On This Day in Aviation History

February 18, 2011

On This Day in Aviation History: February 18th

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1981 – Aircraft industrialist Jack Northrop, co-founder of Lockheed Corporation and, later, founder of Northrop Corporation, dies at the age of 85.

1977 – The Space Shuttle Enterprise test vehicle is carried to altitude on top of a Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, and then released to glide to a landing at Edwards Air Force Base for its maiden test flight.

1973 – Daniel Bouchart and Didier Potelle land 19,568 feet up on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania in an SA 319 B Alouette II helicopter.

1969 – Terrorists attack an El Al 707 on the runway at Zurich, killing a pilot and three passengers

1969 – Hawthorne Nevada Airlines Flight 708 crashes into Mount Whitney, killing all 35 on-board. The pilots of the DC-3 (N17750) were straying from their filed VFR flight plan when they struck. Weather and challenging terrain prevented rescue crews to come upon the wreckage until the following August.

1934 – TWA assembles a team to fly a prototype of the DC-1 from Burbank, California, to Newark, New Jersey, in a record-breaking 13 hours and 4 minutes.

1911 – The first airmail is carried by an aircraft. Henri Pequet carries 6,500 letters across the Jumna River, from Allahabad to Naini Junction, India, traveling a distance of about five miles.