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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1875 – Birth of Harriet Quimby, early American aviator and movie screenwriter, first woman to gain a pilot’s license in the U.S.

1912 – First flight of the Avro Type F, a single-seat British aircraft and the first in the world to feature a completely enclosed cabin.

1927 – Imperial Airways, a British Airways predecessor, introduces its luxury “Silver Wing” service between London and Paris.

1963 – American aviation pioneer Jacqueline “Jackie” Cochran (shown above) takes off from Edwards Air Force Base in California to set a 62-mile closed-circuit world speed record for women of 1,203.7mph in a Lockheed F-104 Starfighter.

1993 – Death of Valentina Stepanovna Grizodubova, one of the first female pilots in the Soviet Union and a World War II pilot.

2011 – Operation Neptune Spear, the U.S. mission to capture Osama bin Laden, begins when two heavily modified Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) carry U.S. Navy SEALs of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group to Pakistan. Bin Laden and four others are killed early the next morning; one Blackhawk crashes during the assault, but there are no serious injuries to any Americans, and the remaining Blackhawk and a Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter fly the SEALs and bin Laden’s body back to Afghanistan.

Updated: May 1, 2013 — 12:19 PM

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