May 1, 2001
The Space Shuttle Endeavour landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, after a mission to the International Space Station to deliver a robotic arm, a multipurpose logistics module and an UHF antenna.
May 2, 1977
First Lt. Christine Schott became the first woman undergraduate pilot student to solo in the T-38 Talon.
May 3, 1930
Laura Ingalls completed 344 consecutive loops. Afterwards, she tried again and accomplished 980 loops. In another flight later in the year, she successfully completed 714 barrel rolls, giving her a pair of records no one has cared to challenge.
May 4, 1979
The A-10B Thunderbolt flew its first flight at Edwards AFB.
May 5, 2003
Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Global Hawk (AV-3) landed at Edwards AFB after flying 19 sorties in 446.6 hours over Iraq to collect some 3,700 surveillance images. While only flying 5 percent of the surveillance sorties in the theater, the Global Hawk gathered more than 55 percent of the data on time-sensitive targets. Subsequently, the Air Staff credited the Global Hawk with destroying scores of Iraqi tanks and advancing the defeat of the Republican Guard by several days.
May 6, 1937
The German dirigible Hindenberg burned while moored at Lakehurst, N.J. Thirty-five people died in the fire.
May 7, 1945
Mass produced B-17s, B-24s, B-25s, B-29s, P-38s, P-40s, P-51s, and C-47s led to Victory Day in Europe. On May 7, German High Command surrendered unconditionally at Reims, effective May 9. With that surrender, ATC began Projects Green and White, for personnel and aircraft, respectively, to move 250,000 people and 5,900 aircraft from Europe and the Mediterranean theaters to the U.S. by September 1945.
May 8, 1995
Through 8 through 11, Air National Guard units rescued thousands of flood victims after 22 inches of rain fell on Louisiana within two days.
May 9, 1978
McDonnell Douglas delivered the 5,000th F-4 Phantom built to the Air Force.
May 10, 1911
Lt. George Kelly became the first Army pilot to die in an airplane, when he crashed his Curtiss pusher at San Antonio to avoid striking encamped soldiers. However, he was the second Army officer to die in a crash. Lt. Thomas Selfridge, flying as an observer with Orville Wright, died on Sept. 17, 1908.
May 11, 1966
At Holloman AFB, New Mexico, a Surveyor spacecraft made the first soft landing under its own power to demonstrate its ability to soft land on the moon.
May 12, 1968
Lt. Col. Joe Jackson volunteered to rescue a three-man Air Force combat control team at Kham Duc, Vietnam. Before the rescue, enemy forces set the camp afire, overran the forward outpost, and established gun positions on the airstrip. Despite the odds, Jackson and his crew, Maj. Jesse Campbell, Tech. Sgt. Edward Trejo, and Staff Sgt. Manson Grubbs, landed their C-123 under intense hostile fire, extracted the combat controllers, and returned to safety. For his valiant effort, he received the Medal of Honor. Campbell received the Air Force Cross, while Trejo and Grubbs earned Silver Stars.
May 13, 1967
For the second time, eight Tactical Fighter Wing pilots shot down seven MiGs in a single day’s action over North Vietnam.
May 14, 1908
First airplane passenger flight in history took place at Kitty Hawk as the Wrights prepared to deliver their “Flyer” to the US government. Wilbur Wright piloted the machine and Charles Furnas, an employee, flew as passenger.
May 15, 1952:
Fifth Air Force fighter-bombers flew 265 sorties against a vehicle repair factory at Tang-dong, north of Pyongyang, North Korea, destroying at least 39 buildings and a power plant.
May 16, 1919:
Lt. Cmdr. Albert Read and his five-man crew left Trepassy Bay, Newfoundland, in an NC-4. They arrived at the Azores on May 17 and at Lisbon, Portugal, May 27, thus completing the first crossing of the Atlantic by air.
May 17, 1998
An AFFTC pilot, Lt. Col. Steven Rainey, became the first U.S. Air Force pilot to fly the F-22 Raptor. It was the aircraft’s third flight and its first flight at Edwards AFB.
May 18, 1953
Jacqueline Cochran, flying a Canadian-built F-86 Sabre at Edwards AFB, became the first woman to fly faster than sound.
May 19, 1908:
Lt. Thomas Selfridge, the first U.S. Army officer to fly an airplane, flew the White Wing at Hammondsport. It was Dr. Alexander Graham Bell’s second Aerial Experiment Association plane, and it had hinged ailerons.
May 20, 1927:
Capt. Charles Lindbergh, Missouri National Guard 110th Observation Squadron, landed his Ryan Monoplane, the “Spirit of St. Louis,” in Paris on May 21 after the first nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic.
May 21, 1937:
Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan left San Francisco on a West to East around-the-world flight. Their trip ended on 2 July when they disappeared near Howland Island in the Pacific.
May 22, 2002:
The X-45A Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle, designated Blue, flew for the first time at Edwards AFB over an oval shaped track for 14 minutes at 7,500 feet and 195 knots. It was the first unmanned aircraft designed for autonomous combat operations.
May 23, 1960:
The U.S. Air Force initiated a large humanitarian airlift to aid earthquake victims in Chile. In the next month, airlifters carried 1,000 tons of relief supplies and equipment to the stricken area.
May 24, 1963:
A Titan II launched from Cape Canaveral made a 6,500-mile flight down the Atlantic Missile Range and dropped the largest nose cone ever carried within one mile of the target.
May 25, 1910:
Orville and Wilbur Wright flew together for the first time at Dayton, Ohio.
May 26, 1942:
Vance Breese flew Northrop’s prototype P-61 Black Widow, the first American-designed night fighter with radar guidance, for the first time at Hawthorne, California.
May 27, 1966:
The McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom made its first public flight.
May 28, 1959:
A Rhesus monkey, Able, and a squirrel monkey, Miss Baker, were the first primates to be launched and recovered successfully from space. They were recovered after their nose cone hit in the Atlantic Ocean near Antigua Island.
May 29, 1953:
Strategic Air command received its first KC-97G Stratofreighter, a flying boom-type tanker that could dispense 8,513 gallons of aviation gasoline. Unlike previous models, the KC-97G could haul cargo without reconfiguration or carry 96 troops or heavy equipment without modification.
May 30, 1912
Wilbur Wright died of typhoid fever at the age of 45 at Dayton, Ohio.
May 31, 1908:
The Glenn H. Curtiss Manufacturing Company at Hammondsport, New York, announced that it would accept orders for and deliver flying machines in 60 days at $5,000 a plane.