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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1848 – Birth of Otto Lilienthal, German pioneer of human aviation who became the first person to make well-documented, repeated, successful gliding flights.

1938 – First flight of the Fiat CR.42 Falco (shown), an Italian single-seat World War II fighter.

1941 – Two dozen German Junkers Ju-87 Stuka dive bombers attack British destroyers HMS Kelly and HMS Kashmir as they attempt to retire after a patrol north of Crete the previous night, sinking both. Among the survivors is Royal Navy Capt. Lord Louis Mountbatten.

1958 – Flying a Douglas F4D-1 Skyray, U.S. Marine Corps Major Edward N. LeFaivre breaks five world climb-to-height records, including 49,221 feet in less than 3 minutes.

1981 – Death of Jean Alfred Fraissinet, French World War I flying ace; he served in World War II and later entered politics.

2013 – Solar Impulse aircraft HB-SIA completes the second and longest leg of its trip across the continental U.S., arriving at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Texas after a 957-mile flight from Arizona; the flight, which takes 18 hours, 21 minutes, sets a world distance record for a solar-powered flight.

Updated: May 23, 2014 — 7:03 PM

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