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.