On This Day in Aviation History

March 16, 2012

March 16th in Aviation History: Boeing 767 Sets Twin-Engine Distance Record

The Boeing 767 prototype (N767BA) flies over Washington's Mt. Rainier.
The Boeing 767 prototype (N767BA) flies over Washington's Mt. Rainier. (Photo by Boeing)
2006 – Kitakyushu Airport opens on a manmade island in southwestern Japan.

1983 – A Boeing 767 flies 5,499 miles (8,798 km) nonstop from Lisbon, Portugal to Boeing Field, Wash., setting a distance record for twin-engine airliners. The record would stand until June 1, 1984 when Ethiopian Airlines would fly their first 767-200ER 7,500 miles on a delivery flight from Washington D.C. to Addis Ababa.

1966 – Gemini 8, NASA’s 12th manned space mission, launches atop a Titan II rocket. After docking with the Agena target spacecraft for a rendezvous exercise, Gemini became the first manned mission to suffer a critical fault that put astronauts’ lives in danger, forcing it to leave orbit and splash into the Pacific Ocean the following day.

1962 – Flying Tiger Line Flight 739, a Lockheed Super Constellation (N6921C) carrying 93 soldiers from Travis Air Force Base, Calif. to Saigon, Vietnam, disappears over the western Pacific Ocean. No wreckage nor bodies are ever found, but the 107 people onboard are presumed killed. A cause for the disappearance is never determined.

1942 – The first German V-2 rocket launch ends when the ship explodes.

1940 – World War II: James Isbister of Scapa Flow in Scotlands Orkney Islands becomes the first UK resident killed by a German bombing raid. The Luftwaffe’s Kampfgeschwader 26 bomber wing is responsible.

1926 – Inventor Robert Goddard launches the world’s first liquid-fueled rocket in Auburn, Mass.

1916 – US military aircraft complete their first mission over foreign territory, as the Army Air Force’s 1st Reconnaissance Squadron flies over Mexico.