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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1894 – Birth of Bernard Artigau, French World War I flying ace; he also was a pioneering commercial pilot who served in World War II.

1914 – South Africa’s Norman Spratt conducts the first dogfight in history; flying a Sopwith Tabloid, he forces down a German Albatros C.I two-seater, an amazing achievement as his Sopwith was not armed.

1944 – The first jet aircraft shot down in World War II is recorded when U.S. pilots Joseph Myers and Manford O. Croy, Jr., flying a Republic P-47D Thunderbolt shoot down a Messerschmitt Me-262.

1958 – First flight of the Beechcraft Model 65 Queen Air (shown above), a twin-turboprop business prototype aircraft; it will become the basis for the highly successful King Air series.

1988 – Ten Aermacchi MB-339 PAN jets from the Italian Air Force display team, Frecce Tricolori, were performing their “pierced heart” formation when three of them collided in mid-air. Sixty-seven spectators and three pilots died, while 346 spectators sustained serious injuries in the resulting explosion and fire.

2007 – Death of Paul Beattie MacCready, Jr., American aeronautical engineer, founder of AeroVironment and designer of the human-powered aircraft Gossamer Condor.

Updated: August 28, 2013 — 2:11 PM

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