On This Day in Aviation History

Oct 08, 2013 No Comments by

1890 – Birth of Edward “Eddie” Vernon Rickenbacker, American World War I fighter ace, race car driver and automotive designer, a government consultant in military matters and a pioneer in air transportation, particularly as the longtime head of Eastern Air Lines.

1908 – The first European flight of the Wright Brothers is made by Wilbur Wright in Le Mans, France; Griffith Brewer becomes the first Briton  to fly as a passenger in an aeroplane.

1972 – The Grumman F-14A Tomcat, the first carrier-based variable-geometry wing aircraft in the U.S. Navy, enters service with Fighter Squadron 124 (VF-124), the “Gunfighters.”

1973 – First flight of the RFB/Grumman American Fanliner (shown above), an experimental German light plane propelled by a piston-engined ducted fan.

1979 – Death of Brian Edmund Baker, British World War I flying ace and longtime Royal Air Force commander.

2001 – In the Linate Airport disaster, Scandinavian Airlines Flight 686, a McDonnell Douglas MD-87, crashes into a Cessna business jet on takeoff from Milan, Italy; the airliner then swerves into a baggage handling building and catches fire. All 110 people on board Flight 686 die as well as all four in the Cessna. Four people on the ground also perish.

Civilian, Featured News, Military

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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