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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1897 – Birth of James Fitz Morris, Scottish World War I fighter ace and instructor.

1926 – Varney Speed Lines begins operations in the U.S.; it will later become Continental Airlines.

1938 – First flight of the Bell P-39 Airacobra, a principal American fighter in service at the start of World War II. It is the first fighter in history with a tricycle undercarriage and the first to have the engine installed in the center fuselage, behind the pilot.

1962 – The Royal Canadian Air Force retires the last Canso flying boat (similar shown) at Downsview, Ontario.

1974 – Death of Sir Wilmot Hudson Fysh, Australian aviator and businessman, World War I flying ace and founder of the Australian airline Qantas.

2012 – A McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet of the U.S. Navy crashes on take-off from Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia Beach, Va. Both crew eject and the aircraft smashes into a block of apartment complexes, but no ground injuries are reported.

Updated: April 6, 2015 — 1:48 AM

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