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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1904 – Birth of Minoru Genda, well-known Japanese military aviator and politician; he later plans the Pearl Harbor attack that led to U.S. military involvement in the Pacific Ocean.

1929 – German Fritz Morzik, flying a BFW M.23B low-winged monoplane, wins the first FAI International Tourist Plane Contest (Challenge 1929) conceived by the Aéro-Club de France.

1944 – First operational use of the Messerschmitt Me-163 Komet, German rocket-powered fighter aircraft, only rocket-powered fighter aircraft ever to have been operational.

1947 – First flight of the de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver (shown above), a popular single-engined, short-takeoff-and-landing aircraft.

2002 – Death of Louis Wellington “Lou” Schalk, Jr, a U.S. Air Force test pilot; he also was the chief test pilot for Lockheed Corp.’s Skunk Works.

2009 – While practicing for an airshow, two Sukhoi Su-27s of the Russian Knights collided in mid-air during a test flight near Moscow, killing the Knights’ leader, Igor Valentinovitch Tkachenko.

Updated: August 16, 2013 — 11:14 AM

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