On This Day in Aviation History

November 9, 2011

On This Day in Aviation History: November 9th

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By: Phil Derner Jr.
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2010 – A Boeing 787 test aircraft (bn ZA002, reg N787EX) enroute from Yuma, Ariz. to Harlingen, Tex. makes an emergency landing in Laredo, Tex. after a fire breaks out in the plane’s electrical bay and disrupts the aircraft’s flight controls. The plane lands safely with the help of its Ram Air Turbine powering the control systems, but the entire 787 test fleet is grounded for six weeks while the cause is investigated.

2005 – The Venus Express, the first exploration mission of the European Space Agency, launches from Kazakhstan. It would arrive on Venus the following April, and is funded to continue to send back data until December of 2012.

Launch of Apollo 4

Launch of Apollo 4

1999 – TAESA Flight 725, a DC-9 (registered XA-TKN), crashes a few minutes after leaving the Uruapan airport enroute to Mexico City, killing all 18 onboard. It would be determined that the pilots had not completed the proper checklist prior to departure and became disoriented, raising the nose to a high attitude on takeoff. This caused a stall from which they were unable to recover.

1980 – The de Havilland Comet makes its final commercial service, operating an enthusiast flight for Dan-Air out of London and back.

1967 – Launch of the unmanned Apollo 4 mission using Saturn V, the largest launch vehicle ever to fly successfully.

1961 – USAF Major Robert M White flies a North American X-15 rocket plane to an altitude of 101,608 ft (30,970 m).

1946 – The Lockheed R6V Constitution double-decker aircraft makes its first flight. Designed as a transport for both the US Navy and Pan American Airlines, it can carry up to 163 passengers as far as 6,000 miles. The Constitution proves, however, to be too large and underpowered for use by Pan Am at the time. Only two prototypes are built, both going to the Navy. It remains the largest fixed-wing aircraft ever operated by the US Navy.

1932 – Wolfgang von Gronau and crew in a Dornier Wal complete the first flight around the world by a seaplane. Their flight takes a mere 111 days.

1904 – Wilbur Wright flies for five minutes, four seconds over Huffman Prairie, Ohio, flying just under 3 miles.