November 13, 1907 The first flight of a helicopter that was both piloted and untethered took place near the commune of Coquainvilliers in northwestern France. The pilot was engineer and bicycle-maker Paul Cornu in a twin-rotor aircraft that he had constructed. This experimental helicopter was outfitted with a 24-horsepower (18-kilowatt) Antoinette engine and had an... Continue Reading →

November 4, 1877 The Maria Pia Bridge in northern Portugal made its public debut. (At the time, the country was a constitutional monarchy formally known as the Kingdom of Portugal.) The railway bridge, which spans the River Douro and connects the city of Porto with the municipality of Via Nova de Gaia, resulted from a competition... Continue Reading →

October 24, 1891 A new railway station was officially opened along the Øresund strait at the city of Helsingør (best known in English as Elsinore) in eastern Demark. This building continues to serve as Helsingør’s principal railway station, and it was constructed to replace a station that had been in existence elsewhere in the city... Continue Reading →

October 23, 1906 Brazilian aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont made the first sustained and officially witnessed flight in a powered heavier-than-air machine in Europe when he piloted his 14-bis biplane in Paris, France. Santos-Dumont came from a family of wealthy coffee producers in his native Brazil, but devoted his life instead to the study of human flight... Continue Reading →

October 22, 1938 Professional cyclist Alfred Letourneur set a new world record during a motor-paced racing competition at a velodrome in Montlhéry, France. Motor-paced racing involves having a cyclist closely follow a motorized vehicle to gain momentum and speed from that vehicle’s slipstream, and Letourneur – while riding his bicycle behind a motorbike in Monthlhéry... Continue Reading →

October 16, 1961 Cork Airport was officially opened in the Republic of Ireland. Located in the southwestern part of the country, this airport is four miles (6.5 kilometers) south of the city of Cork. Plans for an airport in the area had been under serious discussion as far back as 1928. The actual construction of... Continue Reading →

October 2, 1988 The innovative automobile designer Alexander “Alec” Arnold Constantine Issigonis died in Edgbaston, a town and suburban area of Birmingham, England, at the age of 81. In announcing his death, the London-based Guardian newspaper highlighted him as “not only a great and original car designer but someone who put his stamp on a... Continue Reading →

September 27, 1938 The steam-powered ocean liner RMS Queen Elizabeth, constructed by the shipbuilding firm John Brown & Company for Cunard-White Star Line (renamed Cunard Line in 1949), was launched at a shipyard in Clydebank, Scotland. This ocean liner was named for the wife of England’s King George VI and queen consort of the United Kingdom... Continue Reading →

September 23, 1913 French aviator Roland Garros established two new airborne records when he successfully undertook the longest overseas plane trip up to that point in time and also became the first person to fly across the Mediterranean Sea. The 24-year-old pilot, flying on his own in a two-seat Morane-Saulnier G monoplane, departed the Fréjus... Continue Reading →

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