On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1896 – Birth of Marcel Emile Haegelen, a French World War I fighter ace, test pilot for Hanriot, record setter and World War II fighter pilot.

1906 – Alberto Santos-Dumont successfully flies his Santos-Dumont 14-bis aircraft at Château de Bagatelle, for the first time.

1935 – First flight of the Hughes H-1, an American racing aircraft (shown above); pilot Howard Hughes achieves an airspeed record of 352 mph over his test course near Santa Anna, Calif., but crash-lands it.

1942 – Soviet fighter pilot Lydia Vladimirovna Litvyak becomes the first female to shoot down an enemy airplane, a Junkers Ju 88, with her Lavockin La-5; she eventually becomes an ace.

1985 – U.S. Air Force Maj. Wilbert D. “Doug” Pearson, flying a McDonnell Douglas F-15A Eagle, launches an ASM-135 ASAT anti-satellite missile about 200 miles west of Vandenberg Air Force Base. The ASAT destroys the target, a Solwind P78-1 satellite flying at an altitude of 345 miles, following a zoom climb maneuver by Pearson at 38,100 feet and an automatic launch.

1997 – A Luftwaffe Tupolev TU-154M collides in mid-air with a U.S. Air Force Lockheed C-141B Starlifter off the Namibian coast, killing all 33 on both military transports.

Updated: September 13, 2013 — 11:03 AM
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