December 14, 1986 The Rutan Model 76 Voyager, the first aircraft to circle around Earth without stopping or refueling, embarked on its historic flight at Edwards Air Force Base in California in the Mojave Desert. This westerly flight of 26,366 statute miles (42,432 kilometers) would end with great success nine days, three minutes, and 44... Continue Reading →

November 29, 1882 Aviation pioneer Henri Fabre was born in the French city of Marseille. Fabre’s advanced knowledge of science early on in life helped foster his powerful interest in human flight. With unmatched intensity, he studied and developed designs for planes and propellers. The result of Fabre’s efforts was his creation of the first... Continue Reading →

October 18, 1909 The aristocrat known as Charles, Count de Lambert became the first person to fly over the French capital city of Paris in a plane. He quickly gained worldwide attention for this achievement. “Great Record in Air,” proclaimed a headline in the next day’s edition of the New York-based Buffalo Express. De Lambert,... Continue Reading →

October 12, 1799 An aviation milestone took place when Jeanne Geneviéve Labrosse Garnerin, who was flying in a hot-air balloon in the skies over France, became the first woman to make a parachute descent back to earth. The balloon was approximately 2,953 feet (900 meters) above the ground when she made this descent, with her... Continue Reading →

Federico Fernández Cavada was born sometime around 1831 in the city of Cienfuegos on the southern coast of Cuba. After his father’s death in 1838, his U.S.-born mother brought him and his brothers with her to live in Philadelphia. Fernández Cavada, who became both an engineer and topographer, joined the Union Army shortly after the... Continue Reading →

September 18, 1948 A first-of-a-kind flight took place in the skies above Muroc Dry Lake (part of present-day Edwards Air Force Base) in the Mojave Desert in southern California. The pioneering jet plane was the Convair XF-92A, which had been designed and built for the U.S. Air Force (USAF) by the aircraft manufacturing company Consolidated... Continue Reading →

August 27, 1910 The first known wireless transmission of a message between an airplane and the ground below took place in Brooklyn, New York. Canadian aviator John Alexander Douglas McCurdy sent this pioneering message from the Curtiss biplane he was piloting 500 feet (152.4 meters) above the earth. He had a 50-foot (15.2-meter) antenna trailing... Continue Reading →

July 23, 1911 It was an auspicious start for a record-setting career in aviation . . . In the skies above the Nassau Boulevard Aerodrome on Long Island, 23-year-old George W. Beatty first flew solo in a plane. This flight occurred less than a month after he began taking lessons from instructor Arthur L. “Al”... Continue Reading →

July 16. 1957 U.S. Marine Corps Major John H. Glenn set a transcontinental speed record when he piloted a Vought F8U Crusader jet aircraft from Los Alamitos Naval Air Station in California to Floyd Bennett Field in New York City. Glenn dubbed this cross-country effort “Project Bullet” to emphasize the plane’s high-speed capability. Glenn completed... Continue Reading →

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