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Today In Aviation History – April 23, 1956 – First Flight Douglas C-133 Cargomaster

Ken Mist

The Douglas C-133 Cargomaster was a large cargo aircraft built between 1956 and 1961 by the Douglas Aircraft Company for use with the United States Air Force. The C-133 was the USAF’s only production turboprop-powered strategic airlifter, entering service shortly after the Lockheed C-130 Hercules, which was known as a tactical airlifter. It provided airlift services in a wide range of applications, being replaced by the C-5 Galaxy in the early 1970s.


USAF Photo

50 Cargomasters were built and my picture shows the one on display at the National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton Ohio.

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Today In Aviation History
April 22, 2001
Chris Hadfield Performs First Canadian Spacewalk

Nasa photo

April 22, 2001.  Astronaut Chris Hadfield becomes the first Canadian to walk in space on a mission to install Canadarm2 on the International Space Station.  Due to a problem with the fluid used to prevent fogging he had a severe vision problem.  Listen to Col. Hadfield relive the experience in this TED talk.

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Today In Aviation History – April 21, 1918 – Death of Baron Manfred Von Richthofen


Ken Mist

Manfred von Richthofen, World War I German ace, was fatally wounded just after 11:00 am on 21 April 1918, while flying over Morlancourt Ridge, near the Somme River.

At the time, the Baron had been pursuing (at very low altitude) a Sopwith Camel piloted by a novice Canadian pilot, Lieutenant Wilfrid “Wop” May of No. 209 Squadron, Royal Air Force.[42] In turn, the Baron was spotted and briefly attacked by a Camel piloted by a school friend (and flight commander) of May’s, Canadian Captain Arthur “Roy” Brown, who had to dive steeply at very high speed to intervene, and then had to climb steeply to avoid hitting the ground. Richthofen turned to avoid this attack, and then resumed his pursuit of May.

It was almost certainly during this final stage in his pursuit of May that Richthofen was hit by a single .303 bullet, which caused such severe damage to his heart and lungs that it must have caused a very quick death. In the last seconds of his life, he managed to make a hasty but controlled landing  in a field on a hill near the Bray-Corbie road, just north of the village of Vaux-sur-Somme, in a sector controlled by the Australian Imperial Force (AIF).  One witness, Gunner George Ridgway, stated that when he and other Australian soldiers reached the aircraft, Richthofen was still alive but died moments later.  Another eye witness, Sergeant Ted Smout of the Australian Medical Corps, reported that Richthofen’s last word was “kaputt“.

The picture above shows a replica of Baron von Richthofen’s  Fokker Dr.I triplane built and flown by the Great War Flying Museum in Brampton Ontario.

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Oshkosh Countdown – 99 Days To Go

Ken Mist

2011.  Boeing brings aircraft ZA001 – the first 787 to Oshkosh.  At this point, the future for the Dreamliner looked very bright.  This was, of course, before the battery issues arose.

Ken Mist

The “Pride of the Fleet” now sits in the Mojave desert and will probably end up at the Museum of Flight near its birthplace in Washington State.

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Today In Aviation History – April 20, 1973 – Launch of Anik A2 Satellite

anik.jpg (1506×1876)

Photo from Telesat Canada

April 20, 1973.   Canada became the first country in the world to have a domestic communications satellite system using a satellite in the geostationary orbit.

No records exist to prove that the proximity of white go-go boots was required for accurate operation.

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My head is in the clouds

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