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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1895 – Birth of Alexandre Albert Roger Bretillon, French World War I flying ace.

1911 – Earle Lewis Ovington, an American aeronautical engineer, aviator and inventor, pilots the first official airmail flight in the U.S. in a Blériot XI; he carries a sack of mail from Garden City, N.Y., to Mineola, N.Y.

1931 – A Pitcairn OP-1 autogyro conducts landing and take-off trials aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Langley (CV-1); it is the U.S. Navy’s first experiment with a shipborne rotary-wing aircraft.

1986 – First flight of the Piaggio P.180 Avanti, an Italian twin-engine business aircraft (shown above); the unique design places the main wing behind and above the canard-like horizontal stabilizer, features a laminar flow fuselage and has engines in pusher configuration.

1986 – Gottfried von Banfield, the most successful Austro-Hungarian World War I naval pilot, dies; known as the “Eagle of Trieste,” he may have been the only flying ace who flew a flying boat to five or more victories.

1997 – Static test Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet airframe ST56, being barricade tested at NAES Lakehurst, N.J., by a Pratt & Whitney J57-powered jet car, flips over and crashes into nearby woods when the steel cable linking the barrier with underground hydraulic engines fails.

Updated: September 23, 2013 — 1:21 AM

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