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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1881 – Birth of William Edward Boeing (born Wilhelm Edward Böing), American aviation pioneer who founded The Boeing Co.

1910 – Hendon Aerodrome, the present day site of the Royal Air Force Museum, in Middlesex (North London), is opened by Louis Blériot.

1947 – First flight of the North American F-86 Sabre (sometimes called the Sabrejet), an American transonic jet fighter aircraft; test pilot George Welch unofficially breaks the sound barrier in a dive.

1948 – In the skies over Fargo, N.D., George F. Gorman, a North Dakota National Guard pilot flying a North American P-51 Mustang, told the tower that he was going to pursue an object to determine its identity. He later breaks a vigorous chase, unable to keep on contact with it; the incident is labeled “the Gorman dogfight” among UFO researchers, but the object is later thought to have been a weather balloon.

1985 – Operation Wooden Leg takes place when eight Israeli McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagles bomb the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) headquarters in Hammam al-Shatt, Tunisia, 12 miles from the capital of Tunis; PLO leader Yassar Arafat is not among the 60 killed.

2004 – Death of Frank Kendall “Pete” Everest Jr. (shown above), U.S. World War II fighter ace, aeroengineer and test pilot.

Updated: October 1, 2013 — 12:58 PM

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