1803 – Frenchman André-Jaques Garnerin takes off from Paris to Clausen, Germany, with his Montgolfière balloon; he covers the distance of 245 miles by the next day.
1889 – Birth of Frank Widenham Goodden, chief test pilot for the Royal Aircraft Factory.
1935 – Italy invades Abyssinia, using aircraft during the invasion, beginning the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. The Italian expeditionary force has 150 aircraft that includes Savoia-Marchetti SM.81, Caproni Ca.113, and Caproni Ca.133 bombers, Savoia-Marchetti S.55 flying boats and a IMAM R.37bis strategic reconnaissance plane. The opposition has only three obsolete biplanes.
1946 – A Berlin-bound Douglas C-54 transport named “Flagship New England” crashes into a mountainside outside of Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador. The flight, operated by American Overseas Airlines, is mostly carrying wives and children of U.S. Army personnel serving in post-war Germany; all 39 people on board perish.
1967 – William J. “Pete” Knight sets an airspeed record in the North American X-15 (shown above) of Mach 6.72 (4,543 mph). This is the fastest flight the X-15 will make in its lifetime.
2009 – Death of Fernando “Frank” Caldeiro, Argentine-American engineer and NASA astronaut; he also was the test director for the Rockwell B-1 Lancer strategic bomber.