On This Day in Aviation History

Aug 09, 2013 No Comments by

1892 – Birth of Norman MacMillan, Scottish World War I flying ace, test pilot and author who also served in World War II.

1918 – World War I flying aces James Keating, an American, and observer-gunner Edward Simpson, a Brit, shoot down four Fokker D.VII fighters with their Airco D.H.9, a biplane bomber.

1945 – U.S. Boeing B-29 Superfortress “Bockscar” drops the “Fat Man” plutonium-239 nuclear weapon on Nagasaki, Japan, which claims almost 100,ooo lives; it is the second atomic weapon used against the country, which surrenders six days later and brings an end to World War II.

1952 – Royal Navy Lt. Peter Carmichael claims the Fleet Air Arm’s first Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 kill by a Hawker Sea Fury from the H.M.S. Ocean; it is the only recorded victory of a British piston-engined aircraft over a jet fighter.

1996 – Sir Frank Whittle, inventor of the jet engine, dies at 89.

2005 – Space Shuttle Discovery (shown above) returns on Earth; the landing marks the completion of STS-114, the first mission since the Columbia disaster in 2003.

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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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