July 18, 1914 French pilot Maurice Guillaux achieved a major aviation record by completing the first official airmail flight in Australia. Guillaux began the Sydney-bound flight aboard a Bleriot XI monoplane on July 16 at 9:12 a.m., taking to the skies from the showgrounds in the Melbourne suburb of Flemington. Guillaux made landings at Seymour and... Continue Reading →

May 31, 1928 Australian aviator Charles Kingsford Smith departed Oakland, California, in a Fokker F.VIIb/3m trimotor monoplane for the first trans-Pacific flight. The others on board the plane, which was named the Southern Cross, were Charles Ulm, organizing manager of the flight and co-pilot; Harry Lyon, navigator; and James Warner, radio operator. Over the next... Continue Reading →

January 18, 1865 The foundation stone was laid for a lighthouse on Amédée Island, a part of what was then the French dependency of New Caledonia in the southwest Pacific Ocean. (New Caledonia was reclassified as an overseas territory of France in 1946.) Amédée Island is located about 15 miles (24 kilometers) from the present-day... Continue Reading →

September 26, 1944 With the United States still fighting the Axis powers during World War II, the U.S. Navy cargo ship USS Beltrami was launched. Beltrami, which had been named after a county in northwestern Minnesota, was built by the Kaiser Shipbuilding Company at its shipyards in Richmond, California. The launch of Beltrami at Richmond... Continue Reading →

June 18, 1967 The first regularly scheduled wintertime flight to Antarctica took place. (In the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons of the year are the opposite of their order in the Northern Hemisphere.) All previous flights to Antarctica during that time of the year had involved only emergency evacuations of patients needing urgent medical treatment; otherwise,... Continue Reading →

More than a half-century after establishing a record for walking around the world, Dumitru Dan died in the city of Buzău in his native Romania at the age of 88. His path to international fame began in 1908 while he was a student in Paris. The Touring club de France initiated a contest for circumnavigating... Continue Reading →

A French crew of 14 sailors on board the vessel Banque Populaire V began an ambitious round-the-world voyage. The voyage was undertaken to win the Jules Verne Trophy for the fastest circumnavigation of the globe by a yacht. Starting in 1993, the Jules Verne Trophy – named for the acclaimed French writer whose works included... Continue Reading →

More than 16 months after leaving Abu Dhabi, the experimental solar-powered monoplane Solar Impulse 2 completed its first-of-a-kind circumnavigation of Earth by returning to the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. The innovative aircraft had been one of two built as part of a privately financed aviation project in Switzerland. The Swiss citizens leading this... Continue Reading →

Narinder Singh Kapany has become widely known as “The Father of Fiber Optics” due to his pioneering work with fibers as a means to transmit light signals over long distances for such purposes as telecommunications. Kapany even coined the phrase “fiber optics” more than a half-century ago. Kapany’s extensive research and innovations involving fiber optics... Continue Reading →

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