On This Day in Aviation History
On This Day in Aviation History: September 8th
1920: The final leg of the transcontinental air mail route is completed between New York City and San Francisco.
1927: Clyde Cessna founds the Cessna Aircraft Company after leaving the biplane-manufacturing business he had formed with fellow aerospace legends Lloyd Stearman and Walter Beech.
1944: The first German V-2 rockets explode in London and Antwerp.
1960: President Eisenhower formally dedicates the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
1967: NASA launches the lunar lander Surveyor 5. Eventually it shoots and transmits 19,049 photographs back to Earth.
1989: Partnair Flight 394, a Convair 580, crashes off the coast of Denmark, killing all 50 passengers and five crewmembers. Investigators conclude that counterfeit, inferior bolts used to hold the vertical fin to the fuselage failed, causing the plane to lose control.
1994: USAir Flight 427, a 737-300 flying from Chicago O’Hare (ORD) to Pittsburgh (PIT), crashes in Hopewell Township, PA, while on approach to runway 28R, killing all 127 passengers and 5 crewmembers. The crash would be blamed on a jammed rudder. It marked the second fatal US Airways crash that year.
1997: The Boeing 777-300 is rolled out for the first time. It holds the title as the longest airliner ever built for four years, until the Airbus A340-600 takes flight in 2001.
2004: The unmanned NASA spacecraft Genesis crashes when its parachute fails to deploy, destroying some of the solar wind samples it was carrying back to earth.
2005: Two Russian IL-76s arrive at Little Rock Air Force Base to assist in providing aid for Hurricane Katrina. It marks the first time Russia had flown such a mission to North America.