March 19 in aviation: the first American air mission, the first flights of the Airbus A380.
On March 19, 1916, eight American aircraft of the 1st Provisional Aero Squadron took off in pursuit of Pancho Villa. This was the first air combat mission in the history of the United States. Francisco “Pancho” Villa was a Mexican Revolutionary General and one of the most prominent figures of the Mexican Revolution.
On March 9, 1916, more than 1.000 Pancho Villa horsemen crossed the border into New Mexico and attacked the city. 17 Americans were killed when Mexicans looted and burned the city. President Wilson immediately sought permission from President Carranza of Mexico to send troops to Mexico. Carranza reluctantly gave permission, "for the sole purpose of capturing the bandit Villa."
With this permission, Wilson ordered a "punitive expedition" and told General Pershing to "pursue and disperse" General Villa's forces. Pershing thought this would be a good opportunity to use the planes and ordered the 1st Provisional Aero Squadron to set sail for Columbus in the first American air operation in history. He planned to use the aircraft to support armed ground troops.
Other aviation events on March 19.
The first flights of Airbus A380.
On March 19, 2007, the Airbus A380 made its first flights to the United States. One landed in New York at John F. Kennedy International Airport, and the other in California at Los Angeles International Airport.
EgyptAir Flight 763 crashed in Yemen.
On March 19, 1972, EgyptAir Flight 763, a Douglas DC-9 plane, crashed near Yemen's Aden International Airport, killing all 30 passengers and crew on board the aircraft.
A Boeing KC-135A-BN Stratotanker aircraft exploded in the air.
On March 19, 1982, a Boeing KC-135A-BN Stratotanker, 58-0031, assigned to the 108th Air Refueling Squadron, 126th Air Refueling Wing, Illinois Air National Guard, crashed near Greenwood, Illinois. The KC-135 was returning from KI Sawyer AFB, Michigan, to its base at Chicago O'Hare International Airport, when an explosion occurred at an altitude of over 4000 meters due to an overheated fuel pump. All four crew members and 23 passengers on board the aircraft were killed in the blast.
The first flight of the IAI Astra (Gulfstream G100).
On March 19, 1984, the first IAI Astra flight took place. The Gulfstream G100, formerly known as the IAI Astra SPX, is a twin-engine business aircraft manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries, which was produced for Gulfstream Aerospace. Deliveries began in 1986. The United States Air Force uses the ship as the C-38 Courier. A derivative later known as the G150 was launched in 2002. Gulfstream announced the final sale of the G150 in September 2016 and the last delivery by mid-2017.
The first flight of the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey.
On March 19, 1989, the first flight of the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft took place. The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is a US military aircraft that can perform several functions, with tiltrotor, with both vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) and short takeoff and landing (STOL) capabilities. It is designed to combine the functionality of a conventional helicopter with the long-distance, high-speed cruising performance of a turboprop aircraft.