On This Day in Aviation History

Feb 14, 2013 No Comments by

1889 – Birth of Bartolomeo “Meo” Costantini, Italian World War I flying ace and post-war racing driver and manufacturer.

1932 – American aviation pioneer Ruth Nichols sets a new altitude record for a diesel-powered aircraft, 19,928 feet, in a modified Lockheed Vega.

1945 – Death of Otto “Bruno” Kittel, German World War II flying ace (shown above). On his 583rd combat mission, he was shot down and killed by the air gunner of a Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik. He had 267 aerial victories.

1955 – First flight of the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21. Almost 12,000 would be built.

1980 – Japan Air Lines begins commercial operations with the highest-capacity airliner ever put into scheduled service at the time, conducting the inaugural flight of eight Boeing 747SRs. The aircraft has seating for 550 passengers, 45 in the upper deck.

1991 – U. S. Navy Grumman A-6E Intruders sink an Iraqi Navy Osa-class missile boat in Kuwait Bay, the last Iraqi naval loss of the Gulf War.

Civilian, Featured News, Military

About the author

Online Editor I've been around airplanes since I was a kid. That's when my uncle, a professional pilot, showed me how to fly his Cessna 177 Cardinal. l later became a writer and editor, so covering the exciting and ever-changing aviation industry -- which I've been doing in Flight Journal's Flybys since the late '90s -- was a natural fit.
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