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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1896 – Birth of Stephen Potter, U.S. Navy officer and early naval aviator; he would become the first American naval aviator to shoot down a German plane.

1937 – Pan American World Airways Sikorsky S-42 flying boat “Samoan Clipper” inaugurates the first air mail and freight service between the U.S. and New Zealand.

1948 – The first Soviet pilot to break the sound barrier is I. E. Fedorov, who achieves the honor by diving his Lavochkin La-176 jet, powered by a Rolls-Royce Nene engine, at full throttle.

1956 – First flight of the Convair F-106 Delta Dart (shown).

1960 – Death of Giuseppe Mario Bellanca, Italian-American airplane designer and builder who created the first enclosed cabin monoplane in the U.S.; he also was the founder of Bellanca Aircraft Co.

1975 – The first airmail flight by a supersonic aircraft is made by the Tupolev Tu-144 between Moscow and Alma Ata, U.S.S.R.

Updated: December 26, 2013 — 10:04 AM

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