On This Day in Aviation History

October 26, 2011

On This Day in Aviation History: October 26th

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Pan Am 707 Idlewild

2008: Qatar Airways launches daily nonstop flights between Doha and New York-JFK using the Boeing 777-300ER.

1983: Pan Am celebrates the 25th anniversary of its first 707 flight with a special service from New York to Paris. (See 1958 below).

Pan Am 707 Idlewild

The first Pan Am 707 awaits departure to Paris on the tarmac in New York. (Photo courtesy Pan Am, via National Air and Space Museum)

1977: A Pan Am Boeing 747SP takes off on a flight to circumnavigate the globe over both poles.

1972: Helicopter pioneer Igor Sikorsky dies at the age of 83.

1962: The last B-52 Stratofortress off the production line, serial number 61-0040, is delivered to the US Air Force. As of last check, the plane nicknamed the “Spirit of Minot” is still in service with the 5th Bomb Wing, 23d Bomb Squadron stationed at Minot Air Force Base, South Dakota.

1958: Pan Am inaugurates the first jet service by a U.S. carrier, flying from New York’s Idlewild Airport (now known as John F. Kennedy International Airport) to Paris Orly using a Boeing 707. The airline flew a commemorative flight on the 25th anniversary in 1983.

1952: A BOAC de Havilland Comet fails to gain altitude while taking off from Rome, running off the end of the runway. Only two people are hurt, but damage is severe. The new plane is written off.

1940: The North American P-51 Mustang long-range fighter makes its maiden flight. Fast and durable, it would help assure Allied air dominance in World War II.

1925: The Schneider Trophy air race in Baltimore is won by Jimmy Doolittle flying a Curtiss R3C at 232.6 mph (374.2 km/h).

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