May 6, 2006 After making its final flight, the Lockheed C-141C Starlifter strategic airlift plane best known as “Hanoi Taxi” touched down at 9:30 a.m. at Wright Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) in Ohio for a formal retirement ceremony there at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force (USAF). This plane, which was delivered... Continue Reading →

April 27, 2005 In the skies over southeastern France, the largest-ever passenger plane made its first flight. The 308-ton (279.4-metric ton), double-decked Airbus A380 -- with a length of 238 feet and seven inches (72.7 meters) and a wingspan of  261 feet and eight inches (79.8 meters) -- made it back to Toulouse Blagnac International Airport three hours... Continue Reading →

Kathryn Dwyer Sullivan was born in Paterson, New Jersey, in 1951. She earned a B.S. degree in earth sciences from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1973 and a Ph.D. in geology from Dalhousie University in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia in 1978. It was also in 1978 that Sullivan formally became one... Continue Reading →

February 4, 1883 Stephen Latchford, a U.S. diplomat who became one of his country’s foremost authorities on aviation law and a key influence when it came to that mode of transportation, was born in Annapolis Junction, Maryland. Perhaps Latchford’s birth in a community that owed its name to being a rail junction presaged a transportation-themed career... Continue Reading →

Bobby Charles Wilks, who was born in St. Louis in 1931, achieved several key “firsts” as an African American aviator. In 1956, he graduated with a commission of ensign from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Reserve Officers’ Candidate School in New London, Connecticut. Not long after receiving this commission, Wilks was assigned as a flight student... Continue Reading →

January 10, 1910 The first major airshow in the United States -- as well as one of the earliest airshows worldwide -- made its debut at Dominguez Field in Los Angeles County, California. Approximately 254,000 spectators turned out for the 10-day extravaganza, which was characterized by the Los Angeles Times as “one of the greatest public... Continue Reading →

December 27, 1773 George Cayley, an engineer and one of the key figures in aviation history, was born in the seaside town of Scarborough in England. He painstakingly observed and took notes on birds and how they were able to fly, and created the first successful glider able to carry humans.   Cayley, first and foremost, helped... Continue Reading →

September 20, 1904 Wilbur Wright made the first circular flight of a powered aircraft while piloting the Wright Flyer II plane off the ground of Huffman Prairie, a patch of rough pasture in southwestern Ohio. This flight took place 10 months after Wilbur and his brother Orville had made aviation history near the North Carolina... Continue Reading →

August 19, 1904 Automotive and aeronautical engineer Maurice Wilks was born on Hayling Island, which is off the southern coast of England. Wilks worked for the British automobile manufacturer Hillman Motor Car Company from 1922 to 1926 and then spent two years in the United States at General Motors. He returned to Hillman in 1928 as... Continue Reading →

July 6, 1926 The first test flight of the racing seaplane Macchi M.39 took place in Italy. This seaplane had been designed by engineer Mario Castoldi, and it was built by the aircraft company Aeronautica Macchi (based in the city and comune of Varese in northwestern Italy). The first M.39 to take to the skies... Continue Reading →

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