THIS DAY IN AVIATION

14 August 1968

Aug 14, 2016

Sikorsky S-61L N300Y, Los Angeles Airways, at Disneyland Heliport, Anaheim, California. (Robert Boser) 14 August 1968: At 10:28:15 a.m., Pacific Daylight Time, Los Angeles Airways Flight 417, a Sikorsky S-61L helicopter, departed Los Angles International Airport (LAX) on a regularly-scheduled passenger flight to Disneyland, Anaheim, California. On board were a crew of three and eighteen…

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14 August 1953

Aug 14, 2016

Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation CA-26 Sabre A94-101 (Royal Australian Air Force) 14 August 1953: Near Avalon Field, Geelong, Victoria, Australia, Flight Lieutenant William H. Scott, Royal Australian Air Force, the 28-year-old Chief Test Pilot of the Government Aircraft Factories, put the new Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation, Pty. Ltd., prototype into shallow dive from 25,000 feet over Port…

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14 August 1942

Aug 14, 2016

Lockheed P-38F Lightnings at Iceland during the summer of 1942. 2d Lt. Elva E. Shahan’s P-38F-1-LO, 41-7540, is at the left of the photograph with the number 42 on its nose. (U.S. Air Force) 14 August 1942: The 27th Fighter Squadron (Twin Engine), 1st Fighter Group, VIII Fighter Command, was ferrying its Lockheed P-38 Lightning…

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14 August 1931

Aug 14, 2016

Mihail Mihajlovich Gromov (1899–1985) 14 August 1931: The Tupolev ANT-14 made its first flight, piloted by famed Russian aviator Mikhail Mikhaylovich Gromov (Михаи́л Миха́йлович Гро́мов). It was the largest aircraft of its time, capable of carrying 36 passengers. The all-metal aircraft was powered by five air-cooled 30.347 liter (1,851.9 cubic inch) Gnome-Rhône Jupiter Akx nine-cylinder…

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13 August 1976

Aug 13, 2016

The prototype Bell 222 hovering during its first flight, 13 August 1976. (Bell Helicopter) 13 August 1976: At the Bell Helicopter facility at Arlington, Texas, the prototype Model 222 twin-engine helicopter, registration N9988K, made its first flight. During the 42-minute flight test pilots Donald Bloom and Lou Hartwig flew the aircraft through a series of hovering maneuvers…

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12 August 1985

Aug 12, 2016

Japan Air Lines’ Boeing 747-146SR, JA8119. (Robin787) 12 August 1985: The worst accident involving a single aircraft occurred when a Boeing 747 operated by Japan Air Lines crashed into a mountain in the Gunma Prefecture, killing 520 persons. There were just 4 survivors. JAL Flight 123 was a Boeing 747-146SR, registration JA8119. It departed Tokyo International Airport enroute Osaka…

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12 August 1977

Aug 12, 2016

Space Shuttle prototype Enterprise separates from NASA 905 for its first free flight, 12 August 1977. (NASA) 12 August 1977: At Edwards Air Force Base, California, the prototype Space Shuttle Oriter, Enterprise, (OV-101) was mated to the Boeing 747-100 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, N905NA, call sign NASA 905, for the first of five approach and landing test flights. On Enterprise‘…

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12 August 1960, 09:39:43 UTC

Aug 12, 2016

The Thor Delta launch vehicle at Launch Complex 17A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The spherical capsule containing the Echo 1A is visible at the top of the Altair solid fuel third stage. (NASA) 12 August 1960: At 5:39:43 a.m., Eastern Daylight Savings Time, the Echo 1A experimental passive communications satellite was launched from LC-17A…

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12 August 1960

Aug 12, 2016

Major Robert M. White, U.S. Air Force. (NASA) 12 August 1960: At Edwards Air Force Base, California, Major Robert M. White flew the North American Aviation X-15 rocketplane to an altitude of 136,500 feet (41,605 meters), exceeding the previous unofficial record of 126,200 feet (38,466 meters) set by the late Captain Iven C. Kincheloe, Jr.,…

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12 August 1930

Aug 12, 2016

Frank Monroe Hawks, 1932 (Edward Steichen) 12 August 1930: Frank Monroe Hawks flew from Los Angeles Municipal Airport in California to Curtiss Airport, Valley Stream, Long Island, New York, in a record-breaking 12 hours, 25 minutes, 3 seconds. His airplane was a Travel Air Type R “Mystery Ship” named Texaco No. 13. It carried civil…

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11 August 1986

Aug 11, 2016

John Trevor Egginton, Chief Pilot, Westland Helicopters. (Photograph courtesy of Neil Corbett, Test and Research Pilots, Flight Test Engineers) 11 August 1986: A modified factory demonstration Westland Lynx AH.1 helicopter, civil registration G-LYNX, piloted by Chief Test Pilot John Trevor Egginton and Flight Test Engineer Derek J. Clews, set an Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) Absolute…

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11 August 1967

Aug 11, 2016

Colonel Robert M. White, United States Air Force, Deputy Commander for Operations, 355th Tactical Fighter Wing, Takhli RTAFB, 1967, with other Republic F-105 Thunderchief pilots. Colonel White is the third from the left. (U.S. Air Force) Air Force Cross The President of the United States of America, authorized by Title 10, Section 8742, United States…

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10 August 1961

Aug 10, 2016

Republic F-105D-5-RE Thunderchief 58-1173 carrying sixteen 750-pound M117 general purpose bombs. (U.S. Air Force) 10 August 1961: A Republic F-105 Thunderchief lifted the largest load ever carried aloft by a single-engine aircraft when it carried a payload of over 14,000 pounds (6,350.3 kilograms) during a test. In this photograph, F-105D-5-RE Thunderchief 58-1173 is loaded with…

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10 August 1912

Aug 10, 2016

Lieutenant Colonel Sir Francis Kennedy McLean, A.F.C., 18 September 1919. (Flight) 10 August 1912: Frank McLean (later, Lieutenant Colonel Sir Francis Kennedy McLean, A.F.C.) flew his modified Short S.33 float plane, and, according to his obituary in the London Times, 12 August 1955, “. . . created a record by flying up the Thames in a seaplane, passing between…

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23 May 1848–10 August 1896

Aug 10, 2016

Karl Wilhelm Otto Lilienthal (1848–1896) 9 August 1896: Pioneering aviator Karl Wilhelm Otto Lilienthal was fatally injured when his glider stalled on his fourth flight of the day. Flying at the Rhinow Hills, near Stölln in what is now northern Germany, he had been gliding as far as 820 feet (250 meters). As he sailed off the slope, his glider suddenly pitch…

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11 May 1906–9 August 1980

Aug 9, 2016

Jackie Cochran in the cockpit of her North American Aviation P-51B-15-NA Mustang NX28388, #13, at Cleveland Municipal Airport. (Image Number: SI-86-533, National Air and Space Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution) 9 August 1980: Jacqueline “Jackie” Cochran, Colonel, United States Air Force Reserve, passed away at her home in Indio, CA, at the age of 74. Jackie was…

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9 August 1945

Aug 9, 2016

Martin-Omaha B-29-35-MO Superfortress 44-27297, Bockscar, at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force) 9 August 1945: Three days after an atomic bomb had been used against the Japanese industrial city of Hiroshima, a second attack was made on Nagasaki. Major Charles W. Sweeney, in command of the Martin-Omaha B-29-35-MO Superfortress 44-27297, named Bockscar,…

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9 August 1944

Aug 9, 2016

MEDAL OF HONOR LINDSEY, DARRELL R. (Air Mission) Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Army Air Corps. Place and date: L’Isle Adam railroad bridge over the Seine in occupied France, 9 August 1944. Entered service at: Storm Lake, lowa. Birth: Jefferson, lowa. G.O. No: 43, 30 May 1945. Medal of Honor Citation: On 9 August 1944, Capt. Lindsey led a formation of 30 B-26…

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9 August 1939

Aug 9, 2016

Bell XP-39 38-326 in a NACA wind tunnel at Langley Field, Virginia, 9 August 1939. (NASA) 9 August 1939: After General Henry H. Arnold had ordered that the prototype Bell Aircraft Corporation XP-39 Airacobra be evaluated in the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA) Full-Scale Tunnel at the Langley Memorial Aeronautics Laboratory, Langley Field, Virginia,…

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9 August 1884

Aug 9, 2016

Charles Renard (1845–1905) 9 August 1884: At the parade grounds at Chalais Meudon, a town on the banks of the Seine near Paris, France, engineers Charles Renard and Arthur Constantin Krebs made the first controllable free flight when they piloted their airship, La France, over an approximately 5 mile (8 kilometer) circular course and returned to their starting point. The…

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8 August 1955

Aug 8, 2016

8 August 1955: While being carried aloft by a Boeing B-29 Superfortress, the Bell X-1A was being readied for it’s next high-altitude supersonic flight by NACA test pilot Joe Walker. During the countdown, an internal explosion occurred. Walker was not injured and was able to get out. The X-1A was jettisoned. It crashed onto the desert floor and…

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8 August 1946

Aug 8, 2016

The prototype Consolidated-Vultee XB-36, 42-13570, stands at the end of the runway with all six engines running. (U.S. Air Force) Chief Test Pilot Beryl Arthur Erickson. (Convair) 8 August 1946: At Fort Worth, Texas, the Consolidated-Vultee Aircraft Corporation XB-36 prototype, 42-13570, made its first flight. Convair test pilots Beryl Arthur Erickson and G.S. “Gus” Green, along…

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8 August 1945

Aug 8, 2016

Fat Man, Nuclear Bomb, Mark III, being prepared at Tinian Island, 8 August 1945. (U.S. Air Force) “So, the next day, Fat Man, the two armored steel ellipsoids of its ballistic casing bolted together through bathtub fittings to lugs cast into the equatorial segments of the implosion sphere, its boxed tail sprouting radar antennae just as Little…

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8 August 1929

Aug 8, 2016

Dr. Hugo Eckener (1868–1954) 8 August 1929: The rigid airship Graf Zeppelin, LZ 127, under the command of Dr. Hugo Eckener, departed Lakehurst Naval Air Station, New Jersey, heading east across the Atlantic Ocean on the first aerial circumnavigation by air. The flight was sponsored by publisher William Randolph Hearst, who had placed several correspondents aboard. Graf Zeppelin was…

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