On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1871 – Birth of Carlo Piazza, early Italian aviator; he later flies the world’s first aerial reconnaissance mission in a Bleriot XI.

1924 – A quartet of Douglas World Cruisers, built for the U. S. Army Air Service, leave Santa Monica, Calif., on the first leg of a flight around the world. The DWC is a modified version of the DT-2 torpedo bomber Douglas had built for the U.S. Navy.

1927 – The first night aerial crossing of the South Atlantic is made by Portuguese José Manuel Sarmento de Beires with a Dornier Do J Wal seaplane named “Argos” from Portuguese Guinea to Brazil.

1947 – First flight of the North American B-45 Tornado (shown), the U.S. Air Force’s first operational jet bomber and the first jet aircraft to be refueled in the air.

1977 – Death of Hans Wolfgang von Gronau, German glider pilot and aviation pioneer.

1994 – A Lockheed C-130E Hercules of the Iranian Air Force, carrying Iranian embassy personnel from Moscow to Tehran, is shot down by Armenian military forces near the city of Stepanakert in Nagorno-Karabakh; all 32 are killed.

Updated: March 17, 2014 — 8:48 AM
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