OTD – March 8th

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.).


1936 – First Flight of the Supermarine Spitfire

#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. 

OTD – February 20th

On this day in 1942, Lt. Edward O’Hare takes off from the aircraft carrier Lexington in a raid against the Japanese position at Rabaul, and minutes later becomes America’s first flying ace.

On this day in 1915 – During the Panama-Pacific Exhibition, Allan Loughead (aka Lockheed) is allowed to launch an air service and flies 600 passengers across the bay during 50 days. The 10-minute flight costs $10 per passenger.

On this day in 1986, the Soviet Union launched into orbit a space station. Mir, the Russian word for peace, had six docking ports and special laboratories for scientific research.

On this day in 1962, John Glenn orbited the earth three times in the Mercury-Atlas 6 Friendship 7 spacecraft.


First Un-tethered Space Walk – 1984

On this day (February 7) in 1984 — The first un-tethered space-walk is achieved by Captain Bruce McCandless.

McCandless and Robert L. Stewart performed 2 Spacewalks during this mission on the 7th and again on the 9th of February.

He flew as a mission specialist on STS-41-B and STS-31.

McCandless logged over 312 hours in space, including four hours of MMU flight time.[




OTD in 1911 – Ely lands aboard USS Penn

On this day in 1911 – Eugene Ely lands on a platform constructed over the deck of the armored cruiser USS Pennsylvania while anchored in San Francisco Bay, marking the first time an aircraft lands on a ship.

“I believe the performance of Ely spells a new chapter in aviation history,” wrote Capt. Charles F. Pond, commanding officer of the USS Pennsylvania. “There can hardly be too much said in praise of it. It was simply marvelous.”

Ely’s flight, which came only seven years and one month after the Wright Brothers flew their first plane, was in every way historic. Though Ely had taken off from a Navy ship off Hampton Roads, Va., in 1910, no one had ever landed aboard a ship.


This aircraft he used was a Curtiss Biplane built by Glenn Curtiss’ company in Long Island, NY.

On November 14, 1910, Ely took off from the light cruiser USS Birmingham while it was readied at Norfolk, Va. Ely’s Curtiss Pusher Biplane was equipped with floats under the wings, and was hoisted aboard while it was in port. Then the ship moved off shore.

Ely succeeded in making the first take-off from a ship, just barely.  The Biplane rolled off the edge of the platform, settled, and briefly skipped off the water, damaging the propeller.

Ely managed to stay airborne and landed just over 2 miles away on the nearest land, called Willoughby Spit.

Glenn Curtiss and Eugene Ely are two lesser known rockstars in Early Aviation.

For more information

Bobbi Trout – 1906

Evelyn “Bobbi” Trout was born on this day in 1906. She lived to be the ripe old age of 97, which was amazing for such an early aviatrix.

Most known for being the first woman to set the first non-refueling endurance record and for running in the first ever Powder Puff Derby.

Her first flight was in 1922 at the age of 16 – in a JN-4 Jenny.

For more information on Bobbi, please go to her website.


Dec 19, 1972 – Apollo 17

Dec 19, 1972 – Apollo 17 splashed down in the Pacific, ending the Apollo program of manned lunar landings.

On December 19, the crew jettisoned the no-longer-needed Service Module, leaving only the Command Module for return to Earth. The Apollo 17 spacecraft reentered Earth’s atmosphere and landed safely in the Pacific Ocean at 2:25 pm, 6.4 kilometers (4.0 mi) from the recovery ship, the USS Ticonderoga. Cernan, Evans and Schmitt were then retrieved by a recovery helicopter and were safely aboard the recovery ship 52 minutes after landing.

At this time, Eugene Cernan is the last man to have walked on the face of the Moon.

Crew size 3

Eugene A. Cernan
Ronald E. Evans
Harrison H. Schmitt

Command Module: America
Lunar Module: Challenger

Start of mission
Launch date December 7, 1972, 05:33:00 UTC
Rocket Saturn V SA-512
Launch site Kennedy LC-39A

End of mission
Recovered by USS Ticonderoga
Landing date December 19, 1972, 19:24:59 UTC
Landing site South Pacific Ocean 17.88°S 166.11°

The Last Moonwalk

The third moonwalk, the last of the Apollo program, began at 5:26 pm EST on December 13. During this excursion, the crew collected 66 kilograms (146 lb) of lunar samples and took nine gravimeter measurements. They drove the rover to the north and east of the landing site and explored the base of the North Massif, the Sculptured Hills, and the unusual crater Van Serg. Before ending the moonwalk, the crew collected a rock, a breccia, and dedicated it to several different nations which were represented in Mission Control Center in Houston, Texas, at the time. A plaque located on the Lunar Module, commemorating the achievements made during the Apollo program, was then unveiled. Before reentering the LM for the final time, Gene Cernan expressed his thoughts:

…I’m on the surface; and, as I take man’s last step from the surface, back home for some time to come – but we believe not too long into the future – I’d like to just [say] what I believe history will record. That America’s challenge of today has forged man’s destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind. “Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17.”

Cernan then followed Schmitt into the Lunar Module after spending approximately seven hours and 15 minutes outside during the mission’s final lunar excursion.