On This Day in Aviation History

April 16, 2012

Pan Am Begins First Mainland Flights to Hawaii, Harriet Quimby First Woman to Fly Across English Channel: April 16th in Aviation History

A Pan American Sikorsky S-42 flying boat taking off. (Photo by US Navy)

1994 – A Royal Navy Sea Harrier is shot down over Serbia by an SA-7 shoulder-mounted, surface-to-air missile.

1973 – The Florida State Legislature unanimously votes to restore the name of Cape Canaveral. The entire cape, on which NASA’s Kennedy Space Center resides, had been renamed Cape Kennedy following President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, but the change never caught on with Florida residents.

1972Apollo 16 launches from the Kennedy Space Center enroute to the Moon. Commander John Young, Lunar Module Pilot Charles Duke and Command Module Pilot Ken Mattingly land on the lunar surface five days later.

1944 – US forces commence the bombing of Belgrade.

1941 – Igor Sikorsky demos the capabilities of his new VS-300 helicopter, the most powerful of its day, by hovering over Stratford, Conn., for an hour and five minutes.

1935 – A Pan Am Sikorsky S-42 flying boat takes off from San Francisco in the first commercial flight from the US mainland to Hawaii. It lands 17 hours later.

1923 – American test pilots Lt John A. Macready and Lt Oakley G. Kelly in a Fokker T-2 establish a new flight endurance record of 36 hours 5 minutes in a Fokker T-2, covering a distance of 2,518 miles.

1914 – Attempting to help the British effort in World War I, Canada’s first air force, the Canadian Aviation Corps, is formed, consisting of one Dunne D.8 floatplane and three airmen. The plane is shipped to England along with the aviators, but they are never used and the CAC is dissolved a year later. (The modern Royal Canadian Air Force would be assembled in 1924).

1913 – The first Schneider Trophy seaplane race is held in Monaco. French pilot Maurice Prevost wins flying a Deperdussin floatplane, flying an average speed of 45 mph (75 kmh).

1912 – American pilot Harriet Quimby flies from Dover, England to Pas-de-Calais, France, becoming the first woman to fly across the English Channel.

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