THIS DAY IN AVIATION

24 November 1969

Nov 24, 2017

Apollo 12 command module just before splashdown 10:58 a.m., local time, 24 November 1969. (U.S. Navy) 24 November 1969: The Apollo 12 command module Yankee Clipper, carrying astronauts Charles “Pete” Conrad, Jr., Mission Commander; Richard F. Gordon, Jr., Command Module Pilot; Alan L. Bean, Lunar Module Pilot; landed in the Pacific Ocean at 20:58:24 UTC, approximately 500…

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23 November 2002, 00:49:47 UTC, T minus Zero

Nov 23, 2017

Space Shuttle Endeavour (STS-113) lifts off from LC-39A, 7:49:47 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, 23 November 2002. (NASA) 23 November 2002, 00:49:47 UTC, T minus Zero: Space Shuttle Endeavour (OV-105) lifted off from Launch Complex 39A, Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida, on mission STS-113. The mission commander, Captain James D. Wetherbee, United States Navy, was…

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23 November 1959

Nov 23, 2017

Boeing 720-022 c/n 17907, N7201U, parked on the taxiway at the south shore of Lake Washington. (Boeing) 23 November 1959: The first Boeing 720 airliner, a 720-022, registered as N7201U, made its first flight at Renton, Washington. The 720 was a development of the 707 and no prototype was built. N7201U was used by Boeing…

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22 November 1972

Nov 22, 2017

A Boeing B-52D Stratofortress dropping a load of bombs during the Vietnam War. The B-52D could carry up to 108 MK82 500-pounds bombs. (U.S. Air Force) 22 November 1972: The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress bombers began combat operations in the Vietnam War with ARC LIGHT strikes against enemy troop concentrations and supply lines in June 1966. The B-52s…

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22 November 1961

Nov 22, 2017

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Bradford Robinson II, U.S. Marine Corps, with the McDonnell YF4H-1 Phantom II, Bu. No. 142260, with which he set a world absolute speed record, 22 November 1961. Colonel Robinson is wearing a Goodrich Mark IV full-pressure suit for protection at high altitudes. (U.S. Navy) 22 November 1961: In recognition of the 50th…

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22 November 1955

Nov 22, 2017

Tupolev Tu-16 (NATO codename “Badger”). (Federation of American Scientists) Major Fedor Pavlovich Golovashko, Hero of the Soviet Union (1923–1981) 22 November 1955:  The Soviet Union’s first thermonuclear weapon, RDS-37, was air-dropped at the Semipalatinsk Test Site, approximately 150 kilometers west of the city of Semipalatinsk, Kazakh S.S.R. (now, Kazakhstan). The bomber, a Tupolev Tu-16A, and…

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22 November 1952

Nov 22, 2017

Major Charles Joseph Loring, Jr., United States Air Force (1918–1952) MEDAL OF HONOR LORING, CHARLES J., JR. The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Major Charles Joseph Loring, Jr. (AFSN: 13008A), United States Air Force, for conspicuous gallantry and…

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17–22 November 1946

Nov 22, 2017

Avro Lancastrian C.1 VH742 after installation of Rolls-Royce RB.41 Nene Mk.I gas turbine engines. The inboard Merlin engines have been shut down and their propellers feathered. (Royal Air Force) 17 November 1946: A modified Avro 691 Lancastrian C.1, VH742, under the command of Rolls-Royce’s chief test pilot, Captain Ronald Thomas Shepherd, OBE, flew from London…

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22 November 1944

Nov 22, 2017

Consolidated Vultee PB4Y-2 Privateer. (U.S. Navy) 22 November 1944: At Lindbergh Field, San Diego, California, a brand new Consolidated Vultee PB4Y-2 Privateer, Bu. No. 59554, took off on its first test flight. A company crew of six men were aboard. Shortly after takeoff at 12:20 p.m., the left outboard wing of the airplane separated. The…

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22 November 1935

Nov 22, 2017

Pan American Airways’ Martin M-130, NC14716, China Clipper, over Oakland, California, 1936. (Unattributed) Captain Edwin Charles Musick 22 November 1935: The Pan American Airways flying boat, China Clipper, a Martin M-130, NC14716, departed Alameda, California (an island in San Francisco Bay) at 3:46 p.m., Friday, and arrived at Honolulu at 10:39 a.m., Saturday, completing the…

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22 November 1933

Nov 22, 2017

К-7 на аэродроме (“K-7 at the airport”), right front quarter view. (Уголок неба) 22 November 1933: “The K-7 Disaster      “On Wednesday, November 22, the Russian aircraft K-7, claimed to be the largest landplane in the world, crashed near Kharkhoff, 420 miles south-west of Moscow. Fourteen lives were lost. It is reported that M.K.A.…

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21 November 1970

Nov 21, 2017

“The Raid, Blue Boy Element” by Michael Nikiporenko. In this painting, a USAF/Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giant helicopter, 65-12785, from 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, call sign BANANA 01, has intentionally crash-landed inside the prison compound at 0219 to insert the BLUE BOY element of Green Berets. (Son Tay Raiders Association) 21 November 1970:…

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21 November 1947

Nov 21, 2017

Corky Meyer in the cockpit of the first Grumman XF9F-2 Panther, Bu. No. 122475, during the first flight, 21 November 1947. (Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation) Corwin Henry Meyer, 1920–2011. (Grumman) 21 November 1947: Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation engineering test pilot Corwin Henry (“Corky”) Meyer took off from the company’s 5,000 foot runaway at Bethpage, Long…

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21 November 1783

Nov 21, 2017

Jean-François Pilâtre Rozier, etching by André Pujos, ca. 1784. (Library of Congress) 21 November 1783: At approximately 2:00 p.m., Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent le Vieux d’Arlandes (Monsieur le Marquis d’Arlandes) departed Château de la Muette , the home of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette near the Bois de Boulogne in the western outskirts of Paris, aboard a hot air balloon…

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20 November 1963

Nov 20, 2017

Brigadier General Gilbert L. Meyers and Colonel Frank K. Everest delivered the first production McDonnell F-4C Phantom IIs to the Tactical Air Command at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. (U.S. Air Force) 20 November 1963: The U.S. Air Force Tactical Air Command accepted its first two production McDonnell F-4C Phantom II jet fighters, F-4C-15-MC 63-7415¹…

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20 November 1953

Nov 20, 2017

20 November 1953: At Edwards Air Force Base, California, NACA’s High Speed Flight Station test pilot Albert Scott Crossfield rode behind the flight crew of the Boeing P2B-1S Superfortress as it carried the Douglas Aircraft Company D-558-II Skyrocket supersonic research rocketplane to its launch altitude. As the four-engine bomber climbed through 18,000 feet (5,486 meters), Crossfield headed back to…

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19–20 November 1945

Nov 20, 2017

Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress 44-84061, the Pacusan Dreamboat. (U.S. Air Force) 19–20 November 1945: A Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress, 44-84061, named Pacusan Dreamboat, piloted by Colonel Clarence Shortridge Irvine and Lieutenant Colonel G.R. Stanley, flew non-stop and unrefueled from Guam, the largest and southernmost island in the Mariana Islands of the Western Pacific, to Washington, D.C. The…

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20 November 1940

Nov 20, 2017

North American Aviation’s NA-73X fighter prototype, engine idling, with Vance Breese in the cockpit at Mines Field, Los Angeles, 26 October 1940. (North American Aviation Inc.) 20 November 1940: North American Aviation’s Chief Test Pilot, Paul Baird Balfour, made his first flight in the NA-73X, NX19998, prototype for a Royal Air Force fighter, the Mustang…

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19 November 1999, 22:30 UTC

Nov 19, 2017

An unidentified Shenzhou/Long March 2F launch from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Area. (CNSA) 19 November 1999, 22:30 UTC: The China National Space Administration ( 国家航天局 ) launched 神舟一號 (Shenzhou 1), an unmanned Project 921-1 spacecraft, from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Area aboard a 长征二号F火箭, (Changzheng or “Divine Arrow”) two-stage rocket. Shenzhou 1 was placed into…

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19 November 1997, 19:46:00 UTC, T minus Zero

Nov 19, 2017

Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-87) lifts of from Launch Complex 39B, 19:46:00 UTC, 19 November 1997. (NASA) 19 November 1997, 19:46:00 UTC, T minus Zero: Space Shuttle Columbia (OV-102) lifted off from Launch Complex 39B at the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida, on mission STS-87. This was the 88th flight of the space shuttle program, and the 24th…

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19 November 1996, 19:55:47 UTC, T minus Zero

Nov 19, 2017

Space Shuttle Columbia lifts off from LC 39B, 2:55:47 p.m. EST, 19 November 1996. (NASA) 19 November 1996, 19:55:47 UTC, T minus Zero: Space Shuttle Columbia (OV-102) lifted off from Launch Complex 39B at the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida, on mission STS-80. The veteran flight crew was led by mission commander, Captain Kenneth…

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19 November 1969, 06:54:35 UTC

Nov 19, 2017

Apollo 12 lunar lander Intrepid above the Moon before beginning its descent to the surface, 19 November 1969. (Richard F. Gordon, Jr./NASA) 19 November 1969: The Apollo 12 lunar lander, LM-6, named Intrepid by the flight crew, landed at Oceanus Procellarum, The Moon, at 06:54:35 UTC. The lunar module touched down within approximately 600 feet…

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19 November 1952

Nov 19, 2017

Captain J. Slade Nash, U.S. Air Force, with the record setting North American Aviation F-86D Sabre. (U.S. Air Force) The Henry De la Vaulx Medal. 19 November 1952. Captain James Slade Nash, U.S. Air Force, a test pilot at the Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, California, flew a North American Aviation F-86D-20-NA Sabre,…

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19 November 1916

Nov 19, 2017

Ruth Bancroft Law at the controls of a Curtiss Pusher, ca. 1915. (Lt. H.M. Benner/U.S. Air Force) 19 November 1916: Ruth Bancroft Law (Mrs. Charles Augustus Oliver) flew a Curtiss Pusher non-stop from Chicago, Illinois to Hornell, New York, a distance of 590 miles (949.5 kilometers). This exceeded the previous long distance flight record of…

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