On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1863 – Birth of Léon Levavasseur, French powerplant engineer, aircraft designer and inventor; his innovations will include the V8 engine, direct fuel injection, and evaporative engine cooling.

1948 – First flight of the Lavochkin La-15, an early Soviet jet fighter and contemporary of the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15.

1950 – Last flight of the Sud-Ouest SO 8000 Narval, a French prototype carrier-based fighter.

1982 – The Airbus A300 becomes the world’s first wide-bodied airliner to be certified for operation by a flight crew of two.

1987 – Death of Christian Frank Schilt, one of the first U.S. Marine Corps aviators who served in World War I, World War II and the Korean War.

1996 – An Air Africa Antonov An-32B plows into Kinshasa’s Simbazikita street market after a failed takeoff from N’Dolo Airport in Kinshasa, Congo. Three-hundred estimated fatalities occur, (including two on board the aircraft), and 253 are seriously injured.

Updated: January 8, 2015 — 9:00 PM
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