THIS DAY IN AVIATION

7 August 1951

Aug 7, 2017

William Barton Bridgeman. (Boris Artzybasheff/TIME Magazine) 7 August 1951: Douglas Aircraft Company test pilot William Barton Bridgeman flew the rocket-powered U.S. Navy/NACA/Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket, Bu. No. 37974 (NACA 144), to a record speed of Mach 1.88 (1,245 miles per hour/2,034 kilometers per hour) at Muroc Dry Lake (later Edwards Air Force Base) in the high desert…

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7 August 1919

Aug 7, 2017

Captain Hoy’s JN-4 Canuck at Minoru Park, Richmond, B.C., prior to departing on his historic flight across the Canadian Rockies, 7 August 1919. (Unattributed) 7 August 1919: Captain Ernest Charles Hoy, DFC, a World War I fighter pilot credited with 13 aerial victories, became the first pilot to fly across the Canadian Rockies when he…

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6 August 1969

Aug 6, 2017

One of the two Mil Design Bureau V-12 heavy lift helicopter prototypes, 1971. (Groningen Airport-Eelde) 6 August 1969: The largest helicopter ever built, the four-engine, transverse tandem rotor Mil V-12, registration CCCP-21142, lifted a payload of 88,636 pounds (44,205 kilograms) to an altitude of 7,400 feet (2,255 meters). This weight record has never been broken…

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5 August 1950: Medal of Honor, Major Joseph Louis Sebille, United States Air Force

Aug 5, 2017

Major Louis Joseph Sebille, United States Air Force. Medal of Honor Major Louis J. Sebille Rank and Organization: Major, U.S. Air Force, 67th Fighter-Bomber Squadron, 18th Fighter-Bomber Group, 5th Air Force. Place and Date: Near Hanchang, Korea, August 5, 1950. Entered Service At: Chicago, Ill. Born: November 21, 1915, Harbor Beach. Mich. Citation: The President of the United…

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4 August 1971

Aug 4, 2017

A prototype Agusta A109 Hirundo hovering in ground effect. (Agusta) 4 August 1971: At its Cascina Costa plant, near the Aeroporto di Milano-Malpensa, northwest of Milan, Italy, Agusta test pilot Ottorino Lancia made the first flight of the prototype Agusta A109 Hirundo, serial number 7101. Also on board was one of the helicopter’s designers, Paolo…

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1 August 1939

Aug 1, 2017

The flight crew of the FAI World Altitude Record-setting Boeing Y1B-17A. Left to right: Captain Pearl H. Robey, Captain Clarence S. Irvine and R. Swofford. (FAI) 1 August 1939: Captains Clarence S. Irvine and Pearl H. Robey, United States Army Air Corps, used the Boeing Y1B-17A Flying Fortress (Model 299F), serial number 37-369, to set…

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1 August 1911

Aug 1, 2017

Miss Harriet Quimby, 1911, (Leslie Jones Collection, Boston Public Library) 1 August 1911: After 33 flight lessons over a four-month period at the Moisant Aviation School at Hempstead, Long Island, New York, Harriet N. Quimby took her flight test and became the first woman to receive a pilot’s license, Number 37, from the Aero Club of America. She was well-known throughout the United States…

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30 July 1983

Jul 30, 2017

Dago Red, Reno, 1988 (Wikimedia) 30 July 1983: Flying a modified World War II-era fighter, Frank Taylor set a  Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) World Record for Speed Over a 15/25 Kilometer Straight Course¹ with an average speed of 832.12 kilometers per hour (517.056 miles per hour)—(0.686 Mach). The record flight took place at Mojave Airport…

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29 July 1957

Jul 29, 2017

Bendix Trophy winner Captain Kenneth D. Chandler, U.S. Air Force, in the cockpit of Convair F-102A-65-CO Delta Dagger 56-1196 (Jet Pilot Overseas) 29 July 1957: Captain Kenneth D. Chandler, 11th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 343d Fighter Group (Air Defense), U.S. Air Force, won the Bendix Trophy Race, flying a Convair F-102A Delta Dagger from O’Hare International…

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29 July 1938, 04:11 GCT [Greenwich Civil Time]

Jul 29, 2017

Pan American Martin M-130 Flying boat, NX14714, 9 September 1935. (Lockheed Martin) 29 July 1938: At 12:08 p.m., local time, the Pan American Airways flying boat Hawaii Clipper lifted off from the waters of Apra Harbor on the west side of Guam, an island in the western Pacific Ocean. The Clipper was on a planned…

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26 July 1943

Jul 26, 2017

Second Lieutenant John Cary Morgan, United States Army Air Corps, is awarded the Medal of Honor by Lieutenant General Ira C. Eaker, commanding 8th Air Force, 18 December 1943.. (U.S. Air Force) MEDAL OF HONOR MORGAN, JOHN C. (Air Mission) Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Corps, 326th Bomber Squadron, 92d Bomber Group. Place…

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23 July 1953

Jul 23, 2017

Major John H. Glenn, Jr., U.S. Marine Corps, in the cockpit of his North American Aviation F-86F Sabre, “MiG Mad Marine,” just after his second kill, 19 July 1953. (Times Recorder) 23 July 1953: Major John H. Glenn, Jr., United States Marine Corps, shot down his third and final MiG-15 fighter during the Korean War. Major Glenn…

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21 July 1961, 12:20:36 UTC, T minus Zero

Jul 21, 2017

Mercury-Redstone 4 (Liberty Bell 7) launch at Pad 5, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, 12 20 36 UTC, 21 July 1961. (NASA) 21 July 1961: At 7:20:36 a.m. Eastern Time (12:20:36 UTC), NASA Astronaut, Captain Virgil Ivan (“Gus”) Grissom, United States Air Force, was launched from Launch Complex 5, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida,…

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21 July 1911

Jul 21, 2017

“Denise Moore” (1876–1911) 21 July 1911: Denise Moore was a popular figure in aviation circles in France.  She had been taking flying lessons at the Henri Farman Aviation School at Étampes, about 30 miles south of Paris. She took off at 6:20 p.m. in Farman’s biplane, on her third flight of the day, and made two circuits of the field. On…

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19 July 1989

Jul 19, 2017

United Airlines’ DC-10 N1819U, Flight 232, on final approach to Sioux City Gateway Airport, 19 July 1989. In this image, damage to the right horizontal stabilizer is visible, and the aircraft tail cone is missing. (Wikipedia) 19 July 1989: United Airlines Flight 232 was a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10, registration N1819U, enroute from Stapleton International Airport,…

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19 July 1969, 22:42 UTC, T + 81:10

Jul 19, 2017

Colonel Edwin Eugene Aldrin, Jr., United States Air Force, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Astronaut, in the Apollo 11 Lunar Module, Eagle. (NASA) 19 July 1969, 22:42 UTC, T + 81 hours, 10 minutes: Just over 58 minutes since the Apollo 11 spacecraft entered a circular orbit around the Moon, Lunar Module Pilot (LMP) Edwin…

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19 July 1963

Jul 19, 2017

Joe Walker with the Number 2 North American Aviation X-15A, 56-6671, on Rogers Dry Lake. (NASA) Joseph A. Walker, NASA Chief Research Test Pilot 19 July 1963: Between 1960 and 1963, NASA Chief Research Test Pilot Joseph Albert Walker made 25 flights in the North American Aviation X-15A hypersonic research rocketplanes. His 24th flight was…

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19 July 1957, 14:00:04.6 UTC

Jul 19, 2017

Northrop F-89J Scorpion 53-2547 fires a live MB-1 rocket during Operation Plumbbob John, 1400 GMT, 19 July 1957. (U.S. Air Force) 19 July 1957: During 1957, a series of 29 nuclear weapons tests were carried out at the Nevada Test Site, 65 miles (105 kilometers) northwest of Las Vegas under Project Plumbbob. Shot John was the first…

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18 July 1967

Jul 18, 2017

18 July 1967: For the first time, a U.S. Air Force Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giant Combat Search and Rescue helicopter refueled in flight from a Lockheed HC-130P Combat King command and control aircraft during an actual rescue mission in Southeast Asia. A Lockheed HC-130P Combat King refuels a Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giant, with…

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18 July 1966, 22:20:26.648 UTC, T minus Zero

Jul 18, 2017

John W. Young and Michael Collins, the flight crew of Gemini 10. (NASA) 18 July 1966: At 22:20:26.648 UTC, Gemini 10 launched from Launch Complex 19 at the Cape Kennedy Air Force Station. The two astronauts aboard were John W. Young, on his second space flight, and Michael Collins. The launch vehicle was a liquid-fueled…

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18 July 1942

Jul 18, 2017

Chief Test Pilot Fritz Wendel with the Messerschmitt Me 262 V3 prototype, PC+UC. (Photograph courtesy of Neil Corbett, Test and Research Pilots, Flight Test Engineers) Test Pilot Fritz Wendel (left) talks with Willy Messerschmitt after the maiden flight of Me 262 V3, 18 July 1942. 18 July 1942: In the late 1930s, Germany began developing…

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18 July 1919

Jul 18, 2017

Élise Léontine Deroche (Smithsonian Institution) Élise Léontine Deroche poses with the airplane in which she would later be killed, at Le Crotoy, France, 18 July 1919. (Bettman/CORBIS) 18 July 1919: Élise Léontine Deroche was at Le Crotoy in northern France, co-piloting an experimental airplane, a civil variant of the Caudron G.3. The aircraft suddenly  pitched down…

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17 July 1996, 00:31:12 UTC

Jul 17, 2017

Trans World Airlines’ Boeing 747-131 N93119 at London Gatwick Airport. (Cropped detail from photograph by Burmarrad via JetPhotos.net) 17 July 1996, 8:31 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time: Trans World Airlines (TWA) Flight 800, a Boeing 747-131, FAA registration N93119, was enroute from New York to Paris with 212 passengers and 18 crewmembers persons aboard, and had…

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17 July 1989

Jul 17, 2017

Bruce J. Hinds and Richard Couch. (Photograph courtesy of Neil Corbett, Test and Research Pilots, Flight Test Engineers) 17 July 1989: The first Northrop B-2A Spirit, 82-1066, took off from Air Force Plant 42, Palmdale, California, on its first flight. The crew was Northrop Chief Test Pilot Bruce J. Hinds and Colonel Richard Couch, U.S.…

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