cooper flew Faith 7 on the last flight of
        the Mercury program. He completed 22 1/2 orbits
        in a little over 1 day and 10 hours. It was by
        far the longest flight of the program with second
        place going to Sigma 7 at 9 hours and 10 minutes.

In 1991, a full scale X-30 structural test component,
        representing a wing control surface, arrived at
        Dryden's Thermostructural Research Laboratory for
        loads and temperature testing.

                        May 16

In 1866, the US authorized the minting of the first US
        nickel. Nickels have always had a value of one
        cent per gram (even when special nickel-free
        versions were issued temporarily during World
        War II). They were designed as 5 grams in the
        metric units when they were introduced in 1866,
        shortly before the Act of July 28, 1866 declared
        the metric system to be legal for use in the
        United States.

In 1919, at about 6:00 pm, three NC flying boats took off
        from Trepassey Bay, Newfoundland, continuing their
        long overwater flight to the Azores.  Lt. Commander
        Albert C. "Putty" Read and a crew of five were on
        their way to Lisbon, Portugal.

In 1919, Ensign H. C. Rodd, radioman on the NC-4,
        intercepted a radio message from the steamship
        George Washington 1325 miles distant. A radio
        message from one of the NC's was also intercepted by
        the radio station, Bar Harbor, Maine, when the plane
        was 1,400 miles away.

In 1940, President Roosevelt called for U.S. production of
        50,000 planes a year.

In 1946, the AAF established an Institute of Technology at
        Wright Field to graduate 350 officers annually.

In 1955, Lt. R. Sohn graduates from USAF Basic Multi-Engine
        Pilot Training School, cadet class 55-N at Reese AFB,
        Lubbock Texas.

In 1958, in level flight over a 10-mile course at Edwards
        AFB, Calif., Capt. Walter W. Irvin (USAF), flying a
        F-104A Starfighter, set a world speed record of
        1,403.79 mph (2,259.18 km/h).

In 1960, Francis Gary Powers was shot down over Russia. The
        CIA cover story was that the aircraft was "lost" on
        a "meteorological research mission" for NASA. To
        support this story, a U-2 was painted in NASA markings
        and parked on the flight line at NASA's Flight Research
        Center at Edwards. Many of my old friends recollect
        the story - because they were told to act like nothing
        special was going on. Of course, someone parks a new and
        unusual airplane on the ramp and you're going to get
        lookie-loos - lots of them - regardless of how casual
        they are supposed to act.

        [[ My friends said everyone was quite suspicious because the
        paint was still wet, and the weenies were all too
        matter-of-fact about the "new research airplane". A few
        days later, the Russians released photos of a fairly-intact
        fuselage and captured pilot, all of which made NASA and the
        CIA look pretty dumb. A former boss of mine was the Ops
        Officer that day and tells the story of having to call CIA
        HQ and report the missing airplane. Imagine being a fly on
        the wall for THAT conversation. Thanks Ed for the fill. ]]

In 1963, Kearsage recovered Major L. Gordon Cooper, USAF,
        and his Faith 7 capsule, 80 miles southeast of
        Midway, after his 22-orbit flight.

                       May 17

Maureen O'Sullivan:  born May 17, 1911
        Actress; Tarzan's Jane

        Naval Operations requested purchase of 50 aircraft
        machine guns synchronized to fire through propellers
        and 50 for all-around fire.

In 1917, a contract was made with the Curtiss Exhibition
        Company to train 20 men of the Naval Reserve Flying
        Force as aviators at the company field at Newport
        News, Virginia.

In 1918, the first flight made in France of an American
        -built military aircraft, a DH-4, built by Dayton
        Wright Co. adapted from English design.

In 1919, after more than 15 hours in the air, the NC flying
        boats neared the Azores. At 1323 GMT, the NC-4
        landed at Horta. The other NC boats were not so
        fortunate; both had lost their bearings in thick fog
        and landed at sea to determine their positions. But
        in landing they sustained damage and were unable to
        resume flight. The NC-3 drifted backwards toward the
        Azores and arrived at Ponta Delgada 1830 on 19 May.
        The NC-1 sustained additional damage in the heavy
        seas and was taken under tow by the Greek steamer
        Ionia, but the tow lines soon parted. Gridley (DD
        92) then attempted to tow the NC-1 but the aircraft
        pulled adrift again and broke up and sank. Her
        entire crew was taken on board Ionia and arrived at
        Horta at 1230 on 18 May.

In 1919, the War department ordered use of national star
        insignia on all planes.

In 1930, the corporate formation of Transcontinental &
        Western Air.  This corp was essentially from the
        merger of Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT) and
        Western Air Transport (WAT).  Announcemnet of the
        1930 name change was released in May of 1930 but
        it did NOT become officialy recognied until
        July 16, 1930.

        "TWA was a leading pre-war domestic carrier, and
        its crews began making military transatlantic flight
        to Britain in 1942 with  which had been taken
        over by the USAAF. This experience, together with
        the early order for Lockheed Constellations, which
        passed back into airline control when peace
        returned, gave TWA the airplanes and crews it needed
        to compete over the Atlantic. Regular flights to
        Paris began on April 1, and to Madrid a month later.
        Routes to Asia have followed since."

In 1941, the Army announced that an order would be placed
        for 250 B-29s to be built in a new government-owned
        facility at Wichita, Kansas that would be leased by
        Boeing for B-29 production.

In 1944, the Bureau of Aeronautics authorized CGAS Floyd
        Bennett Field to collaborate with the Sperry
        Gyroscope Company in making an automatic pilot
        installation in a HNS-1 helicopter.

In 1946, the first flight of Douglas XB-43, light jet
        -propelled bomber.

In 1946, the X-1 #1 was first unveiled to the public at
        Wright Field at a special open-house exhibition.
        (Is this the correct year for this?)

In 1954, Navy nonrigid airship YZP6-2 established new world
        endurance record for unrefueled flight of 200 hours
        and 12 minutes, commanded by Comdr. M. H. Eppes

In 1958, four F3H Demons and four F8U Crusaders completed
        nonstop trans Atlantic crossings in Operation
        Pipeline, a practical test of the speed with which
        carrier aircraft could be delivered from the east
        coast to the Sixth Fleet, in the Mediterranean.

In 1961, an HSS-2 helicopter flown by Commander Patrick L.
        Sullivan and Lieutenant Beverly W. Witherspoon, set
        a new world class speed record of 192.9 m.p.h. for
        3 kilometers at Bradley Field, Windsor Locks, Conn.

In 1995, Boeing delivers the first 777 to United Airlines.

                         May 18

In 1908, F.W. Baldwin flies the White Wing for the first
        time at  Hammondsport, N.Y. It was the second
        biplane constructed by the Aerial Experiment
        Association or A.E.A. (six members were Alexander
        and Mabel Bell, McCurdy, Baldwin, Selfridge and
        Curtiss). The White Wing was designed by Baldwin and
        powered by the 40 hp motor used in the Red Wing. It
        included many innovations, not only the ailerons and
        shoulder attachment but a lighter laminated wooden
        propeller and a tricycle undercarriage were added.
        The wings were covered with white cotton nainsook
        because the supply of red silk had been depleted.

In 1917, experimental self-sealing fuel tanks, consisting of
        double walled galvanized iron containing layers of
        felt, gum rubber and an Ivory soap-whiting paste,
        were demonstrated to representatives of the Army and
        Navy by the Bureau of Standards.

In 1919, an early attempt to transport the first sack of
       U.S. Air Mail across the Atlantic.  It started aboard
       the Sopwith "Atlantic" piloted by Harry Hawker. The
       air mail was converted to surface mail due to an
       engine malfunction, though, and arrived in Europe
       along with the aircraft, but on a different ship than
       Hawker and his navigator Mackenzie-Grieve.

       The Sopwith "Atlantic" only made it over the Atlantic
       Ocean for 1,400 miles before "ditching" near the
       "Steamer Mary". Then the mail travel went by sea,
       then by land. So, the U.S. Mail delivery by airplane
       across the full extent of the Atlantic was not yet

In 1935, the world's largest airplane, the Russian Maxim
        Gorky, crashed near Moscow, killing all aboard.

In 1942, the US Army took formal delivery of their first
        helicopter, the prototype of the Sikorsky XR-4.
        Testing was to be done at Wright Field near Dayton,

In 1948, a contract was issued to Goodyear Aircraft
        Corporation for design of an ASW airship with an
        envelope volume of 825,000 cubic feet, approximately
        double that of the K class airship of World War II.
        Through subsequent contractual action which was
        initiated in September, one ZPN airship was ordered.

In 1953, Jacqueline Cochran became first woman to fly faster
        than the speed of sound, in a F-86.

In 1954, SUPER SKYHOOK, largest polyethylene balloon built
        to date, was launched by General Mills for ONR and
        carried emulsions to 115,000 feet.

In 1960, an un-named airline discharges "Bad" Bruce Iverson and
        hires Randy Sohn. Randy came on board with seniority
        number 287! Iverson was a fighter pilot and T-6 Mosquito
        pilot in the Korean fracas!  Took out a N.K. tank with
        a smoke rocket.  Hero to his British Army rear seat
        observer (even if he *may* later have - from time to
        time - sent his F/O off solo in the DC-3 back to KMSP.

In 1973, a four-day trial of a prototype glide slope
        indicator was completed aboard Truxtun. The
        indicator, developed by the Naval Air Engineering
        Center, consisted of a hydraulically stabilized
        Fresnel lens. It was one of several steps taken to
        achieve an all weather capability with LAMPS

In 1993, the first research flight of Dryden's F-18 Systems
        Research Aircraft checks out an electrical actuator
        that monitors and controls one of the aircraft's

                       May 19

In 1908, Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge became the first US soldier
        to fly a heavier-than-air machine. This was the
        second flight of the A.E.A.'s White Wing.

In 1917, the Chief of Naval Operations requested that two
        small seaplanes and one pilot be detailed for duty
        in connection with radio experimentation at

In 1918, Major Gervais Raoul Lufbery, (16-Kills), Medaille
        Militaire; Legion d'Honneur; Croix de Guerre avec
        10 palms; British Military Medal; Montenegrin Medal
        pour Valor-Militaire, attacked a German Two-Seater
        and his aircraft was set on fire by the enemy
        gunner. Not wanting to burn alive, his fellow airmen
        saw him roll his aircraft over on its back and he
        dropped out with arms quietly folded. He fell into a
        flower garden near Maron. Lufbery's remains lay at
        the Lafayette Memorial du Parc de Garches. 

In 1924, Lt. J. A. Macready (USAS) established new American
        altitude record of 35,239 feet at Dayton, in Le Pere
        Liberty 400.

In 1928, Major Charles A. Lutz, USMC, won the curtiss Marine
        Trophy Race at Anacostia in an F6C-3, making a speed
        of 157.6 m.p.h. over the 100-mile course.

In 1949, the JRM-1 Marshall Mars broke the record for number
        of people carried on a single flight when 301
        passengers and a crew of seven were flown from
        Alameda to San Diego.

In 1960, TIROS I weather satellite spotted a tornado storm
        system in the vicinity of Wichita Falls, Tex.

In 1960, X-15 (No. 1) flown to 107,000 feet, its highest
        altitude to date, by Maj. Robert M. White (USAF), at
        Edwards AFB.

In 1961, the Soviet Academy of Sciences revealed that the
        pulse rate of Major Yuri A. Gagarin had risen to 158
        beats a minute in his Vostok flight, according to a
        report circulated by Tass.

In 1961, Cape Canaveral opened to the general public for the
        first time in its history.

In 1967, two A-7A Corsair II aircraft, piloted by Commander
        Charles Fritz and Captain Alex Gillespie, USMC, made
        a trans-Atlantic crossing from NAS Patuxent River to
        Evreux, France, establishing an unofficial record
        for long distance, nonrefueled flight by light
        attack jet aircraft. Distance flown was 3,327
        nautical miles; time of flight was seven hours and
        one minute.

                        May 20

In 1916, development of a gyroscopically operated bomb
        -dropping sight was initiated with the allocation of
        $750 to the Bureau of Ordnance to be used in placing
        an order with the Sperry Gyroscope Company.

In 1925, Air Service Technical School at Rantoul, Ill.,
        carried on radio conversations from planes in the
        air, reaching Chicago 115 miles distant.

In 1926, President Coolidge signed the Air Commerce Act, the
        first Federal legislation regulating civil

In 1927, the first solo nonstop transatlantic flight, New
        York to Paris, was begun by Charles A.
In 1927, the first flight of the Boeing Model 40A mail
        plane. With this plane, which carried both mail and
        passengers, Boeing won the Chicago to San Francisco
        federal mail contract and Boeing Air Transport
        (predecessor to United Airlines) is founded to
        operate the mail routes.

In 1940, the Commanding Officer of the destroyer Noa
        (DD 343) reported on successful operations conducted
        off the Delaware Capes in which an XSOC-1, piloted
        by Lieutenant G. L. Heap, was hoisted over the side
        for takeoff and was recovered by the ship while
        underway. As an epilogue to preliminary operations
        conducted at anchor on 15 May, Lieutenant Heap made
        an emergency flight transferring a stricken seaman
        from the Noa in Harbor of Refuge, Delaware, to the
        Naval Hospital, Philadelphia.

In 1951, Captain James Jabara became the Air Force's first
        jet versus jet ace.  On this date he got {both} his
        5th & 6th (fully) confirmed jet kills, 5-minutes
        apart, in the vicinity of Sinuiju, North Korea.
        He was a memeber of the 334th Fighter Interceptor
        Squdaron, and at the time was flying F-86A,
        Serial 49-1319.

In 1971, the first flight of the Sukhoi T-10, prototype
        of the Su-27

In 1976, Bell Helicopter's AH-1T made its first flight. The
        following week the AH-1T flew to 120 KIAS and did
        mild sideslips, climbs and descents.

                       May 21

Glenn Hammond Curtiss:  born May 21, 1878
        born in Hammondsport, NY; early interest in
        bicycles let to motorcycle racing; in 1904 he was
        approached by Thomas Baldwin to provide an engine
        for his dirigible the California Arrow; engine and
        airship were successful; became a founding member
        of the Aerial Experimantal Association; in 1908
        he successfully flew his White Wing biplane; more
        work led to the June Bug which Curtiss flew in
        1908 to win the Scientific American Trophy; awarded
        aviator license number 1 by the Aero Club of
        America in 1911; in 1911 he developed the first
        successful hydroaeroplane; in 1912 he developed the
        flying boat and received the Langley Medal for it
        in 1913.

In 1927, the first solo nonstop transatlantic flight, New
        York to Paris, was completed by Charles A.

In 1927, Lieutenant R. Irvine, in a Vought O2U Corsair
        equipped with a Pratt & Whitney Wasp engine,
        established a world record (FAI Class C-2) for
        1,000 kilometers at Hampton Roads, Virginia, with a
        speed of 130.932 m.p.h.

In 1932, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo
        across the Atlantic.  This flight also set a record
        for the longest non-stop flight by a woman
        (2,026 miles).

In 1941, the Bureau of Aeronautics requested the Engineering
        Experiment Station, Annapolis, Md., to undertake
        development of a liquid-fueled assisted takeoff unit
        for use on patrol planes. This marked the Navy's
        entry into the field that later came to be called
        JATO, and was the Navy's first development
        program, other than jet exhaust from reciprocating
        engines, directed towards utilizing jet reaction for
        aircraft propulsion.

In 1941, Army Corps Ferrying Command, forerunner of AAF's
        Air Transport Command, was created. By V-E Day it
        possessed 2,461 transports, of which 798 were
        4 engined.

In 1944, the West Loch disaster, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. 
        Three months before a similar tragedy at a munitions
        depot at Port Chicago, California; a chain reaction
        of munitions being loaded aboard LST ships went off. 
        163 men killed, 396 injured and 6 LSTs destroyed. 
        It was during the preparation for the invasion of
        Saipan, so the event was classified until 1960.

In 1947, NACA Langley Laboratory demonstrated practically
        noiseless airplane with five-bladed propellor and
        muffled exhaust.

In 1953, an AD-4 Skyraider took off from NAS Dallas with a
        bombload of 10,500 pounds. Combined with the weight
        of its guns, ammunition, fuel and pilot, its total
        useful load of 14,491 pounds was 3,143 pounds more
        than the weight of the aircraft.

In 1956, the United States conducted the first airborne test
        of an improved hydrogen bomb, dropping it from a
        plane over the tiny island of Namu in the Bikini
        Atoll in the Pacific Ocean.
        The United States first detonated a hydrogen bomb
        in 1952 in the Marshall Islands, also in the Pacific.
        However, that bomb--and the others used in tests that
        followed--were large and unwieldy affairs that were
        exploded from the ground. The practical application
        of dropping the weapon over an enemy had been a mere
        theoretical possibility until the successful test in
        May 1956.
        The hydrogen bomb dropped over Bikini Atoll was carried
        by a B-52 bomber and released at an altitude of more
        than 50,000 feet. The device exploded at about 15,000
        feet. This bomb was far more powerful than those
        previously tested and was estimated to be 15 megatons
        or larger (one megaton is roughly equivalent to
        1 million tons of TNT). Observers said that the
        fireball caused by the explosion measured at least
        four miles in diameter and was brighter than the
        light from 500 suns.

In 1960, first public showing of F-1 engine mockup.

In 1971, technical evaluation of a new fire control system
        with a helmet-mounted sight was begun at the Naval
        Air Test Center.

                       May 22

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:  born May 22, 1858
        Author; born in Edinburgh, Scotland; trained
        as an opthalmologist, he wrote in his spare time;
        created Sherlock Holmes; he tried to end the
        Holmes series by having the detective fall to
        his death in Reichenbach (sp?)Falls in
        Switzerland; public response forced Doyle to
        bring the character back.

In 1912, 1st Lieutenant Alfred A. Cunningham, USMC, the
        first Marine Corps officer assigned to flight
        instruction and later designated Naval Aviator
        No. 5, reported to the Superintendent of the Naval
        Academy for "duty in connection with aviation" and
        subsequently was ordered to the Burgess Company at
        Marblehead for flight instruction. This date is
        recognized as the birthday of Marine Corps aviation.

In 1916, the Naval Observatory sent a color camera, made by
        the Hess-Ives Corporation, to the Naval Aeronautic
        Station at Pensacola to determine whether color
        photography would be of value in aeronautic work.

In 1916, French airmen successfully destroyed five of six
        German balloons using Le Prieur rockets on their
        Nieuport fighters.

In 1928, first patent on sodium-filled valves for combustion
        engines issued to S. D. Heron, engineer of the
        Materiel Division at Wright Field.

In 1934, the NS-1, a single-engine biplane trainer, was
        ordered from Stearman Aircraft Company, Wichita,

In 1934, the Mackay trophy awarded to Capt. W.T. Larson
        for developing instrument takeoff and landing

In 1936, Herrick Vertiplane, embodying characteristics of
        both airplanes and autogiros, underwent tests at
        Floyd Bennett Field.

In 1943, German Messerschmitt Me-262 turbojet fighter
        prototype flight tested at Rechlin. Test flights
        continued during the year on interceptor type, while
        series production did not begin until spring of

In 1958, Major E. N. LeFaivre, USMC, piloted an F4D-1
        Skyray at NAMTC Point Mugu, to five world records in
        speed of climb to 3,000, 6,000, 9,000, 12,000, and
        15,000 meters with marks of 44.392, 66.095, 90.025,
        111.224, and 156.233 seconds. This was BuNo 130745.

In 1961, General Curtis E. LeMay was nominated by the
        President to be Chief of Staff, USAF.

In 1979, the first of two McDonnell Douglas AV-8C Harriers
        arrived at NATC, Patuxent River for service
        acceptance trials. Improvements built into this
        aircraft over the AV-8A include a new UHF radio, a
        chaff and flare dispensing system, lift improvement
        devices, a radar warning system and secure voice

                          May 23

Otto Lilienthal:  born May 23, 1848
        German aeronautical pioneer

In 1917, the initial production program to equip the Navy
        with the aircraft necessary for war was recommended
        by the Joint Technical Board on Aircraft, to consist
        of 300 school machines, 200 service seaplanes, 100
        speed scouts, and 100 large seaplanes. The N-9 and
        R-6 were listed as the most satisfactory for school
        and service seaplanes, but the remaining two types
        were not sufficiently developed to permit a

In 1927, a major advance in the transition from wooden to
        metal aircraft structures resulted from the Naval
        Aircraft Factory's report that the corrosion of
        aluminum by salt water--hitherto a serious obstacle
        to the use of aluminum alloys on naval aircraft
        could be decreased by the application of anodic

In 1948, the Army dedicated a continuous wind tunnel capable
        of 3,000 mph at Aberdeen, Md.

In 1957, a drone HTK-1 helicopter, carrying a safety pilot,
        operated from the fantail of Mitscher (DL 2) in the
        vicinity of Narragansett Bay. These tests and
        others, conducted in February off Key West, in which
        a piloted HUL-1 carried Mk 43 torpedoes in flights
        to and from the Mitscher, demonstrated the
        feasibility of assigning torpedo carrying drone
        helicopters to destroyers and led to the development
        of the Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter (DASH) which
        was later embodied in the QH-50C.

In 1961, in a brief ceremony, a bust of Samuel P. Langley
        was presented by Paul Garber, Curator of the
        National Air Museum, to the NASA Langley Research
        Center, during which Dr. Langley's first
        demonstration of mechanical flight with his
        "Aerodrome" model in 1896 and his scientific
        contributions to astrophysics (i.e., the thermopile
        and the bolometer) were reviewed by Garber and
        Deputy NASA Administrator Dryden.

In 1961, a new 20-inch wind tunnel at the Aeronatical
        Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force
        Base announced as capable of testing at mach 14, at
        200,000-foot altitude, and at 2,500 degrees F.

In 1974, the first service for the Airbus A300 (B2).

In 1988, the Bell/Boeing V-22 rollout.

                         May 24

In 1912, the first parachute jump from an aeroplane in
        flight over Canada was made at Vancouver, British
        Columbia by Charles Saunders.

In 1918, the first consignment of American-built flying
        boats, six HS-1's aboard Houston (AK 1) and two
        aboard Lake Placid, arrived at Pauillac, France.

In 1922, routine operation of catapults aboard ship
        commenced with the successful launching of a VE-7
        piloted by Lieutenant Andrew C. McFall, with
        Lieutenant D. C. Ramsey as passenger, from Maryland
        (BB 46) off Yorktown, Va. A compressed air catapult
        was used. As catapults were installed on other
        battleships and then on cruisers, the Navy acquired
        the capability of operating aircraft from existing
        capital ships.
In 1926, the first annual inspection and conference for
        industrial and other governmental aeronautical
        persons held at NACA's Langley Laboratory. These
        annual events were of high importance in promoting
        aeronautical research in the United States.

In 1949, the Second International Conference on Aeronautics,
        combining the Royal Aeronautical Society and the
        Institute of Aeronautical Sciences, was held in New

In 1949, NACA first flight of D-558-2 #2, BuAer No. 37974.
        The pilot was Robert A. Champine who achieved
        Mach 0.74.
In 1956, the first flight of the Piper PA-24 Commanche.

In 1958, a gravity load of 83 g's for a fraction of a second
        was withstood by Capt. E. L. Breeding in
        deceleration of a rocket sled at Holloman AFB.

In 1961, three F4H Phantom II fighters competing for the
        Bendix Trophy bettered the existing record for
        transcontinental flight from Los Angeles to New
        York. The winning team of Lieutenant R. F. Gordon,
        pilot, and Lieutenant (jg) B. R. Young, RIO,
        averaged 870 m.p.h. on the 2,421.4 mile flight and
        set a new record of 2 hours, 47 minutes.

In 1961, Commander P. L. Sullivan and Lieutenant B. W.
        Witherspoon, flying an HSS-2 helicopter set another
        new world class speed record with a mark of
        174.9 m.p.h. over a 100-kilometer course between
        Milford and Westbrook, Conn.

In 1962, Lieutenant Commander M. Scott Carpenter in Aurora 7
        was launched into orbit from Cape Canaveral on the
        second U.S. manned orbital flight. Upon completing
        three orbits he returned to earth landing in the
        Atlantic 200 miles beyond the planned impact area.
        He was located by a Navy P2V, assisted by
        para-rescue men dropped from an Air Force RC-54
        and, after almost 3 hours in the water, picked up by
        an HSS helicopter from Intrepid and returned safely
        to the carrier. His capsule was retrieved by the
        destroyer John R. Pierce. He is also credited with
        being the first US astronaut to eat a meal in space.

In 1967, the seaplane tender Currituck returned to North
        Island after completing a 10-month tour in the
        western Pacific and the last combat tour for ships
        of her type.

In 1972, the first NASA flight in YF-12C 937 was by Fitzhugh
        L. Fulton

In 1978, the 5,000th Phantom was delivered in ceremonies
        that also marked the 20th anniversary of the
        Fighter's first flight. (According to McDonnell
        Douglas, first flight was 5/27/58).

                         May 25

Igor Sikorsky:  born May 25, 1889
        Pioneer in aircraft and helicopter design

Sir Quintin Brand:  born May 25, 1893
        Pioneer aviator; air-vice marshall in the Royal Air

In 1919, the Tarrant Tabor had its first and only flight.
        The Tarrant Tabor was the first six-engine bomber to
        fly.  It had a wingspan of 131 feet and stood higher
        than a four story building. 

        Its empty weight was 16,000lb.  The wingspan of 131 feet
        was not exceeded by any heavy bomber of WW II except the

        Tarrant reacted to a suggestion that the aircraft might
        be tailheavy by ordering a half-ton of lead to be shoveled
        into the nose.

        On takeoff, the tail came up just fine, but the off-axis
        thrust of the two upper engines (between the top and middle
        wings; the other four were between the bottom and middle
        wing alongside the fuselage) pulled the plane into a
        forward somersault. The plane was completely destroyed and
        killed its crew of three.

        One of the designers on the Tabor project was Walter H.
        Barling, who developed a 32,000lb, six-engine triplane bomber
        for the US.  It flew more than one flight (ca 1923), but had
        a lot of design flaws, one of which was its 170 mile
        bomb-carrying range.  With fuel tanks replacing the entire
        bomb load, it could go 335 miles.

In 1927, Lt. James H. Doolittle (AAC) flew the first
        successful outside loop.

In 1928, Lieutenants Zeus Soucek and Lisle Maxson, in a
        PN-12 powered by two Wright engines, set world marks
        (FAI Class C-2) with a 1,000-kilogram useful
        load: speed over 2,000 kilometers at 80.288 m.p.h.;
        distance at 1,243.20 miles; and duration at 17 hours
        55 minutes 13.6 seconds.

In 1929, the race for the Curtiss Marine Trophy, held at
        Anacostia, was won by Lieutenant W. G. Tomlinson in
        an XF7C-1 with a speed of 162.52 m.p.h.

In 1953, USAF North American YF-100A made its first flight
        at Edwards AFB, the first service supersonic
        fighter.  Company test pilot George S.("Wheaties")
        Welch made the maiden flight. The YF-100A exceeded
        the speed of sound on its first flight.

In 1954, a ZPG-2 airship, commanded by Commander M. H.
        Eppes, landed at NAS Key West, Fla., after a record
        breaking flight of 200.1 hours or more than 8 days
        in the air. The flight, which began at NAS
        Lakehurst, N.J., ranged over the Atlantic as far
        north as Nova Scotia, out to Bermuda and Nassau and
        southward over the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. For
        his achievement on this flight, Commander Eppes was
        awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and later the
        1955 Harmon International Trophy for Aeronauts.

In 1955, the first flight of the prototype Aerospatiale
        SE-210 Caravelle.

In 1961, X-15 flown to record speed of 3,300 miles per hour
        by NASA test pilot, Joseph Walker, at Edwards Air
        Force Base.

In 1961, Kaman H-43-B Huskie helicopter flown to claimed
        altitude record of 25,814 feet by Capt. W.C. McMeen
        (USAF), bettering Russian record of 24,491 feet
        established on March 26, 1960.

In 1964, Bell YUH-1B sets unofficial world record of 222 mph.

In 1972, the first flight of an aircraft with an all
        electric fly by wire control system. It was the NASA
        F-8 Digital Fly-By-Wire research aircraft, with Gary
        Krier as pilot.

In 1973, the first production RH-53D Sea Stallion,
        especially configured for the airborne mine
        countermeasures mission, arrived at the Naval Air
        Test Center for weapons system trials. Navy
        preliminary evaluation and the initial phase
        of the Board of Inspection and Survey trials had
        begun at Sikorsky Aircraft Division on 15 May.

In 1973, Skylab II, carrying a three-man crew of Captain
        Charles Conrad, Commander Joseph Kerwin, MC, and
        Commander Paul Weitz, rendezvoused with the
        earth-orbiting Skylab I workshop.

                         May 26


In 1914, on the basis of flight tests, Naval Constructor
        Holden C. Richardson recommended that the Navy buy
        two swept-wing Burgess-Dunne hydroaeroplanes "so
        that the advantages and limitations can be
        thoroughly determined and this more particularly as
        it appears to be only the beginning of an
        important development in aeronautical design." The
        aircraft which were subsequently obtained were
        designated AH-7 and AH-10.

In 1919, date of Dr. Robert H. Goddard's progress report to
        the Smithsonian Institution entitled "A Method of
        Reaching Extreme Altitudes." It was published by the
        Smithsonian in January 1920.

In 1920, the GAX twin-engine triplane with 8 machine guns
        and 37mm cannon tested.

        Philip commented ..and I have no idea why this is,
        or was, noteworthy.

        It's actually in the USAF Museum history pages.
        In all my research, the only thing noteworthy
        seems to be that it flew at all <G>.

In 1929, an FIA Class C-2 altitude record was set by
        Neuenhofen of Germany, attaining 41,795 feet.

In 1942, the feasibility of jet-assisted takeoff was
        demonstrated in a successful flight test of a
        Brewster F2A-3, piloted by Lieutenant (jg) C. Fink
        Fischer, at NAS Anacostia, using five British
        antiaircraft solid propellant rocket motors. The
        reduction in takeoff distance was 49 percent.

In 1950, the NACA X-1 #2 (serial number 46-063) aircraft
        piloted by John H. Griffith achieved its highest
        speed at Mach 1.20.

Sally Ride:  born May 26, 1951
        Astronaut; first US woman in space

In 1952, the Navy's first, and for many years the world's
        largest, wind tunnel was disestablished at the Naval
        Gun Factory, Washington, D.C. Completed in 1914, the
        wooden 8- by 8-foot tunnel served the Navy for over
        30 years as an aerodynamic laboratory for research
        in aircraft design.

In 1952, the feasibility of the angled deck concept was
        demonstrated in tests conducted on a simulated
        angled deck aboard Midway by Naval Air Test Center
        pilots and Atlantic Fleet pilots, using both jet and
        prop aircraft.

In 1958, the HSS-1N helicopter, capable of day and night
        antisubmarine warfare under instrument flight
        conditions, was publicly flown at NAS Corpus Christi
        by Sikorsky test pilot Jack Stultz.

In 1961, a USAF B-58 Hustler flown from Carswell Air Force
        Base, Texas to Le Bourget, Paris, in record 6 hours
        15 minutes, covering distance from New York to Paris
        in 3 hours 20 minutes. This flight commemorated the
        34th anniversary of Charles A. Lindbergh's
        transatlantic crossing on May 20-21, 1927, and the
        opening of the 24th Paris International Air Show.

In 1961, Freedom 7, the Mercury spacecraft in which Alan B.
        Shepard, Jr., made his space flight on May 5, was a
        major drawing card at the Paris International Air
        Show. Details of the spacecraft and of Shepard's
        flight were related to about 650,000 visitors.

In 1969, Apollo 10 Astronauts Thomas P. Stafford, USAF, John
        W. Young, USN, and Eugene A. Cernan, USN, were
        recovered by HS-4 off Princeton after making an
        8-day orbit of the earth.

In 1970, the prototype Tupolev Tu-144 became the first
        commercial transport in the world to exceed Mach 2
        by reaching 1,335 mph.

In 1976, a contract for a new Navy multi-engine aircraft
        trainer, to be designated T-44A was awarded to Beech
        Aircraft. The aircraft will replace the TS-2A.


                         May 27

In 1919, at 8:01 pm NC-4 landed in the harbor at Lisbon,
        Portugal, completing the first crossing of the
        Atlantic Ocean by air. The only one of three NC
        boats to reach the Azores by air, the NC-4 arrived
        the afternoon of the 17th, and after a layover of 10
        days, covered the last leg of the crossing to

        Lieutenant Commander A. C. Read was in command and
        Lieutenant E. F. Stone, USCG, Lieutenant J. L.
        Breese, Lieutenant (jg) W. K. Hinton, Ensign H. C.
        Rodd and Chief Machinist's Mate E. S. Rhoads made up
        the crew. The NC-4 flight terminated at Plymouth,
        England, on 31 May.

        NC-1 was forced down at sea, sunk, crew rescued.
        NC-3 was forced down at sea, sailed into the Azores.
        NC-4, first across.  Left Far Rockaway Beach,
        Jamaica Bay at 10:02 AM on May 8th, 1919. Over a 24
        day period, they had 53 hours and 58 minutes
        flying time. 

        The NC-4 boat is in the USN museum at Pensacola, it
        was seemingly lost to public sight for many years but
        it's now hung up in the roof for visitors to look at
        and contemplate.  Also CM/M Edward H. Howard severed
        his hand on a preflight run-up, he wanted to go along
        but was replaced by CM/M Rhoads by the CO's command.

In 1927, dive bombing came under official study as the Chief
        of Naval Operations ordered the Commander in Chief,
        Battle Fleet, to conduct tests to evaluate its
        effectiveness against moving targets.

In 1931, the first full-scale wind tunnel for testing
        airplanes was dedicated at the Langley Memorial
        Aeronautical Laboratory of the NACA, engineer-in-
        charge of construction and operation, Smith J.
        DeFrance, explained details to the annual Aircraft
        Engineering Research Conference.

In 1931, the NACA tank to provide data on water performance
        of seaplanes was demonstrated by Starr Truscott. Its
        channel length was enlarged from 2,020 feet to 2,900
        feet in October 1937.

In 1931, Auguste Piccard, Swiss physicist, and Charles
        Knipfer made first balloon flight into stratosphere,
        reaching a height of 51,775 feet in a 17-hour flight
        from Augsburg, Germany, to a glacier near Innsbruck,

In 1939, Lieutenant Colonel. Alfred A. Cunningham, first
        U.S. Marine Corps aviator, died at his home in
        Sarasota, Fla. He reported for flight training at
        Annapolis on 22 May 1912, a day now celebrated as
        the birthday of Marine Corps aviation.

        In a relatively short aviation career he served with
        distinction in many capacities. During World War I,
        he organized and commanded the first Marine aviation
        unit, was among those proposing operations later
        assigned to the Northern Bombing Group and was
        Commanding Officer of its Day Wing. In the post-war
        period, he served as the first administrative head
        of Marine Corps aviation and then commanded the
        First Air Squadron in Santo Domingo.

In 1940, the Secretary directed that six destroyers of the
        DD 445-Class be equipped with catapult, plane, and
        plane handling equipment. DD's 476-481, Pringle,
        Stanly, Hutchins, Stevens, Halford, and Leutze, were
        subsequently selected.

In 1955, the first flight of the prototype Aerospatiale
        Caravelle SE-210. It had 2 Rolls Royce Avon RA-26

In 1957, the first T2V-1 Sea Star jet trainer was delivered
        to the Naval Air Advanced Training Command at Corpus

In 1958, the twin jet McDonnell YF4H-1 all-weather
        interceptor, prototype for the F4-A Phantom, made
        its first flight at St. Louis with R. C. Little,
        Chief Test Pilot for McDonnell Aircraft, at the

In 1958, the first USAF Republic F-105 Thunderchief fighter
        -bomber delivered to the USAF.

                     May 28

Ian Fleming:  born May 28, 1908
        Author; created James Bond

In 1917, Huntington (ACR 5) arrived at Pensacola from Mare
        Island. While there, and until 1 August 1917, she
        was used in various aeronautic experiments involving
        the operation of seaplanes and kite balloons from
        her deck.

In 1921, Colonel Eddie Rickenbacker was honored at Bolling
        Field for his accomplishments as an aviator. He was
        welcomed to the field following completion of his
        transcontinental flight from Redwood City,

In 1931, Lt. Walter E. Lees and Ens. Frederic A. Brossy established
        world's endurance flight record without refueling of
        84 hours 33 minutes. It was done in diesel-powered Bellanca
        at J-2 "Pacemaker", NR-782W using a 225-hp Packard DR-980.
        Takeoff From Jacksonville, FL, was 6:47 am on 25 May and the
        landing was 7:20 pm on the 28th. The aircraft carried
        481-gallons of Texaco Fuel. The flight used 468 gallons
        of fuel and 37 gallons of oil!

In 1940, Robert H. Goddard offered all his research data,
        patents, and facilities for use by the military
        services at a meeting with representatives of Army
        Ordnance, Army Air Corps, and Navy Bureau of
        Aeronautics arranged by Harry Guggenheim. Nothing
        resulted from this except an expression of possible
        use of rockets in jet-assisted take-offs of

In 1942, ALASKA (11th Air Force): a B-17 flies the first armed
        reconnaissance from the secretly constructed airfield
        at Unmak Island, Aleutian Islands over the Aleutian Chain,
        but finds no sign of the enemy. XI Fighter Command elements
        are not deployed at Unmak (P-40's and P-38's), Cold Bay
        (P-40's), Kodiak (P-39's), and Elmendorf Field [P-38's and
        Royal Canadian Air Force.

In 1944, U.S. Navy airships K-123 and K-130 completed the
        first nonrigid transatlantic crossing from Boston to
        Port Lyautey (sp?), via Newfoundland and the Azores.

In 1975, North Central (now merged into Northwest Airlines)
        officially retires "Old 728," a Douglas DC3 that is
        then the world's high-time aircraft with 84,875
        hours (almost 10 full years) of flying time in its

        The aircraft flew in scheduled service through 1965
        and spent its last 10 years with North Central as a
        company executive aircraft. Old 728 today is on
        display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich.

In 1980, the Air Force Academy graduated its first co-ed
        class.  There were 97 women in this graduating

                        May 29

In 1917, a contract was made with the Goodyear Tire & Rubber
        Company of Akron, Ohio, to train 20 men as LTA

In 1940, the Chance Vought XF4U Corsair, a prototype Navy
        fighter design with inverted gull wing, made its
        first test flight.

In 1941, the Naval Powder Factory, Indian Head, developed
        and successfully tested 4.5-inch AA rocket.

In 1944, STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): Mission 379:
        993 bombers and 673 fighters are dispatched to attack
        aircraft plants and oil installations in Germany and
        Poland; they claim 117-38-49 Luftwaffe aircraft; 34
        bombers and 10 fighters are lost:

        1. 443 B-24s are dispatched to hit an oil terminal at
        Politz (224 bomb) and airfield and aircraft assembly
        plant at Tutow (167 bomb); 14 hit Rensburg Airfield,
        9 hit Misdroy and 1 hits Schwerin; they claim 29-15-10
        Luftwaffe aircraft; 17 B-24s are lost, 3 damaged beyond
        repair and 150 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA, 10 WIA and
        161 MIA.
        2. 251 B-17s are dispatched to hit aviation industry
        targets at Leipzig/Mockau (149 bomb) and Leipzig ~
        Heiterblick (50 bomb); 4 others hit targets of
        opportunity; they claim 11-4-5 Luftwaffe aircraft;
        9 B-17s are lost and 80 damaged; 3 airmen are WIA and
        90 MIA.
        3. 299 B-17s are dispatched to hit aviation industry
        targets at Krzesinki (91 bomb) and Posen (58 bomb),
        Poland and Sorau (52 bomb) and Cottbus (48 bomb),
        Germany; 19 others hit Schneidemuhl Airfield and 2 hit
        targets of opportunity; they claim 22-18-14 Luftwaffe
        aircraft; 8 B-17s are lost and 97 damaged; 5 airmen are
        WIA and 67 MIA. Escort is provided by 184 P-38s, 187
        P-47s and 302 P-51s; the P-38s claim none and none are
        lost; the P-47s claim 1-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft with the
        loss of 4 P-47s (3 pilots are MIA) and 3 damaged; the
        P-52s claim 38-1-4 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and
        16-0-15 on the ground with the loss of 6 P-51s (5 pilots
        are MIA) and 6 damaged. 592 Ninth Air Force fighters
        also support the mission; they claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe
        aircraft and lose 2 fighters. Twenty three (23) B-24s
        are dispatched on CARPETBAGGER missions; 1 is lost.

In 1962, Vice Admiral P. N. L. Bellinger, USN (Ret.), died
        in Clifton Forge, Va. His long and distinguished
        career as Naval Aviator No. 8 began on
        26 November 1912 when he reported for flight
        training at Annapolis and ended with his retirement
        1 October 1947 while serving on the General Board.

        As one of the pioneers in Naval Aviation he
        conducted many experiments, scored a number of
        "firsts" and made several record flights.

                       May 30


In 1913, American mercenary pilot, Didier Masson, flying a
        Martin pusher aircraft for anti-government Mexican
        rebels, drops 30 pound bombs on a Mexican gunship in
        Guayamas Bay in the Gulf of California. Neither the
        bombs nor the gunners aboard the gunship hit their

Aleksey Leonov:  born May 30, 1934
        Cosmonaut; first man to walk in space

In 1944, the greatest number of USAAF Escort Fighters, so far
        in the war [1,309] are flown on this date. Eighth
        Fighter Command puts up 672 while Ninth Fighter Command
        puts up 637. Of all these only 12 are lost! Captain
        Willard W. Millikan, 13-victory P-51 Ace of the 4th
        Fighter Group, is forced down and captured after
        colliding with another P-51. Captain Fletcher E. Adams,
        9-victory P-51 Ace of the 357th Fighter Group is killed
        over Burnberg, Germany in a fight with a swarm of Me 410s.

In 1958, the first flight of the DC-8, powered by four jet
        turbine engines and capable of speeds of more than
        600 mph. Throughout its 14-year-long production run,
        the DC-8 went through seven major variants for a
        total of 556 aircraft.
In 1961, U.S.S.R. revealed first details concerning
        Cosmonaut Gagarin's orbital space flight on April
        12, when application was made to the International
        Aeronautical Federation (FAI) to have flight made an
        official world record: Duration, 108 minutes;
        maximum altitude, 203 miles; launch site, cosmodrome
        at Baikonur (near Lake Aral); landing site, near
        village of Smelovka in Seratov region; launch
        booster, six-engine rocket with total boost of
        20 million horsepower.

In 1974, Air France put the first Airbus A300 in commercial
        service with a flight from Paris to London.

                       May 31

In 1915, the first German Airship raid on London was
        conducted by LZ38. Bomb tonnage 3,000lbs; 7 killed;
        14 injured. British employed rockets in their
        defenses around London.

        The German Army Airship LZ38, first of the million
        cubic footers, was a Zeppelin under the command of
        Hauptmann Erich Linnarz. It departed
        from the area of Bruges, Belgium late in the
        afternoon so as to arrive over London at night.

        British assessment of damage: 18,596 Pounds. This
        "First London Raider" was destroyed in the early
        daylight of 7 June 15' when two Royal Navy Pilots
        operating out of Dunkirk bombed her shed at Evere.
        The LZ-38 caught fire and burned.

In 1922, in the National Elimination Balloon Race at
        Milwaukee, the Navy was represented by two balloons:
        one manned by Lieutenant Commander J. P. Norfleet
        and Chief Rigger J. F. Shade, and the other by
        Lieutenant W. F. Reed and Chief Rigger K. Mullenix.

        Norfleet's balloon was filled with helium, the first
        use of the gas in a free balloon. The Non-rigid Navy
        Diribible C-7 -- was first to use noninflammable
        helium as lifting gas, making a flight from
        Hampton Roads, Va., to Washington, D.C. (Dec.1,1921)

        Reed finished third in the race with a distance of
        441 miles and was the only Navy qualifier for the
        International Balloon Race to be held at Geneva,
        Switzerland, later in the year.

In 1930, the last Curtiss Marine Trophy Race, an annual
        event for service seaplanes, was won by Captain
        Arthur H. Page, USMC, in an F6C-3 Curtiss fighter
        with a speed of 164.08 m.p.h. The race was staged
        over the Potomac off NAS Anacostia.

Clint Eastwood:  born May 31, 1930

In 1931, a pilotless airplane was successfully flown by
        radio control from another plane at Houston, Texas.

In 1944, CHINA (Fourteenth Air Force): 51 P-51s and P-40s pound
        shipping along the Yangtze River, claiming direct hits
        on 5 small ships; 16 P-51s and P-40s bomb Kweiyi and
        Yoyang and installations on the river to the S; 10 P-38s
        bomb the bridge and warehouse area at Nanchang; 12 P-40s
        bomb Pingkiang; 4 B-25s bomb Hankow airfield, Pailochi,
        and motor convoy at Yoyang; 6 other B-25s knock out the
        bridge at Kengluang; 13 B-24s pound the town of Lungling,
        causing big fires, while 14 B-24s, supported by P-40s
        blast the warehouse area at Lashio, Burma; 4 P-40s destroy
        several aircraft during strafing runs on Linfen and
        Hohsien Airfields.

In 1991, the first flight of the Pilatus PC-12

In 2003, Air France flies its last commercial flight from
       JFK to CDG on the Concorde. British Air would
       continue Concorde flights until 23-Oct-2003.