This Week in Aviation History – May 12-18th
In Spartan College’s review of aviation history for this week, we see a major space launch, the start of a new flying school, and a new milestone in jet aviation.
May 12, 1912 – The Central Flying School is founded in Great Britain in order to train pilots for military aviation. In 1920, the primary purpose of the CFS would shift to instructor training, but it is still considered the oldest established flight school in the world. (Spartan College was founded as a flight school in 1928.)
May 14, 1973 – Skylab, the first American space station, is launched. This observatory and workstation was designed for a three-man crew, and operated until July 1979.
May 15, 1941 – First flight of the Gloster E28/39 Jet, a proof-of-concept for the jet engine first invented by Frank Whittle in the 1930s.
May 15, 1930 – Ellen Church, a registered nurse, becomes the airline industry’s first “stewardess”, working on the Chicago to Oakland route. In addition to making passengers comfortable, stewardesses had to move luggage, fuel planes, and even help pilots push planes into hangars.
May 18, 1953 – Jacqueline Cochran becomes the first woman to break the sound barrier during a flight at Rogers Dry Lake, California. Flying a Canadair F-86 Sabre jet on loan from the Canadians, Jackie hit an average speed of 652.337 mph.