On This Day in Aviation History

April 9, 2012

Today in Aviation History: April 9th

The first Boeing 737-100 (N73700) in house colors. (Photo by Boeing)
The first Boeing 737-100 (N73700) in house colors. (Photo by Boeing)
2003 – Baghdad falls to the invading Allied forces during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

1993 – Iraqi forces fire surface-to-air missiles at a US Air Force jet patrolling the country’s no-fly zone. The jets return fire, destorying the missile batteries.

1976 – Air France launches its second Concorde route, linking Paris to Caracas in six hours, including a fuel stop in the Azores.

1969 – The second Concorde, the first built in England, makes its maiden test flight.

1967 – Boeing’s new 737 narrow-body airliner makes its first test flight. The first 737-100 would be delivered 10 months later to launch customer Lufthansa. It has since gone on to become the best selling commercial aircraft in the world.

1960 – The Tupolev Tu-114 Rossiya sets a world speed record for propeller-powered planes: 545.07 mph. The record is set in a 3,107 mile closed circuit over Russia, while carrying a 55,116-pound payload.

1940 – Germany makes extensive use of paratroopers during their invasions of Norway and Denmark.

1937 – The Kamikaze, a Mitsubishi Ki-15 Karigane, becomes the first Japanese aircraft to fly from Japan to Europe, completing the trip from Tokyo to London in 51 hours, 17 minutes and 23 seconds. Masaaki Iinuma is the pilot, with Kenji Tsukagoshi serving as navigator.

1929 – Air Union of France begins a nighttime service between Paris and London.

1914 – One of history’s first airborne attacks on naval vessels takes place in the Gulf of California, during the Mexican Revolution.