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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1910 – First flight of the Duigan biplane (shown), which made the first powered flight by an aircraft designed and built in Australia.

1927 – Ernie Smith and Emory Bronte complete the first civilian non-stop flight from North America to the Hawaiian Islands when their Travel Air monoplane, the City of Oakland, crashes on Molokai after a flight from Oakland, Calif.; they survive the crash.

1950 – Birth of Valery Yevgenyevich Maksimenko, Soviet air force test pilot.

1953 – U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. W. F. Barnes, flying a North American F86D Sabre, sets the world’s first speed record over 700 mph.

1983 – A British Airways Sikorsky S-61 helicopter crashes into the sea off the Isles of Scilly; 20 of 26 people on board die, in one of the worst helicopter accidents in the U.K., sparking a nationwide safety review.

2004 – Death of Maj. Gen. Charles W. Sweeney, U.S. Army Air F WWII pilot and the pilot who flew the “Fat Man” atomic bomb to Nagasaki.

Updated: July 16, 2014 — 12:24 PM

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