On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1886 – Henry Harley “Hap” Arnold, American aviation pioneer, is born. He becomes chief of the U.S. Army Air Corps (1938–1941), commanding general of the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II, the only USAF general to hold five-star rank and the only person to hold a five-star rank in two different U.S. military services.

1919 – The world’s most modern airliner, the Junkers F-13, makes its first flight at Dessau, Germany. It is made entirely of metal, with a strong, corrugated outer skin and cantilever wing structure, without struts or bracing wires.

1935 – U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant Richard L. Burke sets a world seaplane speed record carrying a 1,102-lb. load over a 62-mile course at an average speed of 174 mph in a Grumman JF-2 Duck (shown above).

1950 – Israeli airline El Al begins service.

1980 – Death of Andrew King Cowper, Australian World War I flying ace who served the Royal Australian Air Force in World War II.

1997 – Third U.S. Air Force Academy Slingsby T-3A Firefly crash in 28 months kills a student and his instructor; although the Academy continues to fly the type, another incident in which the T-3 engine quits in-flight – forcing a dead-stick landing at the airfield – finally leads to USAF to ground the design in July. The fleet is eventually scrapped.

Updated: June 25, 2013 — 11:41 AM
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