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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1905 – Birth of Ruth Blaney Alexander, U.S. female pioneer aviator.

1951 – First flight of the Vickers-Armstrongs Valiant (shown), British four-engined jet bomber, once part of the RAF’s V bomber nuclear force; it is originally developed for high-level strategic missions.

1967 – A prototype Dassault Mirage F1, French air-superiority fighter and attack aircraft, crashes due to flutter, killing its pilot.

1958 – In a Zero Length Launch (ZEL) experiment, a U. S. Air Force North American F-100D Super Sabre becomes airborne with no runway or take-off roll at all, using its own engine in afterburner and boosted by a 130,000-pound-thrust Astrodyne rocket.

1973 – Death of Dieudonné Costes, French World War I flying ace and pioneer aviator.

2011 – NASA’s Space Shuttle Endeavour docks to the International Space Station during its final mission.

Updated: May 18, 2016 — 12:06 PM

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