On This Day in Aviation History

February 28, 2012

February 28th in Aviation History: Global Hawk Makes Its First Flight and SeaTac Tower is Damaged by an Earthquake

First flight of the Global Hawk took place on Feb. 28, 1998
The first flight of the Global Hawk, like the one shown here, took place on Feb. 28, 1998. (Photo by Bobbi Zapka/US Air Force)
2005 – Aviation adventurer Steve Fossett takes off from Salinas, Kansas flying the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer in an attempt to complete the first solo, nonstop, unrefueled circumnavigation of the globe. He pulls it off, landing back in Salinas 2 days, 19 hours, 1 minute and 46 seconds later.

2001 – The air traffic control tower at Seattle Tacoma International Airport is heavily damaged during an earthquake, which measures 6.8 on the Richter scale. An interim control tower is used until a new, more earthquake resistant tower is built in 2004. The original tower is later repaired and used by ground controllers.

1998 – The Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle makes its maiden flight.

1991 – The Persian Gulf War, also known as Operation Desert Storm, waged by the U.S. and its allies against Iraq, formally ends.

1959Discoverer 1, a prototype spy satellite commissioned by the CIA with assistance from the US Air Force, is launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Meant to be the first polar orbiting satellite, the space craft fails to reach orbit, and is believed to have landed somewhere near the South Pole.