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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1887 – Birth of Georges Pierre Blanc, French World War I flying ace.

1916 – First American pilot to be shot down, Horace Clyde Balsley of the Lafayette Escadrille, is wounded and survives the engagement.

1928 – A Latham 47 – a French twin-engine biplane flying boat piloted by René Cyprien Guilbaud – carrying Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen and five others on a flight to search for survivors of the Italian airship “Italia” disappears. No bodies are recovered.

1953 – René Paul Fonck, a French aviator who ended World War I as the top Allied fighter ace, dies; when all succeeding conflicts also are considered, Fonck still holds the title of “all-time Allied Ace of Aces.”

1981 – First flight of the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk (shown above), best known as the world’s first stealth fighter.

2011 –The first transatlantic biofuel flight is made by a Gulfstream G-450 from Morristown N.J. to Le Bourget (France).

Updated: June 18, 2013 — 11:14 AM

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