On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1921 – Birth of Pierre Clostermann, a highly decorated French World War II flying ace, author, engineer, politician and sport fisherman.

1931 – Imperial Airways begins scheduled services between England and Africa using Armstrong Whitworth Argosys (shown).

1947 – U. S. Army Air Forces Capt. Robert E. Thacker and Lt. John M. Ard fly a North American P-82B Twin Mustang named “Betty Jo” on the longest nonstop flight without aerial refueling by a fighter aircraft almost 5,000 miles from Hickam Field in Hawaii to La Guardia Field in New York City. It’s also the fastest flight between those points and the trip takes 14 hours, 31 mins., at an average speed of 342 mph. It remains both the longest non-stop flight by a piston-engined fighter and the fastest Hawaii-to-New York City flight by a piston-engined aircraft in history.

1949 – First flight of the Dassault Ouragan, the first French-designed jet fighter-bomber.

2000 – Death of Wladyslaw Gnys, Polish World War II flying ace and probably the first Allied victor in aerial combat in that conflict.

2013 – The U.S. Defense Department announces that its Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fleet, grounded since Feb. 22, will resume flying after an investigation determines that a cracked engine blade found in a U.S. Air Force F-35A was due to unique circumstances and is not a fleet wide problem.

Updated: February 28, 2014 — 11:07 AM
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