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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1871 – Birth of Orville Wright, American co-inventor, with brother Wilbur, of the first airplane to achieve powered, sustained, and controlled flight and the first fully practical powered airplane.

1918 – A U.S. Navy Curtiss 18-T-1 triplane flown by Curtiss test pilot Roland Rholfs establishes a world speed record of 163 mph carrying a load of 1,076 pounds.

1940 – The first combat mission of the Imperial Japanese Navy’s Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter takes place, as 12 Zeroes escort 54 Mitsubishi G3M bombers over Chungking, but no Chinese aircraft rise to meet them.

1944 – Death of Yoshimitsu Naka, Japanese World War II night flying ace, killed in action.

1980 – First flight of the Boeing-Vertol Model 234LR (shown), a long-range, commercial transport version of the CH-47 Chinook.

2002 – A Russian Mil Mi-26 helicopter carrying troops is hit by a Chechen missile outside of Grozny, killing 118 soldiers.

Updated: August 19, 2015 — 12:43 AM

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