Today in Aviation History

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  • Launch of GPS IIF-2, GPS satellite. - Saturday 16th Jul, 2011
  • N350AN, a Boeing 767-323ER operated by American Airlines, is substantially damaged when the nosewheel collapses on the ground at Fort Worth Alliance Airport, United States, during post-maintenance checks. - Thursday 16th Jul, 2009
  • A Pakistan Air Force Lockheed Martin F-16A Block 15AQ OCU Fighting Falcon, 92729, ex-92-0405, on a routine night training exercise from No. 9 Squadron from Mushaf Airbase crashes 105 km south-west of Sargodha, Pakistan resulting in the death of the pilot, Squadron Leader Saud Ghulam Nabi. Another source gives the accident date as 17 July. - Thursday 16th Jul, 2009
  • A US F-16, serial 92-3901, from the 35th FW crashed. The pilot survived. The crash was attributed to under-inflation of the landing gear tires. - Monday 16th Jul, 2007
  • An Equatorial Express Antonov An-24 crashes into a mountain side near Baney, Equatorial Guinea; all 60 on board die. - Saturday 16th Jul, 2005
  • Death of Major General Charles W. Sweeney, USAAF WWII pilot and the pilot who flew the "Fat Man" atomic bomb to Nagasaki. - Friday 16th Jul, 2004
  • Bristow Helicopters Sikorsky S-76 A crash: G-BJVX, a commercial Sikorsky S-76 A helicopter operated by Norwich-based Bristow Helicopters, crashed in the southern North Sea while it was making a ten minute flight between the gas production platform Clipper and the drilling rig Global Santa Fe Monarch, after which it was to return to Norwich Airport. The accident caused the death of all those on board (two crew members and nine Shell workers as passengers). The body of the eleventh man has never been recovered. - Tuesday 16th Jul, 2002
  • John F. Kennedy, Jr. plane crash: A Piper Saratoga piloted by John F. Kennedy, Jr. – The son of President John F. Kennedy – crashes into the Atlantic Ocean off Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, killing all three people on board: Kennedy, his wife Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, and her sister, Lauren Bessette. - Friday 16th Jul, 1999
  • European air traffic is halted due to industrial action by French air traffic controllers. - Sunday 16th Jul, 1989
  • Launch of Soyuz T-15, Soviet manned mission to both space stations Mir and Salyut 7. - Wednesday 16th Jul, 1986
  • The Atlas Cheetah, fighter aircraft built as a major upgrade of the Dassault Mirage III by the Atlas Aircraft Corporation (later Denel Aviation) of South Africa, is First unveiled. - Wednesday 16th Jul, 1986
  • F-86 Sabre sets world aircraft speed record of 1152 kph (716 mph). - Tuesday 16th Jul, 1985
  • A British Airways Sikorsky S-61 helicopter crashes into the sea off the Isles of Scilly; 20 of 26 people on board die, in the worst helicopter accident in the United Kingdom to this date and sparking a review of helicopter safety. - Saturday 16th Jul, 1983
  • First flight of the Aerospatiale Corvette - Thursday 16th Jul, 1970
  • Apollo 11 blasted off from Cape Kennedy, Fla., on the first manned mission to the surface of the moon. - Wednesday 16th Jul, 1969
  • First launch of the Proton, expendable launch system used for both commercial and Russian government space launches. - Friday 16th Jul, 1965
  • First flight of the North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco, an American twin-turboprop light attack and observation aircraft. - Friday 16th Jul, 1965
  • NASA civilian Test pilot Joseph A Walker takes X-15 to 32,600 m. - Monday 16th Jul, 1962
  • KLM Flight 844, a Lockheed Super Constellation, crashes after takeoff from Biak-Mokmer Airport, Indonesia, killing 58 of 68 on board. - Tuesday 16th Jul, 1957
  • First Flights: Aerotecnica AC-14 - Tuesday 16th Jul, 1957
  • Flying a Vought F8U-1P Crusader photographic reconnaissance aircraft, United States Marine Corps Major John H. Glenn sets a North American transcontinental speed record, flying from Los Alamitos, California, to Floyd Bennett Field in New York City nonstop in 3 hours, 28 min, 50 seconds, at an average speed of 723.517 mph (1,165.084 km/hr) with three aerial refuelings. - Tuesday 16th Jul, 1957
  • First flight of The Lavochkin La-250 "Anakonda", Soviet high-altitude interceptor aircraft prototype. - Monday 16th Jul, 1956
  • Canadian fighter pilots, flying Sabre Mk.Vs, participated in Exercise “Dividend” in the skies over Great Britain to test the British air defence system. - Friday 16th Jul, 1954
  • USAF Lieutenant Colonel W. F. Barnes, flying a North American F86D Sabre, sets the world's first speed record over 700mph - Thursday 16th Jul, 1953
  • First flight of the Iberavia I-11 EC-AFE (Or Iberavia I-11), Spanish low-wing monoplane of conventional configuration with fixed, tricycle undercarriage and a large, bubble canopy over the two side-by-side seats. - Monday 16th Jul, 1951
  • Okinawa-based U. S. Navy PB4Y-2 Privateers of Patrol Squadron 28 (VP-28) begin patrols of the coast of the People’s Republic of China. - Sunday 16th Jul, 1950
  • Birth of Valery Yevgenyevich Maksimenko, Soviet Air Force Test Pilot. - Sunday 16th Jul, 1950
  • First flight of the Boisavia Chablis, French 2-seat high wing monoplane light sport aircraft prototype - Sunday 16th Jul, 1950
  • First flight of the Vickers Viscount - Friday 16th Jul, 1948
  • Catalina seaplane Miss Macao (VR-HDT), operated by a Cathay Pacific subsidiary, with 23 passengers and 3 crew on board flying from Macau to Hong Kong is hijacked mid-way over the Pearl River Delta by a group of 4 hijackers attempting to rob the passengers on board. The pilot is attacked and the aircraft loses control during the ensuing struggle in the cockpit. The subsequent crash kills all on board except one passenger, who was later identified to be the lead hijacker. This is the first known case of airliner hijack. - Friday 16th Jul, 1948
  • Geoffrey Tyson test-pilots the Saunders-Roe SR.A/1 TG263, the first jet fighter to be modified as a flying boat. - Wednesday 16th Jul, 1947
  • 471 B-29 s drop 3,678 tons (3,336,660 kg) of bombs on Numazu and other cities in Japan. - Monday 16th Jul, 1945
  • First atomic weapon is successfully detonated at the Trinity test site at Alamogordo in New Mexico, USA. - Monday 16th Jul, 1945
  • Royal Navy Vought Corsair I out of NAS Brunswick, Maine, is destroyed when it flies into Sebago Lake near Raymond, Maine; crew condition unknown. - Sunday 16th Jul, 1944
  • An Italian torpedo bomber damages the British aircraft carrier HMS Indomitable off Cape Passero, forcing her to proceed to Gibraltar for repairs. - Friday 16th Jul, 1943
  • The Hillson Bi-mono, British experimental aircraft designed to test the idea of "slip-wings", where the aircraft could take off as a biplane, jettison the upper, disposable wing, and continue flying as a monoplane, successfully dropped over the Irish Sea the upper wing with no great change in trim and a few hundred feet in altitude being lost - Wednesday 16th Jul, 1941
  • Death of Kathe Paulus, German Balloonist, aerobatic pilot and early parachute designer. - Tuesday 16th Jul, 1935
  • Death of Kurt Wahmke, German Rocket pioneer, along with 2 technicians, when the chamber exploded during a test. First and only deaths of technicians in the history of German rocket development - Monday 16th Jul, 1934
  • Birth of Francis Herbert Goldsborough, American aviator who held the junior transcontinental air speed record, dying from wounds after His plane crashed in Vermont the day before. - Wednesday 16th Jul, 1930
  • Transcontinental and Western Air (TWA) is formed when Transcontinental Air Transport and Western Air Express merge. - Wednesday 16th Jul, 1930
  • July 16-August 8, the second International Tourist Aircraft Contest Challenge 1930 in Berlin, won by the German crew of Fritz Morzik on the BFW M.23 plane. - Wednesday 16th Jul, 1930
  • Ernie Smith and Emory Bronte complete the first civilian non-stop flight from North America to the Hawaiian Islands when their Travel Air monoplane, the City of Oakland, crashes on Molokai after a flight from Oakland, California. They survive the crash. - Saturday 16th Jul, 1927
  • Early example of a production Fokker D.XIII is used to set four new world airspeed records: the airspeed record for carrying a 500 kg/1,102 lb payload (265.7 km/h or 165.7 mph), the record for carrying the same payload over a distance of 200 km (264.2 km/h or 164.7 mph), at the same time setting the same records for carrying a 250 kg (551 lb) payload. - Thursday 16th Jul, 1925
  • At Hampton Roads, Virginia, the United States Navy’s only balloon ship, the lighter-than-air craft tender USS Wright (AZ-1), flies her balloon for the last time. She soon is rebuilt as a seaplane tender (AV-1) with no balloon capability. - Sunday 16th Jul, 1922
  • First flight of the Avro 552, a British light biplane aircraft, Evolution of the AVro 504. - Saturday 16th Jul, 1921
  • Cambridge wins the first air race between Oxford and Cambridge universities, using S. E. 5 as. airplanes. - Saturday 16th Jul, 1921
  • First flight of the Bleriot-SPAD S.34 - Friday 16th Jul, 1920
  • Death of Awdry Morris "Bunny" Vaucour, British WWI flying ace, Killed in a "friendly fire" incident, when an Italian Hanriot pilot shot his Sopwith Camel. - Tuesday 16th Jul, 1918
  • Death of Hans Kirschstein, German WWI fighter ace, killed in a crash on a return flight from Fismes in a Hannover CL.II piloted by Leutnant Johannes Markgraf - Tuesday 16th Jul, 1918
  • Death of Andre Jean Louis Barcat, French WWI flying ace, killed in action. - Tuesday 16th Jul, 1918
  • Death of Lionel Arthur Ashfield, British WWI flying ace, killed in his Airco de Havilland DH.4 along with his Observer, Irish Maurice Graham English. - Tuesday 16th Jul, 1918
  • Death of Fritz Krebs, German WWI flying ace, killed in action - Monday 16th Jul, 1917
  • Naval torpedo launched from an airplane patents by B A Fiske. - Tuesday 16th Jul, 1912
  • The LZ 10 Schwaben enters commercial service. It will go on to become the first commercially successful passenger aircraft. - Sunday 16th Jul, 1911
  • First flight of The Duigan pusher biplane (or often simply the Duigan biplane), unnamed early aircraft which made the First powered flight by an Australian-designed and -built machine. - Saturday 16th Jul, 1910
  • Birth of Jacques Toussaint Francois Ortoli, French WWI flying ace who also served in WWII. - Tuesday 16th Jul, 1895
  • - Saturday 16th Jul, 1892
  • Birth of Walter Edwin Lees, early American aviator and record setter. - Saturday 16th Jul, 1887
  • Birth of Aldo Corazza, Italian aviation pioneer and early aircraft designer. - Tuesday 16th Jul, 1878
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