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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1883 – Birth of Jacob Earl “Jake” Fickel, U.S. major general and flying instructor; he also is credited with firing the first recorded gunshot ever from an airplane.

1951 – Pan Am World Airways Capt. Charles Blair flies a North American P-51 Mustang (christened “Excalibur III”) non-stop from New York to London to test the jet stream, traveling 3,478 miles at an average speed of 446 miles per hour in less than eight hours.

1970 – Death of Mikhail Mil; he was the founder of the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, responsible for many of the well-known Russian helicopter models, notably the Mil Mi-24.

1977 – First flight of the Cessna Citation II, an American light corporate jet development of the Citation I; more than 900 IIs are eventually built, including a model for the U.S. Navy (shown).

1986 – Boeing completes purchase of de Havilland Canada.

2005 – A Colombian government Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, on an anti-narcotics mission, crashes in heavy fog near Manguipayan, killing all 20 on board.

Updated: January 31, 2014 — 12:33 PM

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