On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1852 – French engineer Henri Giffard flies the first powered and manned airship. Motivated by a steam engine and propeller, the airship flies at about 5 mph and covers 17 miles from Paris to Trappes, France. The craft marks the beginning of the practical airship.

1920 – Birth of Richard Ira “Dick” Bong, highest-scoring U.S. fighter ace; he downed 40 Japanese aircraft during World War II, all with the Lockheed P-38 Lightning.

1943 – Ernst Jachmann completes an endurance flight of 55 hours and 51 minutes in a thermal with his single-seat glider.

1975 – Death of René Thomas, French motor racing champion and pioneer aviator; he was one of the first two pilots involved in a mid-air collision in 1910.

1998 – First flight of the Beriev Be-200 Altair (shown above), a Russian multipurpose amphibious aircraft designed for fire fighting, search and rescue, maritime patrol, cargo and passenger transportation.

2001 – Just 13 days after 9/11, US Airways terminates all flights from MetroJet, its low-cost career division; it was launched in 1998.

Updated: September 24, 2013 — 12:08 PM
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