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)

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.



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Happy birthday to Lufthansa! United Grounds Ted, the US Marines take delivery of their first AV-8 Harrier and more...
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President Richard M. Nixon and Dr. James C. Fletcher, NASA Administrator, discuss the proposed Space Shuttle vehicle in San Clemente, California, on January 5, 1972. (Photo by NASA)

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The Space Shuttle program is launched, Amelia Earhart is declared legally dead, Independence Air ceases operations, and more...
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The Apollo 17 spacecraft, containing astronauts Eugene A. Cernan, Ronald E. Evans, and Harrison H. Schmitt, glided to a safe splashdown at 2:25 p.m. EST on Dec. 19, 1972, 648 kilometers (350 nautical miles) southeast of American Samoa. The astronauts were flown by recovery helicopter to the U.S.S. Ticonderoga slightly less than an hour after the completion of NASA's sixth and last manned lunar landing in the Apollo program. (Photo by NASA)

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The world's first airport opens near Paris, the last moon mission returns to earth, a Chalk's Ocean Airways crash is captured on video, and more...
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Today in Aviation History: December 16th

The midair collision of a United DC-8 and TWA Constellation over New York City, Concorde makes the first sub-3-hour Atlantic crossing, an Air Canada CRJ crashes, and more...
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Today in Aviation History: December 15th

In a near disaster, KLM Flight 867 loses all engines temporarily after flying through a cloud of volcanic ash, McDonnell Douglas and Boeing merge, the Boeing 787 makes its first flight, and more..
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