On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1894 – Birth of Jacques Michael Swaab, American World War I flying ace; he later worked in the Hollywood film industry and was the technical advisor on “The Dawn Patrol.”

1928 – Sir (George) Hubert Wilkins and his pilot Carl Ben Eielson complete the first ever crossing of the Arctic by airplane from Point Barrow, Alaska, to Spitsbergen in a Lockheed Vega.

1945 – A Canadian Sikorsky R-4 becomes the first helicopter to rescue a downed crew in the Arctic.

1951 – First flight of the Chase XC-123A (shown), the first jet transport to fly in the U.S. and the first to fly with pod-mounted engines.

1958 – A mid-air Collision near Las Vegas, Nev., between United Air Lines Flight 736, a Douglas DC-7, and a U.S. Air Force North American F-100F Super Sabre, kills all 49 aboard both aircraft.

2006 – Death of John “Johnny” Milne Checketts, New Zealand World War II fighter ace; he was responsible for introducing the de Havilland Vampire to form the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s first jet squadron.

Updated: April 21, 2014 — 1:20 PM
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