On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1896 – Birth of Saint Cyprian Churchill Tayler, British World War I flying ace.

1937 – First flight of the Fiat G.50 Arrow, a World War II Italian fighter and Italy’s first single-seat, all-metal monoplane with an enclosed cockpit and retractable landing gear to go into production.

1941 – Philippine Airlines is founded, making it Asia’s first and oldest carrier, to this day still operating under its original name.

1943 – German World War II night fighter ace Ludwig Becker (shown above) is shot down and killed over the North Sea during a daytime mission against U. S. Army Eighth Air Force B-17 Flying Fortress bombers, the third of three top German night aces to die during the month. Like Reinhold Knacke and Paul Gildner, his night score stands at 44 when he dies; he is credited with 46 kills overall. The three men had been the second-, third-, and fourth-ranking German night aces.

1979 – Production of the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk ends after 26 years, with the delivery of the 2,690th and final aircraft to the U.S. Marine Corps.

2004 – A Beechcraft Super King Air 200 operated by the Republic of Macedonia crashed in thick fog and heavy rain on a mountainside in southeastern Herzegovina. Among the victims was Boris Trajkovski, president and supreme commander-in-chief of the Republic of Macedonia.

Updated: February 26, 2013 — 4:42 PM
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