Today in Aviation History

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  • Two UK Royal Air Force Panavia Tornado GR4s crashed in Moray Firth, Scotland. - Tuesday 3rd Jul, 2012
  • 2009 Pakistan Army Mil Mi-17 crash: A Mil Mi-17 operated by the Pakistan Army crashes in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, killing all 43 people on board. - Friday 3rd Jul, 2009
  • A Belgian Air Component Piper L-21B Super Cub crashes on take-off at Goetsenhoven Military Airfield, Flanders, Belgium killing the 2 crew. The aircraft which was used as a gilder-tug collided with a nearby hangar, crashing into a field and caught fire. - Friday 3rd Jul, 2009
  • A Fuerza Aerea Argentina Dassault Aviation Mirage III from Grupo 6 de Caza based at Tandil Airport, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina crashed into open countryside near Benito Juarez and the pilot successfully ejected from the aircraft. - Friday 3rd Jul, 2009
  • First flight of the Cirrus Vision SF50 - Thursday 3rd Jul, 2008
  • Death of Andriyan Grigoryevich Nikolayev, Soviet pilot and cosmonaut. - Saturday 3rd Jul, 2004
  • Steve Fossett completes round-the-world balloon flight, landing after 14 days, 19hrs. He broke three balloon records along the way; fastest time around the world (13 days, 3 mins), longest distance flown solo (20,483.25 mi; 32,963.35 km), and longest time flown solo (355 hrs, 50 min). - Wednesday 3rd Jul, 2002
  • Launch of The Comet Nucleus TOUR (CONTOUR), NASA Discovery-class space probe. - Wednesday 3rd Jul, 2002
  • Vladivostok Air Flight 352, a Tupolev Tu-154 belonging to Vladivostok Air crashed while attempting to land in Irkutsk, Russia, killing all 145 people aboard. - Tuesday 3rd Jul, 2001
  • inan Island incident – More than 3 months after its emergency landing at Lingshui airbase in China, the US Navy EP3E Aries III is air freighted back to America on a chartered Russian Antonov An-124-100. The Chinese Government insist that a civilian aircraft be used to remove the aircraft. - Tuesday 3rd Jul, 2001
  • Launch of Nozomi (spacecraft), Japanese space probe designed to study the upper Martian atmosphere and its interaction with the solar wind and to develop technologies for use in future planetary missions. - Friday 3rd Jul, 1998
  • Iran Air Flight 655, an Airbus A300, is shot down over Iranian waters by the missile cruiser USS Vincennes; all 290 people on board are killed. - Sunday 3rd Jul, 1988
  • 2 men, Per Lindstrand and Richard Branson, became First hot-air balloon travelers to cross Atlantic. Their balloon, at the time, is the largest ever flown at 2.3 million cubic feet of capacity. - Friday 3rd Jul, 1987
  • Air Florida suspends all their flights after going bankrupt. - Tuesday 3rd Jul, 1984
  • Death of William Ellsworth Kepner, US Army, US Army Air Corps, pioneer balloonist and airship pilot. WWII high-ranking officer, he flew some missions in Bombers and fighters. - Saturday 3rd Jul, 1982
  • First flight of The prototype General Dynamics F-16XL, derivative of the F-16 Fighting Falcon, with a cranked arrow delta wing, similar in appearance to the wing planform of the earlier Saab 35 Draken from Sweden, that is over twice the size of that of the standard F-16 wing. - Saturday 3rd Jul, 1982
  • Operation Entebbe: 3 Israeli Air Force C-130 Hercules carry commandos to Entebbe, Uganda to rescue the 258 passengers of an Air France Airbus hijacked. - Saturday 3rd Jul, 1976
  • Three Israeli Air Force C-130 Hercules carry commandos to Entebbe, Uganda to rescue the 258 passengers of an Air France Airbus hijacked six days earlier - Saturday 3rd Jul, 1976
  • Launch of Soyuz 14, Soviet manned spaceflight to the Salyut 3 space station - Wednesday 3rd Jul, 1974
  • Death of Laurens Hammond, American engineer and inventor (most famously, the Hammond organ, the Hammond Clock, and the world's First polyphonic musical synthesizer, the Novachord). In WWII he helped design guided missile controls and was awarded patents for infrared and light sensing devices for bomb guidance, glide bomb controls, a camera shutter and a new type of gyroscope. - Tuesday 3rd Jul, 1973
  • Toa Domestic Airlines Flight 533, a NAMC YS-11, hits Yokotsudake (Yokotsu Mountain) near Hakodate Airport, Hokkaid?, Japan, killing all 68 passengers and crew in the worst ever disaster involving the YS-11. - Saturday 3rd Jul, 1971
  • The 1970 Dan-Air de Havilland Comet crash takes place near Girona, Spain due to a navigation error, killing all 112 on board. - Friday 3rd Jul, 1970
  • The Canadian Armed Forces decommission Canada’s last aircraft carrier, HMCS Bonaventure (CVL 22), at Halifax, Nova Scotia. - Friday 3rd Jul, 1970
  • In the 1968 BKS Air Transport Heathrow crash, an Airspeed Ambassador freight aircraft experiences metal fatigue and crashes while landing, striking two unoccupied British European Airways airliners. Six of the freighter's crew of eight are killed, as are eight racehorses being transported. All Airspeed Ambassadors are grounded until a redesign strengthens the flaps. One of the BEA aircraft is repaired but is lost in the 1972 Staines air disaster. - Wednesday 3rd Jul, 1968
  • The Peruvian Navy reestablishes a naval arm, Peruvian Naval Aviation. - Wednesday 3rd Jul, 1963
  • New Zealand National Airways Corporation Flight 441, a Douglas DC-3 Skyliner flying from Whenuapai Airport, Auckland to Tauranga, crashes into the Kaimai Ranges; all 23 aboard die, making it the worst air disaster in mainland New Zealand to date. - Wednesday 3rd Jul, 1963
  • No. 425 Squadron, the first RCAF Squadron to be equipped with McDonnell CF-101 Voodoo fighters, was moved to its permanent station at Bagotville, after re-equipping at Namao, AB. - Tuesday 3rd Jul, 1962
  • First tethered flight by the Rolls-Royce Thrust Measuring Rig VTOL aircraft - Friday 3rd Jul, 1953
  • First flight of the Yakovlev Yak-24 twin engine tandem helicopter - Thursday 3rd Jul, 1952
  • Female members of the Royal Canadian Air Force are the first military women to train with the post-war Canadian military when they enter the RCAF Manning Depot at St. Jean, Quebec. - Tuesday 3rd Jul, 1951
  • United States Navy Lieutenant junior grade John K. Koelsch and his crewman, Aviation Mate Third Class George M. Neal, are shot down in an HO3 S helicopter by enemy ground fire while trying to rescue United States Marine Corps Captain James V. Wilkins, who had been shot down behind enemy lines and was badly burned. Koelsch and Neal rig a litter to carry Wilkins out of the area, but eventually are captured on July 12, and Koelsch dies on October 16, 1951, while in captivity. For his actions, Koelsch posthumously becomes the first helicopter pilot to receive the Medal of Honor. - Tuesday 3rd Jul, 1951
  • F9 F Panther's of VF-51 flying from USS Valley Forge become the first US jet fighters to go into combat. A North Korean Yak-9 is shot down. - Monday 3rd Jul, 1950
  • Supermarine Seafires of 800 Naval Air Squadron and Fairey Fireflys of 827 Naval Air Squadron from HMS Triumph fly the first non-US sortie over Korea. - Monday 3rd Jul, 1950
  • First flight of The North American AJ Savage (later A-2 Savage), US twin engine carrier-based bomber aircraft. - Saturday 3rd Jul, 1948
  • The Philippine Air Force is formed. - Thursday 3rd Jul, 1947
  • Birth of Norman Earl Thagard, American scientist and NASA astronaut. First American to ride to space on board a Russian vehicle, and can be considered the First American cosmonaut. - Saturday 3rd Jul, 1943
  • (Overnight) 653 British bombers attack Cologne. During the raid, the Luftwaffe experiments for the first time with Wilde Sau (“Wild Boar”) night fighter tactics, in which single-engine day fighters use any illumination – From searchlights, flares, fires, etc., – Available over a city to visually identify and attack enemy bombers at night. Wilde Sau pilots and antiaircraft artillery both claim the same 12 bombers shot down over Cologne and officially each receive credited for six. The experiment’s success will lead to the formation of Jagdgeschwader 300, which will specialize in Wilde Sau operations. - Saturday 3rd Jul, 1943
  • First airborne test firing of a retrocrocket at Goldstone Lake, Calif., from a PBY-5 A piloted by Lt. Comdr. J. H. Hean (USN). - Friday 3rd Jul, 1942
  • Luftwaffe ace Major Wilhelm Balthasar, (47 credited kills), Geschaderkommodore of Jagdgeschwader 2, and winner of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oakleaves, is killed in action on this date when his Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4 suffers failure of a wing and he crashes into Ferme Goset, Wittes, France, near Saint-Omer. The airframe is recovered in March 2004. - Thursday 3rd Jul, 1941
  • Royal Air Force Boeing Fortress I, AN528, of 90 Squadron, RAF Polebrook, is destroyed when a troublesome engine catches fire during a late-night ground run. - Thursday 3rd Jul, 1941
  • (overnight) – 90 British bombers attempting to attack the Krupp arms works and rail targets in Essen, Germany, scatter their bombs so widely that they bomb Bochum, Dortmund, Duisburg, Hagen, Wuppertal, and other cities as well as Essen. In Essen, they succeed only in inflicting minor housing damage, injuring two people. - Thursday 3rd Jul, 1941
  • British bombers make a daylight attack against German barges assembling at Rotterdam in anticipation of an invasion of the United Kingdom, their first attack against German efforts to build an invasion force. Such raids will peak in September and end in October after the threat of a German invasion abates. - Wednesday 3rd Jul, 1940
  • During the British attack on the French fleet at Mers-el-Kebir, Algeria, Fairey Swordfish aircraft from the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal mine the harbor and unsuccessfully attack the French battlecruiser Strasbourg as she flees to Toulon. French Curtiss Hawk 75 fighters and Blackburn Skua fighters from Ark Royal engage in a dogfight, during which the French shoot down one Skua. - Wednesday 3rd Jul, 1940
  • July 3-6 – Pan Am and Imperial Airways flying boats conduct joint survey flights over the Atlantic in preparation for the commencement of regular services. - Saturday 3rd Jul, 1937
  • First flight of the Dornier Do 24 - Saturday 3rd Jul, 1937
  • Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan disappear over the Pacific Ocean on a flight from Lae, New Guinea, to Howland Island, and are never seen again. - Saturday 3rd Jul, 1937
  • First flight of the Short Empire S.23prototype RMA Canopus. The flying boat built by Shorts as the S.23 design, makes a brief 14-min. first flight piloted by John Lankester Parker. - Friday 3rd Jul, 1936
  • Birth of Harrison Hagan "Jack" Schmitt, American geologist and NASA astronaut. Last of the Apollo astronauts to arrive and set foot on the Moon - Wednesday 3rd Jul, 1935
  • First flight of Tupolev ANT-16 (also known as TB-4) experimental Russian heavy bomber aircraft. - Monday 3rd Jul, 1933
  • First prototype Breguet 393 T (390 T), French 3 engine sesquiplane of all-metal construction airliner, loses a propeller during test flight, pilot losing his life when his parachute failed to open after he abandoned the aircraft. - Friday 3rd Jul, 1931
  • Lt A. W. Gordon hooks a Vought VO-1 onto US Navy airship USS Los Angeles in successful parasite fighter experiments. - Wednesday 3rd Jul, 1929
  • Zeppelin LZ120 'Bodensee' is transferred, renamed as Esperia, to Italy in the context of war reparations. - Sunday 3rd Jul, 1921
  • The first Royal Air Force Pageant is held, at Hendon - Saturday 3rd Jul, 1920
  • Birth of Herschel "Herky" Green, USAAF WWII flying ace. - Saturday 3rd Jul, 1920
  • Designed and built by the Engineering Division of the U. S. Bureau of Aircraft Production, the first of four XB-1As (originally designated USXB-1 A) makes its first flight at McCook Field, Dayton, Ohio. - Thursday 3rd Jul, 1919
  • Death of Jacques Gerard, French WWI flying ace, killed in action. - Wednesday 3rd Jul, 1918
  • Death of Wilhelm "Willi" Reinhard, German WWI fighter ace, killed while test flying a Zeppelin-Lindau D. I, when a strut broke and the top wing collapsed - Wednesday 3rd Jul, 1918
  • Death of Albert Dossenbach, German WWI fighter ace and balloon buster, Killed in action. - Tuesday 3rd Jul, 1917
  • Death of Ugo Niutta, Italian WWI pilot. - Monday 3rd Jul, 1916
  • Birth of Marmaduke Thomas St. John "Pat" Pattle, South African WWII fighter ace. - Friday 3rd Jul, 1914
  • Birth of Aubrey Beauclerk Ellwood, British WWI flying ace and senior RAF commander. - Saturday 3rd Jul, 1897
  • Birth of Hans Müller (aviator), German WWI flying ace who also served the Luftwaffe in WWII. - Friday 3rd Jul, 1896
  • Birth of Giovanni 'Gianni' Battista Caproni, Italian aeronautical engineer, civil engineer, electrical engineer, and aircraft designer who founded the Caproni aircraft-manufacturing company. - Saturday 3rd Jul, 1886
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