Today in Aviation History

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  • First flight of the Eurocopter EC175 - Thursday 17th Dec, 2009
  • First flight of the Antonov An-148 - Friday 17th Dec, 2004
  • The 100th anniversary of the first flight of the Wright Brothers in the Wright Flyer is celebrated as the 100th birthday of aviation. - Wednesday 17th Dec, 2003
  • Scaled Composites SpaceShipOne suffered a collapsed landing gear and a runway excursion during a freefall flight prior to its space launches. - Wednesday 17th Dec, 2003
  • Aerosvit Flight 241, a Yakovlev Yak-42, crashes near Thessaloniki, Greece, killing all 70 occupants – 8 crew and 62 passengers. - Wednesday 17th Dec, 1997
  • KLM’s last DC-10 is retired. - Saturday 17th Dec, 1994
  • The C-5 Galaxy sets a national record after taking off with the maximum payload of 920,836 pounds (417,684 kg), setting a U. S. national record. - Saturday 17th Dec, 1994
  • First flight of the NAC Fieldmaster - Thursday 17th Dec, 1981
  • United Airlines Flight 2860, a Douglas DC-8, Jet Trader, crashes in the Wasatch Range in Utah, killing the 3 crew on board. - Saturday 17th Dec, 1977
  • First flight of the McDonnell Douglas DC-9-50 - Tuesday 17th Dec, 1974
  • Pan Am Flight 110, a Boeing 707, is firebombed by Palestinian gunmen while at gate in Rome, Italy, killing 29 of 68 passengers and crew; other gunmen then hijack a Lufthansa Boeing 737 to Athens; in total, 33 die as a result of the firebombing and hijacking. - Monday 17th Dec, 1973
  • The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 comes to an end. The Indian Air Force has lost 72 aircraft and the Pakistani Air Force 94 aircraft. - Friday 17th Dec, 1971
  • The USAF closes Project Blue Book, its 22-year investigation into sightings of unidentified flying objects, or UFOs. - Wednesday 17th Dec, 1969
  • First flight of the Lockheed C-141 Starlifter - Tuesday 17th Dec, 1963
  • First flight of the Moynet Jupiter - Tuesday 17th Dec, 1963
  • 1960 Munich Convair 340 crash: A U. S. Air Force Convair C-131D Samaritan crashes due to fuel contamination shortly after takeoff from Munich-Riem Airport in Munich, West Germany. It crashes in the Ludwigsvorstadt borough of downtown Munich, striking a crowded two-section Munich streetcar. All 20 people on the plane and 32 people on the ground die. - Saturday 17th Dec, 1960
  • The visitor’s center at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, is dedicated on the 57th anniversary of the Wright Flyer‘s first flight in 1903. - Saturday 17th Dec, 1960
  • First flight of the Grumman E-1 Tracer - Monday 17th Dec, 1956
  • The 1,000th Wichita-built Boeing B-47 Stratojet is delivered to the Strategic Air Command. - Friday 17th Dec, 1954
  • President Dwight D. Eisenhower presents James H. “Dutch” Kindleberger and the North American Aviation North American F-100 Super Sabre design team with the Collier Trophy in recognition of their contributions to aviation. - Friday 17th Dec, 1954
  • A USAF Boeing B-29 Superfortress, 44-87741, built as a B-29-90-BW, making an emergency landing at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, failed to reach the runway and crashed into an officers housing area at the base, demolishing ten homes and damaging three more. Nine of sixteen crew were killed, as were seven on the ground – an officer, his wife, and five children. - Thursday 17th Dec, 1953
  • The F-86 Sabre begins operations in Korea - Sunday 17th Dec, 1950
  • First flight of the Boeing B-47 Stratojet - Wednesday 17th Dec, 1947
  • U. S. Army Air Forces Major Richard Bong scores his 40th and final aerial victory, enough to make him the top-scoring American ace of World War II. He has made all of his kills flying the Lockheed P-38 Lightning. - Sunday 17th Dec, 1944
  • For the first time, the Cape Torokina airstrip on Bougainville is used to stage the first Air Solomons (AirSols) raid on Rabaul. - Friday 17th Dec, 1943
  • A U. S. Army Air Forces reconnaissance and bombing raid on Amchitka in the Aluetian Islands destroys every building in the deserted Aleut village there, although no Japanese are on the island. - Thursday 17th Dec, 1942
  • (17-20) All surviving Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bombers of the United States Army Air Force‘s Far East Air Force are withdrawn from the Philippine Islands to Australia. All other Far Eastern Air Force aircraft are destroyed or captured by the Japanese. - Wednesday 17th Dec, 1941
  • A Yokosuka E14Y floatplane (Allied reporting name “Glen”) launched by the Japanese submarine I-7 conducts a post-strike reconnaissance flight over Pearl Harbor. It is the E14Y’s combat debut. - Wednesday 17th Dec, 1941
  • Aircraft from HMS Audacity (D10) damage the German submarine U-131 so badly that her crew later scuttles her. It is the first time that escort aircraft carrier-based aircraft contribute to the sinking of a submarine. - Wednesday 17th Dec, 1941
  • In the Philippine Islands, United States Army Air Forces Curtiss P-40 Warhawk pilot Lieutenant Colonel Boyd Wagner shoots down his fifth Japanese plane near Vigan, becoming the first American ace of World War II. - Wednesday 17th Dec, 1941
  • UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand sign an agreement at Ottawa to set up the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan in Canada for the training of aircrew. The Plan was to be administered and organized by the RCAF. - Sunday 17th Dec, 1939
  • The Douglas DC-3, one of the most successful airliners of all time, makes its first flight - Tuesday 17th Dec, 1935
  • First flight of the Handley Page Type O - Sunday 17th Dec, 1916
  • The Wright Brothers make four flights in their Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. After years of dedicated research and development, the brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright fly 120 feet (37 m)) in the first practical aeroplane. This may be the first controlled powered heavier-than-air flight and the first photographed powered heavier-than-air flight. On their fourth flight they manage 850 feet (260 m). - Thursday 17th Dec, 1903
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