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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1882 – Birth of Paul Albert Pierre Tarascon, French World War I flying ace; he was known as “l’as à la jambe de bois,” or “the ace with the wooden leg,” after having lost his right foot in a crash.

1931 – Vittorio Suster, flying a Caproni Ca.100 Limousine, wins a race against racing driver Tazio Nuvolari driving an Alfa Romeo 8C 2300.

1944 – In an attempt to stop Japanese air attacks on Saipan from staging through Iwo Jima, U. S. Army Air Forces and the U. S. Navy conduct a joint attack against Iwo Jima. After a morning fighter sweep by 28 Lockheed P-38 Lightnings, more than 150 Boeing B-29 Superfortresses and Consolidated B-24 Liberators hit the island, dropping 814 tons of bombs, after which U. S. Navy surface ships shell Iwo Jima. All Iwo Jima airfields are operational by Dec. 11.

1945 – First flight of the Bell 47 (military version shown), an American two-bladed, single engine helicopter; it becomes the first helicopter certified for civilian use.

1969 – Olympic Airways Flight 954, a Douglas DC-6, crashes on approach to Athens in poor weather into Mt. Parnes near Keratea, Greece, killing all 90.

2004 – Death of Nicolas Roland Payen, French aircraft manufacturer recognized as the inventor of the first delta wing plane that flew; he also designed the world’s smallest jet delta wing.

Updated: December 8, 2014 — 3:56 PM

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