On This Day in Aviation History
America West Begins Flying, Boeing Merges With McDonnell Douglas: August 1 in Aviation History
1983: America West Airlines commences operations, flying three Boeing 737s out of Phoenix.
1977: former CIA pilot Francis Gary Powers, whose U-2 was shot down over Soviet territory in 1960, dies when the KNBC news chopper he is flying crashes near Burbank Airport (BUR).
1972: Delta Air Lines officially merges with Northeast Airlines.
1964: ALM-Antillean Airlines is founded in Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles as an offshoot of KLM Royal Dutch to compete with Pan Am in the Caribbean and South America. Corruption, high debt and public disinterest drive the airline to bankruptcy in 2001.
1963: Koichi Wakata, Japanese astronaut and veteran of four US Space Shuttle missions and three stays on the International Space Station, is born in Omiya, Japan.
1957: the United States and Canada formally announce the creation of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD. Created during the Cold War, its primary purpose is to protect the continent from Soviet bombers. And from Santa Claus.
1951: Japan Air Lines is established.
1946: Richard O. Covey, US Air Force test pilot, US astronaut and veteran of four Space Shuttle missions, is born in Fayetteville, Arkansas.