Today in Aviation History

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  • A U.S. Navy Lockheed P-3 Orion accidentally released a sonobuoy shortly after departure from NAS Jacksonville, Florida, which fell 500 feet (150 m) and crashed through the roof of a home in Mandarin, Florida, coming to rest in a bedroom next to a bed. Resident Marwan Saman said his daughter had just gotten out of that bed about a half hour earlier. The Navy sent an explosives demolition team to retrieve the 3-foot (0.91 m)-long, 40-pound cylinder. No injuries were reported, and the Navy was making arrangements to pay for the damage. A malfunctioning launch tube was theorized for the drop. - Friday 21st May, 2010
  • An Air Force test pilot student is killed when his Northrop T-38A Talon jet trainer crashes N of Edwards Air Force Base, California, ~ nine miles N of the base, near California City. - Thursday 21st May, 2009
  • A Serbian Air Force single-seat SOKO J-22 Orao ground attack aircraft flown by Major Tomas Janik crashed near the village of Baranda. The aircraft that crashed was wearing serial 25114 and was operational with the 241 Fighter-Bomber Aviation Squadron, of 98th Air Base Ladjevci. The flight went well until 1130 hours local time when pilot Major Janik experienced problems with his plane and was forced to eject. The aircraft went down in the vicinity of the village Baranda and was completely destroyed. - Wednesday 21st May, 2008
  • A CH-47D Chinook 87-00102 from B Company, 4–123rd Aviation Regiment crashes in Iraq due to failure of both engines. Five crewmen injured. Helicopter was blown in-place. - Monday 21st May, 2007
  • (21-22) Historic Boeing B-29-95-BW Superfortress, 45-21768, "Kee Bird", of the 46th/72d Reconnaissance Squadrons, abandoned in 1947 and recently restored to flying condition after a number of highly calamitous setbacks, is severely damaged by fire while attempting to take off from a frozen lakebed in Greenland. Its remains are abandoned to sink into the melting ice. - Sunday 21st May, 1995
  • British ground troops begin landing at San Carlos on East Falkland Island, and the Argentinian Air Force begins a seven-day-long bombing campaign again British ships in Falkland Sound and San Carlos Water; it will be the Royal Navy’s largest combat engagement since the end of World War II in August 1945. On the first day, the Argentinians sink the British frigate Ardent but lose 16 aircraft. - Friday 21st May, 1982
  • Ecuadorian Air Force de Havilland Canada DHC-6 crashed into high ground in bad weather with the loss of all 18 on board. - Thursday 21st May, 1981
  • Concorde makes a special trip from New York to Paris to mark the 50th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s historic flight on the same route in the Spirit of St. Louis; the airliner takes just 3 hours, 44 min, compared with Lindbergh’s time of 33 hours, 29 min. - Saturday 21st May, 1977
  • First flight of the Rutan VariEze - Wednesday 21st May, 1975
  • First flight of the Antonov An-26 - Wednesday 21st May, 1969
  • The last flight of an RCAF Harvard was made. - Friday 21st May, 1965
  • Pathet Lao antiaircraft artillery damages a U. S. Navy RF-8 Crusader photographic reconnaissance aircraft over Laos. The RF-8 A, flown by Lieutenant Charles F. Klusmann, burns for 20 min in the air but lands safely aboard the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63). - Thursday 21st May, 1964
  • First Sud-Aviation (Sud-Ouest) SO.9050 Trident II -001, rocket-powered short-range interceptor, is destroyed during a test-flight out of Centre d'Essais en Vol (Flight Test Center) when its highly volatile fuels, Furaline and nitric acid, accidentally mix and explode, killing test pilot Charles Goujon. Project is discontinued following this accident. - Tuesday 21st May, 1957
  • A B-52 Stratofortress drops the US's first air-dropped hydrogen bomb, a 3.75 MT device on Bikini Atoll - Monday 21st May, 1956
  • A Sikorsky S-52 sets a new helicopter altitude record of 21,200 ft (6,468 m). - Saturday 21st May, 1949
  • Royal Dutch Airlines, KLM, inaugurates a scheduled service to New York. It is the first European airline to open post-war flights to New York. - Tuesday 21st May, 1946
  • Entered Service: Avro Lincoln with the Royal Air Force’s Bomber Development Unit - Monday 21st May, 1945
  • Entered Service: Grumman F8 F Bearcat with U. S. Navy Fighter Squadron 19 (VF-19) - Monday 21st May, 1945
  • Northrop XP-61, prototype of the P-61 Black Widow - Thursday 21st May, 1942
  • German airborne forces belatedly capture Maleme airfield on Crete, allowing an airlift of 5,000 German mountain troops to begin. - Wednesday 21st May, 1941
  • The British aircraft carrier HMS Argus flies off 43 Royal Air Force Hawker Hurricanes to Malta from a point south of Sardinia. - Wednesday 21st May, 1941
  • The British aircraft carriers HMS Glorious and HMS Furious fly off Royal Air Force aircraft for service ashore at Bardufoss, Norway, with Glorious delivering the Hurricanes of No. 46 Squadron and Furious the Gladiators of No. 263 Squadron. - Tuesday 21st May, 1940
  • First flight of the Dornier Do 26 - Saturday 21st May, 1938
  • Charles A. Lindbergh landed his Spirit of St. Louis near Paris, completing the first solo airplane flight across the Atlantic Ocean. - Saturday 21st May, 1927
  • A Curtiss bomber and two Curtiss scout aircraft of the Argentine Navy make a flight of just under 500 miles (805 km) along the coast of Argentina from Puerto Militar to Buenos Aires. It is a significant step forward in the development of Argentine aviation. - Monday 21st May, 1923
  • President Woodrow Wilson creates a Bureau of Aircraft Production responsible for aeronautical equipment. - Tuesday 21st May, 1918
  • First flight of the AEA June Bug - Thursday 21st May, 1908
  • Glenn Hammond Curtiss was born in Hammondsport, New York. He became the pioneer of the first years of powered flight and rival of the Wright brothers. - Tuesday 21st May, 1878
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