Compilation of Today in Aerospace History:
20 Oct 2004 – MAI-223 Kityonok (Whale Calf), Russian single-engine two-seat semicantilever monoplane-parasol civil utility aircraft with non-retractable landing gear, 14 years ago. Can use from short, unprepared runways. Folding wing for storage. Supplied as a kit or ready-to-fly
20 Oct 1996 - Death of Alfred William "Bill" Bedford, British WWII fighter pilot, Instructor and Hawker Siddeley test pilot, he pioneered the development of V/STOL aircraft.
20 Oct 1992 - First flight Yakovlev Yak-112, Russian/Soviet all-metal single-engine two-seat semicantilever monoplane-parasol civil utility aircraft with non-retractable landing gear. High thrust-to-weight ratio, high-lift device and landing gear with tail wheel allow use from short, unprepared runways. Folding wing for storage. Supplied as a kit for amateur construction or complete and ready-to-fly.
20 Oct 1988 – Sheila Scott, English aviatrix died (b. 1922). Scott broke over 100 aviation records through her long distance flight endeavours, which included a 34,000 mile (54,400 km) “world and a half” flight 1971 on which she became the first person to fly over the North Pole in a small aircraft.
20 Oct 1983 - First flight Soko J-22B Orao 2 Yugoslav variant of the twin-engined, subsonic, close support, ground-attack aircraft similar to the Romanian IAR-93B with an afterburning powerplant, greater and more diverse weapons load than J-22 Orao 1 and also equipped with Thomson-CSF head-up display. This version was built only in single-seat configuration.
20 Oct 1970 - Launch of Zond 8, unmanned version of Soviet Soyuz 7K-L1 manned moon-flyby spacecraft to test onboard systems and units.
20 Oct 1969 - Finnair introduces inertial navigation system on its aircraft, becoming first airline to dispense with onboard navigator post
20 Oct 1959 - First flight Dassault 'Mirage' IIIB, French 2-seat tandem trainer aircraft version of jet fighter. The fuselage was stretched about a metre (3 ft 3.5 in), while both cannon were removed to accommodate the second seat. The IIIB lacked radar and provision for the SEPR rocket was also deleted, although it could carry external stores if desired.
20 Oct 1958 – First flight SZD-25A Lis (Szybowcowy Zakład Doświadczalny - Glider Experimental Works) single-seat glider aircraft that was designed and built in Poland from 1955, derived from the SZD-16 Gil and SZD-25 Nov.
20 Oct 1958 - Lt W.R Shackleton RN killed in crash Gloster Meteor NF Mk 11 WD765 during high Mach handling test flight
20 Oct 1956 - First flight Bell UH-1 Iroquois, US military helicopter powered by a single turboshaft engine, with two-blade main and tail rotors. First of prolific Huey family, developed by Bell Helicopter to meet a United States Army's 1952 requirement for a medical evacuation and utility helicopter. First turbine-powered helicopter to enter US military production
20 Oct 1956 - A.W. Bedford and F. Murphy fly a Hunter jet trainer from Surrey to Rome: 891 miles in 1h 34m 28s, and return in 1h 40m 35s
20 Oct 1954 - First flight Bell 201(military XH-13F), 64 years ago, US experimental helicopter, powered by Continental CAE XT51-T-3 turboshaft engine 425 shp (317 kW). Bell's first turbine-engined heli. Modified Model 47G built to test components for XH-40, the prototype for UH-1 Iroquois.
20 Oct 1954 – First flight Hunter F.4 Additional bag-type fuel tanks in the wings, provision for underwing fuel tanks, Avon 115 (later Avon 121) engine, blisters under the nose for ammunition links, first flight 20 October 1954, 349 built at Kingston-upon-Thames and Blackpool.
20 Oct 1953 - First non-stop, scheduled passenger flight across the United States is made by a TWA Lockheed Constellation.
20 Oct 1948 - First flight McDonnell XF-88 Voodoo, American prototype long-range, twin-engine jet fighter aircraft with swept wings. As the XF-88B, the first Voodoo later served as a test-bed for the Allison XT38 turboprop. Its design was adapted for the subsequent supersonic F-101 Voodoo.
20 Oct 1946 - First flight Martin P4M Mercator, American maritime reconnaissance aircraft powered by a combination of piston engines and turbojets, the latter being in the rear of the engine nacelles. Unsuccessful contender for a United States Navy requirement for a long-range maritime patrol bomber, with the Lockheed P2V Neptune chosen instead. It saw a limited life as a long-range electronic reconnaissance aircraft.
20 Oct 1946 - First flight Fokker F.25 Promotor, Dutch , single-engined wooden civil utility prototype aircraft, with rear-mounted pusher engine. The Promotor was the first aircraft produced post-war by Fokker. It had a pilot seated centrally with three passengers behind. It was unable to compete with cheap war surplus aircraft and only 20 were built.
20 Oct 1943 - First flight Junkers Ju 390, German 6 engine heavy transport, maritime patrol aircraft, and long-range bomber prototype. Two prototypes were created by attaching an extra pair of inner-wing segments onto the wings of basic Junkers Ju 90 and Ju 290 airframes and adding new sections to lengthen the fuselages. One made a transatlantic test flight to within 20km of New York. Two built.
20 Oct 1938 - First flight of the Gérard RG-45 'Club 45', French twin seat high wing monoplane light tourer prototype. Development of the RG.40, powered by a 34 kW (45 hp) Zlin Persy II flat-four engine. Span increased to 9.8 m (32 ft 2 in), wing area to 14.5 m2 (156 sq ft) and empty weight to 310 kg (680 lb)
20 Oct 1934 – MacRobertson Air Race flown from England to Melbourne, Australia to celebrate the centenary of the state of Victoria. The £75,000 prize money is won by C. W. A. Scott and Tom Black flying de Havilland DH.88 Comet Grosvenor House.
20 Oct 1934 – (October 20-November 3) Sir Charles Kingsford Smith makes the first eastward crossing of the Pacific Ocean, from Brisbane, Australia to San Francisco, California, in the Lady Southern Cross. The Hawaii-to-San Francisco leg of his crossing on November 3 is the first eastward flight from Hawaii to North America.
20 Oct 1925 - First flight of the Armstrong Whitworth Siskin IIIA, British biplane single-seat fighter aircraft, main production variant.
20 Oct 1923 - First flight Tupolev ANT-1 was Tupolev OKB's first aircraft, designed by Andrei Tupolev based on his work with aerosleighs and boats. Tupolev's first aircraft and was built from metal, wood, and aluminium. Aluminium was used in the wing partitions and ribs, the vertical and horizontal tailplanes, and a few other smaller areas. The other areas carrying weight were made of wood, with linen fabric covering the fuselage and wings.
20 Oct 1923 - First flight Boeing NB (or Model 21), US primary training aircraft developed for US Navy. A 2-bay, equal-span biplane with interchangeable wheeled and float undercarriage & tandem, open cockpits. 1st batch powered by radial engines & 2nd by war-surplus V-8s. 72 built.
20 Oct 1922 - Harold Ross Harris is the first pilot to bail out of a stricken aircraft using a free-fall parachute, from a Loening monoplane. He became the first man to join the Caterpillar Club (life saved by parachute) and from that time forward any person who jumped from a disabled aircraft with a parachute became a member. The name "Caterpillar Club" simply makes reference to the silk threads that made the original parachutes thus recognising the debt owed to the silk worm. FAST Museum has a board on display commemorating all of the RAE staff who became members of the Club.
20 Oct 1920 - French Joseph Sadi Lecointe set a world speed record flying at 187.99-mph with his Nieuport-Delage 29.
20 Oct 1920 - Paul Marcel Teste, French Navy officer aviator, performed the first aeronaval landing of the French Navy aboard the Béarn.
20 Oct 1919 – The French pilot Bernard de Romanet, flying a Nieuport-Delage 29v, sets a new world speed record of 268.79 km/hr (166.92 mph).
20 Oct 1916 - Flt Lt L.H. Hardstaff killed in crash Sopwith Triplane N510 during Hispano-Suiza-powered prototype test
20 Oct 1913 - First landing at high altitude: Italian Capitán Carlo Maria Piazza flying around the Mont Cenis, lands on short plateau at 2,000m in his Blériot XI. On 23 Oct he made the first use of an airplane in war when he performed a reconnaissance flight during the Italo-Turkish War in Tripolitania.