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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1897 – Birth of Langley Frank Willard Smith, Canadian World War I fighter ace.

1935 – Death of Wiley Post, famed American aviator and the first pilot to fly solo around the world. His hybrid Lockheed Orion, which had the wings of a wrecked experimental Lockheed Explorer, crashes in Barrow, Alaska, killing him and Will Rogers, an American cowboy, vaudeville performer, humorist, social commentator and movie actor.

1944 – The first air-to-air victory by a jet is scored by the Luftwaffe’s Helmut Lennartz when he shoots down a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress in a Messerschmitt Me 262.

1972 – The final U.S. Air Force mission over Cambodia is flown.

1997 – The General Atomics ALTUS I, an American unmanned aerial vehicle designed for scientific research, reaches an altitude of 43,500 feet during its last flight, a record for a remotely operated aircraft powered by a piston engine.

2006 – First flight of the Boeing EA-18G Growler (shown above), an American carrier-based electronic warfare aircraft; it’s a specialized version of the two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornet.

Updated: August 15, 2013 — 6:07 PM

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