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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1893 – Birth of Claire Lee Chennault, American military aviator and commander of the American Volunteer Group “Flying Tigers” during World War II.

1926 – The Wright XF3W-1 “Apache,” an American racing aircraft prototype (shown above), sets the world altitude record for seaplanes of 38,500 feet.

1952 – Death of John Douglas Derry, a British test pilot and the first Briton to exceed the speed of sound; he is killed in an air show crash where his prototype de Havilland DH.110 Sea Vixen breaks up in flight, causing 29 fatalities including himself and flight observer Tony Richards.

1970 – The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine orchestrates the Dawson’s Field hijackings of El Al Flight 219 (Boeing 707), Pan Am Flight 93 (Boeing 747), Swissair Flight 100 (Douglas DC-8), TWA Flight 741 (Boeing 707), and (on Sept. 9) BOAC Flight 775 (Vickers VC10); the unprecedented scale of the incident draws international outrage and plays a major role in instigating the eventual widespread implementation of air passenger screening. Flight 93 is the first loss of the Boeing 747.

1976 – Viktor Belenko of the Soviet Union defects to the West, landing his Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 FoxBat in Japan.

2010 – First flight of the Eurocopter X3, a French experimental compound helicopter  intended to fly at speeds of more than 220 knots.

Updated: September 6, 2013 — 10:35 AM

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