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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1906 – Birth of Ernest Archibald “Ernie” McNab, Canadian World War II fighter pilot; he later became the first scoring pilot for the RCAF in World War II.

1942 – Fifteen Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vs, carrying 90-gallon fuel tanks under their bellies, take off from HMS Eagle off the coast of Algeria on a 600-mile flight to Malta; the fighters become the first to see service outside Britain.

1956 – Dan Perkins, an engineer at Britain’s Royal Aircraft Establishment, makes his first flight in an inflatable airplane in Bedfordshire, England.

1964 – First flight of the Helwan HA-300 (shown), supersonic jet fighter aircraft developed in Egypt; it was designed by famous German aircraft engineer Willy Messerschmitt.

1968 – Death of Christopher Joseph Quintin “Flossie” Brand, South African military commander, World War I flying ace, raid pilot and high-ranking officer during World War II.

1999 – An Indian Air Force Antonov AN-32 crashes into a concrete water tank in a suburb less than two miles short of a New Delhi runway; all 18 people aboard, plus three on the ground, die.

Updated: March 7, 2014 — 1:22 PM

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