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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1903 – Birth of Maximilien “Max” Conrad, known as the “Flying Grandfather”, American record-setting aviator.

1911 – U.S. Army Lt. Col. Paul Ward Beck sends the first wireless-telephonic message from an airplane, a Wright biplane flying over Selfridge Field northeast of Detroit, Mich.

1930 – First complete airport lighting system online at Calgary Municipal Airport in Refrew, Alta., Canada.

1944 – German World War II ace Hauptmann Manfred Meurer is killed when his Heinkel He 219 night fighter collides with a British Lancaster bomber over Magdeburg, Germany. He has 65 kills at the time of his death.

1951 – The U. S. Air Force F-84 Thunderjet makes its first kill, when F-84 pilot Lieutenant Colonel William E. Bertram shoots down a MiG-15 during the Korean War.

1970 – The Boeing 747 makes its first commercial flight from New York to London for Pan Am.

1987 – American triathlete Lois McCallin, in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Michelob Light Eagle human-powered aircraft, sets straight-line and closed circuit world distance records and the world duration record for women at 4.25 miles, 9.59 miles, and 37 minutes, 38 seconds, respectively.

1996 – Death of Kaj Birksted, World War II Danish Flying ace serving with the Royal Air Force.

Updated: January 21, 2013 — 12:11 PM

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