On This Day in Aviation History

March 20, 2012

March 20th in Aviation History: First Flight of the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental

The first Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental sits at Boeing Field after landing on its first test mission. (Photo by Brandon Farris)
The first Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental sits at Boeing Field after landing on its first test mission. (Photo by Brandon Farris)
2011 – The Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, the passenger version of the new 747-8 airliner, makes its first test flight.

2009 – Emirates Flight 407, an Airbus A340-500 (A6-ERG) fails to rotate properly while taking off from Melbourne, Australia, scraping its tail against the ground and striking several lights and an antenna, while barely missing a large fence and a brick building. The

2003 – The invasion of Iraq by the US and its allies formally begins with an aerial bombardment of Baghdad and the movement of ground troops across the border.

1937 – Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Electra blows a tire during takeoff from Honolulu, abruptly ending her first round-the-world flight attempt. Earhart’s second attempt would begin a few months later, and ultimately end in her disappearance.

1932 – German airship Graf Zeppelin begins flights between Germany and Brazil.

1922 – The USS Langley is commissioned at Norfolk, Virginia, as the US Navy’s first aircraft carrier.

1920 – Two South African pilots complete the first flight from England to South Africa in four days, 13 hours, 30 minutes.