THIS DAY IN AVIATION

14 July 1897

Jul 14, 2018

The hydrogen balloon Örnen (Eagle) on the polar ice cap, 14 July 1897. (Nils Strindberg) 14 July 1897: At 8:11 p.m., G.M.T., the Andrée Arctic Expedition’s hydrogen gas balloon, Örnen (Eagle), came to rest on an ice floe in the Arctic Ocean, at N. 82° 52′, E. 29° 32′. ¹ This was the end of…

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12 July 1936

Jul 12, 2018

Louise Thaden with the Porterfield Model 35-W. (FAI) 12 July 1936: Louise Thaden set a Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) World Record for Speed Over 100 Kilometers with an average speed of 176.35 kilometers per hour (109.58 miles per hour.)¹ She flew a Porterfield Model 35-W Flyabout over a course at Endless Caverns, near New Market,…

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6 July 1944: Rose of York

Jul 6, 2018

Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth, with Colonel Claude Putnam, commanding officer, 306th Bombardment Group, Heavy, at the christening of Rose of York, R.A.F. Thurleigh, 6 July 1944. (American Air Museum in Britain) 6 July 1944: In honor of Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth, a United States Army Air Forces heavy bomber, Boeing B-17G-55-BO…

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6 July 1939

Jul 6, 2018

Olga Vasil’yevna Klepikova 6 July 1939: Ольга Васильевна Клепикова (Olga Vasil’yevna Klepikova) flew an Antonov RF-7 glider from Tushino airport, Moscow, to Mikhaylovka, in the Stalingrad region of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. She set two Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) World Records for Distance at 749.203 kilometers (465.533 statute miles).¹ Klepikova’s glider was towed…

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24 June 1942

Jun 24, 2018

Vought-Sikorsky F4U-1 Corsair, Bu. No. 02170, with test pilot Willard Bartlett Boothby, 24 October 1942. This is the twenty-fifth production F4U-1. (Rudy Arnold/National Air and Space Museum NASM-XRA-1294) 24 June 1942: The first production Vought-Sikorsky F4U-1 Corsair, Bu. No. 02155, made its first flight at Stratford, Connecticut. (Some sources state 25 June.) The Corsair was…

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20–22 June 1972

Jun 22, 2018

Westland Chief Pilot Leonard Roy Moxham and Michael Ball. (FAI) 20–22 June 1972: Westland AH.1 Lynx, c/n 02/11, XX153, flown by then Westland Chief Pilot Leonard Roy Moxham and flight test engineer Michael Ball, set two Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) World Records for Speed. Flying over a straight 15/25 kilometer course on 20 June, the Lynx…

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22 June 1931

Jun 22, 2018

Nichols’ crash near St. John, New Brunswick, 22 June 1931. Everyone in the photo is looking at the camera. 22 June 1931: In the late 1920s through mide-1930s, Miss Ruth Rowland Nichols was one of the best-known American women in aviation. She was the only person to have simultaneously held world records for speed, distance…

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28 June–26 July 1940

Jun 28, 2017

North American Aviation Engineering Test Pilot Louis Wait with a wind tunnel model of the NA-73X. (North American Aviation, Inc.) 28 June 1940: A ¼–scale mahogany model of the North American Aviation NA-73X, prototype of the Royal Air Force Mustang Mk.1, was tested in the 10-foot wind tunnel at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, California from…

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28 June 1937

Jun 28, 2017

Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Electra 10E NR16020 at Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, 28 June 1937. (Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections) 28 June 1937: Leg 27. Koepang, Timor, Dutch East Indies to Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. “We crossed the Timor Sea from Koepang, on Timor Island, in three hours and twenty-nine minutes against strong head…

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28–29 June 1927

Jun 28, 2017

Atlantic-Fokker C-2, A.S. 26-202, Bird of Paradise, taking off at Oakland Municipal Airport, California,  7:09 a.m, 28 June 1927. (U.S. Air Force) 28 June 1927: At 7:09 a.m., PDT, 1st Lieutenant Lester J. Maitland and 1st Lieutenant Albert F. Hegenberger, Air Service, United States Army, took off from Oakland Municipal Airport, California, aboard an Atlantic-Fokker C-2,…

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27 June 1988

Jun 27, 2017

Boeing 747-400 N401PW lifts off the runway at Moses Lake, Washington. (Boeing) 27 June 1988: During flight testing of the first Boeing 747-400 airliner, N401PW, serial number 23719, test pilots James C. Loesch and Howard B. Greene took off from Moses Lake, Washington and climbed to an altitude of 2,000 meters (6,562 feet). The total…

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27 June 1963

Jun 27, 2017

27 June 1963: At 09:56:03.0 PDT, Major Robert A. Rushworth, United States Air Force, flying the Number Three North American Aviation X-15 research rocketplane, 56-6672, was air-dropped from the NB-52B Stratofortress mothership, Balls 8, over Delamar Dry Lake in Nevada. This was the 87th flight of the X-15 Program, and Bob Rushworth’s 14th. North American Aviation X-15…

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27 June 1952

Jun 27, 2017

Jean L. Ziegler in the cockpit of Bell X-2 46-675 after landing on Rogers Dry Lake, at Edwards Air Force Base, California, 27 June 1952. (NASA) 27 June 1952: The Bell X-2 research rocketplane, with test pilot Jean Leroy (“Skip”) Ziegler at the controls, was airdropped from a “mothership,” a Boeing B-50A-5-BO Superfortress, 46-011, over Edwards…

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27 June 1937

Jun 27, 2017

Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Electra 10E Special, NR16020, over Java, Dutch East Indies, June 1937. 27 June 1937: Leg 26. Bandoeng, Java to Koepang, Timor, Dutch East Indies. “Finally on Sunday, June 27, we left Bandoeng. I had hoped to be able to keep on to Port Darwin on the northern coast of Australia, but the…

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27 June 1923

Jun 27, 2017

Lieutenants Lowell H. Smith and John P. Richter, Air Service, U.S. Army. (U.S. Air Force) The first successful aerial refueling took place on June 27, 1923, when a DH-4B, Air Service serial number A.S. 23-462, carrying Lieutenants Virgil S. Hine and Frank W. Seifert passed gasoline through a hose to another DH-4B which was flying beneath…

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26 June 1948

Jun 26, 2017

Convair B-36A-1-CF Peacemaker 44-92004, the first B-36A built. (U.S. Air Force) 26 June 1948: The 7th Bombardment Wing, Very Heavy, based at Carswell Air Force Base, Fort Worth, Texas, received the United States Air Force’s first Convair B-36A Peacemaker, a six-engine intercontinental strategic bomber. Its mission was to serve as a nuclear-capable deterrent until the…

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26 June 1942

Jun 26, 2017

Grumman XF6F-1 Hellcat, Bu. No. 02981. (U.S. Navy) 26 June 1942: The Grumman XF6F-1, Bureau of Aeronuatics serial number (Bu. No.) 02981, prototype for the Navy and Marine Corps F6F Hellcat fighter, with Grumman’s Chief Engineer and Test Pilot Robert Leicester Hall flying, made a 25-minute first flight at the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation plant,…

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25 June 1946

Jun 25, 2017

Northrop XB-35 taking off at Northrop Field, Hawthorne, California. (U.S. Air Force) 25 June 1946: Northrop Corporation experimental test pilot Max R. Stanley and flight engineer Dale Schroeder made the first flight of the Northrop XB-35 “Flying Wing,” serial number 42-13603, from the factory’s airfield at Hawthorne, California, to Muroc Army Air Field (now, Edwards Air Force…

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25 June 1937

Jun 25, 2017

25 June 1937: Leg 25. After flying from Bandoeng to Soerabaya the previous day, a problem with Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Electra 10E Special, NR16020, could not be repaired there, forcing her to return to Bandoeng. “In the air, and afterward, we found that our mechanical troubles had not been cured. Certain further adjustments of faulty long-distance flying…

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25 June 1919

Jun 25, 2017

The first of three prototypes, Junkers F.13 Herta, D 183, photographed on 19 August 1919. (Junkers) 25 June 1919: Junkers-Fokker Aktiengesellschaft test pilot Emil Monz made the first flight of the Junkers F.13 at Dessau, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It was the first airplane to be built of all-metal construction specifically for commercial passenger service. Named Herta in honor of Professor…

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24 June 1994, 14:16 PDT (21:16 UTC)

Jun 24, 2017

Boeing B-52H-170-BW Stratofortress 61-0026, CZAR FIVE TWO, 2:16 p.m. PDT, 24 June 1994. (U.S. Air Force) 24 June 1994: At Fairchild Air Force Base, southwest of Spokane, Washington, a Boeing B-52H-170-BW Stratofortress, serial number 61-0026, call sign Czar Five Two, was being flown by Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Alan (“Bud”) Holland, the aircraft commander, with Lieutenant Colonel Mark C. McGeehan,…

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24 June 1993

Jun 24, 2017

Boeing B-52 Stratofortress bombers in storage at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, Arizona. (Unattributed) 24 June 1993: In compliance with an arms control treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union, the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center (AMARC) at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, Arizona, immediately began the destruction of 363 Boeing B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers. Boeing B-52s…

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24 June 1982

Jun 24, 2017

CGI illustration of British Airways’ SPEEDBIRD 9 descending without power, surrounded by St. Elmo’s Fire. (Anynobody) 24 June 1982: British Airways Flight 9, a Boeing 747-236B, G-BDXH, City of Edinburgh, enroute from London, England, to Aukland, New Zealand, was cruising at 37,000 feet (11,278 meters) with 248 passengers and 15 crewmembers on board. The airliner…

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24 June 1943

Jun 24, 2017

Lieutenant Colonel William.R. Lovelace II, M.D., Medical Corps, United States Army, receives the Distinguished Flying Cross from General Henry H. Arnold, Commanding General, U.S. Army Air Forces. (U.S. Air Force) 24 June 1943: At 12:33 p.m., Lieutenant Colonel William Randolph Lovelace II, M.D., Medical Corps, United States Army, made a record-setting parachute jump from a Boeing B-17E…

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