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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1882 – Birth of John Robertson Duigan, an Australian pioneer aviator who built and flew the first Australian-made aircraft.

1918 – Douglas Campbell becomes the first American aviator flying in an American unit,  the Pursuit 94th Aero Squadron of the U.S. Army Air Service, to achieve the status of ace, scoring his fifth victory over a German Rumpler C reconnaissance biplane with his Nieuport 28.

1928 – The first airplane flight across the Pacific is begun by Charles Kingsford-Smith and crew in a Fokker F-VIIB/3m named “Southern Cross” (shown above). They fly from Oakland, Calif., to Brisbane, Australia; the 7,389-mile trip takes 83 hours and 38 min. On the way, Southern Cross becomes the first airplane to land in Fiji.

1991 – First flight of the Pilatus PC-12.

1982 – Death of Czeslaw Michal Zbieranski, Polish engineer and a pioneer of Polish aviation.

2008 – Champion Air, a Minnesota-based airline with an all-Boeing 727-200 fleet, ceased operations because of high fuel prices and fuel inefficiency.

Updated: May 31, 2013 — 11:28 AM

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