On This Day in Aviation History
On This Day in Aviation History: December 15th
2006 – The F-35 Lightning II makes its maiden flight.
2005 – The F-22 Raptor enters service after 15 years of testing (including the YF-22 version).
1997 – A Tajikistan Airlines Tupolev Tu-154 crashes on approach to Sharejah, UAE, after descending below the authorized altitude. There was only one survivor of the 86 people on-board.
1996 – The merger of McDonnell Douglas and Boeing is announced.
1989 – KLM Flight 867, a 747-400 registered PH-BFC, flies through a cloud of volcanic ash spewed from Mount Redoubt while descending to Anchorage, Alaska. After falling 14,000 ft, the engines finally turned back on, allowing them to safely land.
1970 – Soviet space probe Venera 7 lands on Venus, marking the first successful soft landing on another planet.
1965 – Gemini 6A is launched from Cape Canaveral, manned by astronauts Wally Schirra and Thomas Stafford. It would make the first space rendezvous with Gemini 7 shortly thereafter.
1959 – A new speed record of 1,526 mph (2,456 km/h) is set by Maj. J.W. Roberts flying a Convair F-106 Delta Dart.
1955 – The de Havilland Mosquito concludes its career with the Royal Air Force.