On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1868 – Birth of John Bevins Moisant, American aviator. He designed, built and flew the first metal aircraft, an experimental aluminium plane, in 1909.

1940 – Hermann Förster is the first German night fighter pilot to shoot down a British bomber during World War II. Flying a Messerschmitt Bf 109D-1, he downs a Handley Page Hampden laying naval mines off the coast of Schleswig-Holstein.

1966 – Death of Corrado Gex, Italian aviator, politician and first pilot authorized to land on a glacier; he was killed in the crash of his Pilatus Porter while attempting to land near Castelnuovo di Ceva in Italy.

1972 – Hans-Werner Grosse sets a sailplane distance record of 908 miles in a Schleicher ASW 12.

1980 – A contingent of American military aircraft embarked on a commando raid April 24, known as Operation Eagle Claw, to rescue a group of American hostages held by Iran. On April 25, a U.S. Marine Corps Sikorsky RH-53D Sea Stallion (shown above) and a U.S. Air Force Lockheed EC-130E Hercules collide during an evacuation effort; eight servicemen are killed and five other Sea Stallions are abandoned at the site.

2009 – First flight of the Boeing P-8 Poseidon, a modified 737-800 with an anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare role.

Updated: April 25, 2013 — 12:07 PM
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