On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1888 – Birth of Maurice Jean-Paul Boyau, French rugby union player, World War I flying ace and one of the most successful balloon busters.

1914 – A civilian pilot, René Caudron, makes the first French shipboard takeoff in an airplane, from a ramp constructed over the foredeck of the seaplane carrier Foudre, using a Caudron G.3 amphibian (shown).

1942 – World War II German fighter ace Adolf Dickfeld scores 11 kills.

1945 – First flight of the Yokosuka R2Y Keiun, a Japanese prototype reconnaissance aircraft prototype with coupled engines driving a single propeller and a tricycle undercarriage.

1975 – The second prototype of the General Dynamics YF-16A Fighting Falcon, on practice flight prior to deployment for the Paris Air Show, suffers failure of main undercarriage leg to extend. Test pilot Neil Anderson flies aircraft until fuel is nearly exhausted then makes expert grass belly-landing at Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, Texas. Aircraft is not heavily damaged and pilot is uninjured; it is the first F-16 mishap.

1983 – Death of James Andrew Healy, American World War I flying ace and World War II officer; he was a technical advisor for the movie “Wings.”

Updated: May 8, 2014 — 12:17 PM
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