On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1879 – Birth of Claude Grahame White, English aviation pioneer and the first to make a night flight; he also founded Grahame-White Aviation Co.

1929 – Nicholas B. “Nick” Mamer and and Arthur Walker lands in Spokane, Wash., after a 120-hour flight using inflight refueling to make the distance from Spokane to San Francisco, New York City and back with their Buhl Airsedan biplane “Spokane Sun God.”

1944 – First flight of the Grumman F8F Bearcat (shown above), an American single-engined naval aircraft and Grumman’s last piston-powered fighter.

1963 – An Aeroflot Tupolev Tu-124 ditches in the Neva river in Leningrad after engine failure; there were no fatalities among the 52 on board, but the aircraft is destroyed.

1998 – Laima, a Phase 1 Aerosonde, completes a 2,031-mile flight across the Atlantic Ocean from Newfoundland, Canada, to Benbecula, an island off the coast of Scotland, in just over 26 hours in the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by a unmanned aerial vehicle.

2007 – Death of Caroline Aigle, the first woman fighter pilot in the French Air Force.

Updated: August 21, 2013 — 11:03 AM
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