On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1892 – Birth of Gabriel Fernand Charles Guérin, French World War I fighter ace.

1915 – Royal Flying Corps Capt. Lanoe Hawker becomes the first British military aviator to earn the Victoria Cross when he defeats three German two-seat observation aircraft in one day over the Western Front during World War I.

1939 – A Deutsche Lufthansa Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor (shown above) takes off from Berlin, Germany, to Bangkok, Thailand, inaugurating a regular service.

1985 – Thomas Frederic Williams, Canadian World War I fighter ace and barnstormer, dies at 99; he also was a founder of the Royal Canadian Air Force, chief test pilot for Fleet Aircraft Co., aerobatic pilot and author.

2000 – Air France Flight 4590, flown by Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde F-BTSC, catches fire after takeoff, crashing and killing all 100 passengers, nine crew and four people on the ground, at Gonesse, France. While it is the only fatal crash of a Concorde, it marked the beginning of the end for the supersonic airliner.

2009 – Celebrating the first cross-English Channel flight 100 years after Louis Blériot’s historic journey, Frenchman Edmond Salis makes the trip in a Bleriot XI replica.

Updated: July 25, 2013 — 11:58 AM
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