On this day in 1909… Louis Blériot of France, flies his Blériot No.XI monoplane from Les Baraques to Dover, England in 37 minutes, makes the first airplane crossing of the English Channel.
The event increases public and government awareness of the possible military aspects of the airplane. It also earned Louis a $1000 prize.
But, I don’t think he did it for the money.
On this date in 1946… Bernard Lynch becomes the first person to be “shot” out of an airplane. Lynch was involved in the first airborne test of a British “ejection seat.”
EJECTION SEAT TESTING
An employee, Bernard Lynch, attempted the first static ejection on 24th January 1945. He then conducted the first mid-flight test ejection on 24th July 1946. He ejected himself from the rear cockpit of a specially modified Meteor 3 at 320 mph, 8000 ft in the air. Bernard Lynch made a perfect landing and subsequently made a further 30 ejections.
On July 24th, in 1969 – after the first manned Moon landing – Apollo 11 splashes down safely in the Pacific Ocean.
OTD in 1942 – Col James Doolittle led the first US attack on the Japanese mainland, leading a force of sixteen B-25 Mitchells flying from the USS Hornet against Tokyo in what comes to be known as the “Doolittle Raid” and the heroes known as the “Doolittle Raiders”.
On 8 March 1910, Raymonde de Laroche (born Elise Raymonde Deroche) became the first woman in the world to receive a pilot licence when the Aero-Club of France issued her licence #36 of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (International Aeronautics Federation or F.A.I.).
#spitfire #aviation #history #supermarine #learnsomething
March 5, 1936 – The Supermarine Spitfire flew for the first time eighty years ago today. A single-seat fighter and interceptor, the Spitfire is the most famous British aircraft of all time. A small, graceful, elliptical-wing fighter, the Spitfire was not only one of the best performing fighters, but also one of the best looking. Although less numerous than the Hawker Hurricane during the Battle of Britain, it is still remembered as the sleek thoroughbred that turned the tide during that campaign. The Spitfire was among the fastest and most maneuverable fighters of World War II and served in every combat theater. Two dozen variants were built, powered by Rolls-Royce Merlin and Griffon engines.