THIS DAY IN AVIATION

23–26 March 1932

Mar 26, 2018

Blériot-Zappata 110, F-ALCC. 23–26 March 1932: At 6:00 a.m., local time, Jean Baptiste Lucien Bossoutrot and Maurice Rossi took off from Es-Sénia aerodrome near Oran, French Algeria (Algérie française), in an attempt to break their own Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) World Record for Distance Over a Closed Circuit Without Landing, set the previous year.¹ Their airplane was…

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18 March 1939

Mar 18, 2018

Boeing Model 307 Stratoliner NX19901 taking of at Boeing Field, Seattle, Washington. (San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive Catalog # 01 00091290) 18 March 1939: At 12:57 p.m., Pacific Standard Time (19:47 G.M.T.), the Boeing Model S-307 Stratoliner, NX19901, took off from Boeing Field, Seattle, Washington, on Test Flight No. 19. Julius Augustus Barr…

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15 March 1962

Mar 15, 2018

Flying Tiger Line’s Lockheed L-1049H Super Constellation N6918C, the same type aircraft as N6921C. Photographed 19 June 1963 by Jon Proctor. (Wikipedia) 15 March 1962: Flying Tiger Line Flight Flight 7815/13 was a chartered flight for the Military Air Transport Service (M.A.T.S. Flight 739/14), from Travis Air Force Base, California, to Saigon, Republic of Vietnam,…

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Benjamin Scovill Kelsey (9 March 1906–3 March 1981)

Mar 9, 2018

First Lieutenant Benjamin Scovill Kelsey, Air Corps, United States Army, circa 1937. Captain Kelsey is wearing the badge of a Senior Pilot. The ribbon below his “wings” represents the Distinguished Flying Cross. (Kelsey Family Collection) Benjamin Scovill Kelsey, an aeronautical engineer and test pilot, despite his youth and junior rank, was one of the most…

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17 February 1956

Feb 17, 2018

Lockheed YF-104A, 55-2955. (AFFTC History Office) 17 February 1956: Test pilot Herman Richard (“Fish”) Salmon made the first flight of the Lockheed YF-104A service test prototype, Air Force serial number 55-2955 (Lockheed serial number 183-1001). This airplane, the first of seventeen pre-production YF-104As, incorporated many improvements over the XF-104 prototype, the most visible being a…

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4–5 February 1929

Feb 5, 2018

Frank Hawks with the red and silver Lockheed Air Express, NR7955. (San Diego Air and Space Museum Archives) 4–5 February 1929: At 5:37:30 p.m., Pacific Time, Monday, Frank Monroe Hawks, took off from Metropolitan Field, Los Angeles, California, (now known as Van Nuys Airport, VNY) in a new Lockheed Model 3 Air Express transport, NR7955,…

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1 February 1975

Feb 1, 2018

Streak Eagle over St. Louis Major Roger J. Smith, u.S. Air Force 1 February 1975: Major Roger J. Smith, United States Air Force, a test pilot assigned to the F-15 Joint Test Force at Edwards AFB, California, flew the  McDonnell Douglas F-15A-6-MC 72-0119, Streak Eagle, to its eighth Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) and U.S. National…

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30 January 1934

Jan 30, 2018

Osoaviakhim-1, 30 January 1934. (RIA Novosti/Science Source) П. Ф. Федосеенко (Pavel Fyodorovich Fedoseyenko) 30 January 1934: At approximately 9:00 a.m. a large gas balloon lifted off from Matilovo, near Moscow, and ascended toward the stratosphere. Three aeronauts were aboard: Pavel Fyodorovich Fedoseyenko, Ilya Davydovich Usyskin, and Andrei Bogdanovich Vasenko. The balloon was named Osoaviakhim 1.…

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26 January 1972

Jan 26, 2018

Miss Vesna Vulović, Jugoslavenski Aerotransport. (The New York Times) 26 January 1972: Miss Vesna Vulović was a flight attendant aboard Jugoslavenski Aerotransport (JAT) Flight 367, enroute from Copenhagen, Denmark, to Zagreb, Yugoslavia. The airliner, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32, YU-AHT, was nearly new. It had made its first flight the previous year and had a total…

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14–15 January 1935

Jan 15, 2018

Jimmy Doolittle in the cockpit of American Airlines’ Vultee V-1A NC13770, January 1935. (NASM-157196) 14–15 January 1935: James Harold Doolittle set a Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) World Record for Speed Over a Recognised Course of 329.98 kilometers per hour (205.04 miles per hour).¹ Doolittle took off from Union Air Terminal, Burbank, California, at 5:27 p.m.,…

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14 January 1953

Jan 14, 2018

Convair XF2Y-1 Sea Dart Bu. No. 137634 during high-speed taxi on San Diego Bay (National Naval Aviation Museum) 14 January 1953: During a high-speed taxi test on San Diego Bay, Convair Chief Test Pilot Ellis Dent (“Sam”) Shannon inadvertently made the first flight of the prototype XF2Y-1 Sea Dart, Bu. No. 137634. The airplane flew…

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9 January 1914

Jan 9, 2018

Georgia Ann (“Tiny”) Broadwick and Glenn L. Martin. (Smithsonian Institution) 9 January 1914¹: Georgia Ann (“Tiny”) Broadwick was the first woman to parachute from an airplane in flight. She dropped from an airplane flown by Glenn L. Martin at 2,000 feet (607 meters) over Griffith Park, Los Angeles, California. A Los Angeles Times reporter, Bonnie Glessner, was also on…

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1 January 1932

Jan 1, 2018

Reginald Joseph Mitchell, C.B.E., F.R.Ae.S. CENTRAL CHANCERY OF THE ORDERS OF KNIGHTHOOD. St. James’s Palace, S.W. 1, 1st January, 1932.      The KING has been graciously pleased to give orders for the following promotions in, and appointments to, the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire :— To be Commanders of the Civil Division of…

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29 December 1944

Dec 29, 2017

Flight Lieutenant Richard Joseph Audet, Royal Canadian Air Force, with his Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk.IX, MK950, assigned to No. 411 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force. 29 December 1944: Flying Officer Richard Joseph Audet, Royal Canadian Air Force, was a section leader of No. 411 Squadron, an RCAF squadron under the control of the Second Tactical…

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20 December 1969

Dec 20, 2017

Senior Lieutenant Nguyễn Văn Cốc, at right, with two other pilots. A Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG 21PF is in the background. (VPAF) 20 December 1969: Senior Lieutenant Nguyễn Văn Cốc, of the 921st Fighter Regiment, Vietnam Peoples’ Air Force, flying a Mikoyan-Gurevich Mig 21PFL supersonic interceptor, shot down his final enemy aircraft of the Vietnam War, a…

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27 November 1957

Nov 27, 2017

Captain Ray W. Schrecengost with “Cin-Min,” McDonnell RF-101C-40-MC Voodoo 56-0166 (Boeing) Operation Sun Run #2, McDonnell RF-101C-40-MC Voodoo 56-164. This airplane was written off in South Carolina, 10 October 1960. (Photograph courtesy of Ron Downey via Aviation Archives) McDonnell RF-101C-40-MC Voodoo 56-165, Operation Sun-Run #3. This airplane was shot down over North Vietnam, 5 December…

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27 November 1933

Nov 27, 2017

Martin YB-10 33-140 at Wright Field, 1933. (U.S. Air Force) 27 November 1933: The United States Army Air Corps accepted the Glenn L. Martin Company’s first service test YB-10 bomber, serial number 33-140. This was the first all-metal monoplane bomber with an internal bomb bay, retractable landing gear, rotating gun turret and enclosed cockpit. It…

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26 November 2003

Nov 26, 2017

Concorde G-BOAF, the last Concorde to be built, makes its final landing, 26 November 2003. (Concorde SST) 26 November 2003: Concorde 216, G-BOAF, made the final flight of the Concorde fleet when it flew from London Heathrow Airport (LHR) to Bristol Filton Airport (FZO) with 100 British Airways employees on board. The aircraft was under…

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26 November 1968

Nov 26, 2017

Air Force Cross The President of the United States of America, authorized by Title 10, Section 8742, United States Code, takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Major Leonard A. Gonzales (AFSN: 2227075), United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as Aircraft Commander of a…

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26 November 1943

Nov 26, 2017

LCDR Edward H. (“Butch”) O’Hare, United States Navy, ca. April 1942. (U.S. Navy) 26 November 1943: At sunset, Lieutenant Commander Edward Henry O’Hare, United States Navy, Commander Air Group 6, took of from the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6) as part of an experimental three-plane night fighter team. The U.S. Navy task force was operating…

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25 November 1940

Nov 25, 2017

The first Martin Marauder, B-26-MA 40-1361, takes off for the first time at Middle River, Maryland, 25 November 1940. (U.S. Air Force) 25 November 1940: Glenn L. Martin Company’s test pilot William K. (“Ken”) Ebel, co-pilot Ed Fenimore and flight engineer Al Malewski made the first flight of the first B-26 Marauder, Army Air Corps…

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25 November 1920

Nov 25, 2017

Lieutenant Corliss Champion Moseley, Air Service, United States Army (Library of Congress) 25 November 1920: Lieutenant Corliss Champion Mosely, Air Service, United States Army, won the first Pulitzer Trophy Race flying an Engineering Division-designed-and-built Verville-Packard R-1, serial number A.S. 40126. The race, the first of a series, started at Mitchel Field, Long Island, New York. Turning points…

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28 May 1938–24 November 2011: Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jerome Maitland Boyle, U.S. Army

Nov 24, 2017

CW2 Jerry Boyle, Apache Troop, First of the Ninth, Air Cav, “hot refueling” (engine running, rotors turning) his Bell AH-1G Cobra attack helicopter, somewhere along the Cambodian border circa 1971. Jerry is the aircraft commander; his seat in the rear cockpit is empty. 1st Lt. Jeff Cromar, Jerry’s co-pilot and gunner, is in the forward…

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24 November 1971

Nov 24, 2017

This photograph shows Northwest Orient Airlines’ Boeing 727, N467US, on the ramp at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on the evening of 24 November 1971. (Unattributed; probable news agency photo, via Check-Six.com) 24 November 1971: In the early afternoon a man who gave the name “Dan Cooper” purchased a one-way ticket for Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 305,…

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