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On This Day: May 20

Aviation events for May 20

1784: The first women to ascend in a tethered balloon are the Marchioness de Montalembert, the Contess de Montalenbert, the Contess de Podenas, and Mademoiselle de Ligarde. Their Montgolfier balloon lifts to the length of the restraining rope.
1927: The first solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic is made by Charles A. Lindbergh. In his Ryan monoplane Spirit of St. Louis, he covers 3,600 miles in 33 hours, 29 minutes and wins the Orteig Prize of $25,000.
1929: Charles Lindbergh marries Anne, daughter of Dwight W. Morrow, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and author of an influential report on American aviation.
1932: The first solo flight by a woman pilot across the Atlantic is made by American Amelia Earhart. She flies from Harbor Grace, Newfoundland to Londonderry, Northern Ireland in a Lockheed Vega monoplane in 13 hours, 30 minutes.
1933: Turkish Airlines is founded.
1951: U.S. Air Force Captain James Jabara becomes the first fighter ace to score his five victories in a jet (an F-86 Sabre) against jets (Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15s).
1965: First flight of the deHavilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter.
1971: Boeing announces that it haa canceled its Supersonic Transport (SST) project.
1977: First flight of the Sukhoi T-10 (prototype of Sukhoi Su-27).
1978: McDonnell Douglas delivers its 5,000th F-4 Phantom aircraft, twenty years after the first flight of the prototype.
1978: Pioneer Venus 1, USA Venus Orbiter, launched. Pioneer Venus 1 (also known as Pioneer 12) arrived at Venus on December 4, 1978. It operated continuously from 1978 until October 8, 1992, when contact was lost with the spacecraft. It was expected to burn up in the Venusian atmosphere 6 days later. The orbiter was the first spacecraft to use radar in mapping the planet's surface. The electron field experiment detected radio bursts presumably caused by lightening. No magnetic field was detected. From 1978 to 1988 the amount of sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere decreased by 10%. The reason for this decrease is unknown. Perhaps a large volcano erupted just before the orbiter arrived and the amount of sulfur dioxide slowly declined.
2003: First flight of SpaceShipOne (first captive flight, unmanned).

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