On This Day in Aviation History

November 11, 2011

On This Day in Aviation History: November 11th

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1970 – The British government agrees to fund development of the Rolls-Royce RB211 turbofan, rescuing the project from Rolls-Royce’s bankruptcy. Originally developed to power the Lockheed L-1011, the engine would also find use on the Boeing 747, 757 and 767, as well as the Tupolev Tu-204. In the 1990s, the RB211 would be discontinued, with its technology shifted to the Rolls-Royce Trent series.

Messerschmitt ME-109

Messerschmitt ME-109

1966 – Gemini 12, the 18th manned American space-flight, launched.

1965 – United Airlines Flight 227, a 727-200 (registered N7030U) flying from LGA to SFO, crashes short of the runway, killing 43 of the 91 on-board. The crashed would be blamed on the Captain trying to descend from too-great an altitude at high speeds to make the runway, and applying recovery throttle too late. Most of the fatalities were due to fire the crash caused as opposed to the impact itself. The aircraft landed 330 ft short and slid 2,800 ft.

1940 – The Royal Navy launches the first ever ship-to-ship attack using an aircraft carrier during the Battle of Taranto, sinking one Italian battleship, damaging two others.

1937 – The Messerschmidt ME-109V13 sets a world speed record of 379 mph (610 km/h).

1935 - Orville Anderson and Albert Stevens in Explorer II establish an altitude record for balloons of 72,395 feet.

1935 – Jean Batten becomes the first woman to fly solo across the South Atlantic, taking 2 days 13 hours to cross from Senegal to Brazil in a Percival Gull. She also breaks the speed record for this crossing, by a full day.