On This Day in Aviation History
First Flight of the Super Guppy: August 31 in Aviation History
2002: First flight of the Bombardier Learjet 40.
1999: LAPA Flight 3142, a Boeing 737-200, crashes on takeoff from Buenos Aires, killing 65 and injuring 34. The crash is blamed on the crew not properly extending flaps for departure.
1998: North Korea launches its first satellite, Kwangmyŏngsŏng.
1988: Delta Air Lines Flight 1141, a Boeing 727-200 (N473DA), crashes while attempting to take off from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport for Salt Lake City, killing 14 of the 108 people onboard. Investigators discover the crew had failed to set the flaps and slats to takeoff configuration and the alarm that should have warned them was not operational.
1987: First test flight of the Mitsubishi H-60 helicopter, a Japanese-built version of the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk.
1987: Thai Airways Flight 365, a Boeing 737-200, crashes into the sea on approach to Phuket, Thailand, killing all 83 people onboard. The pilots had been momentarily distracted by another aircraft, during which time they allowed their plane slow below stall speed and plummet into the water.
1986: Aeromexico Flight 498, a Douglas DC-9, while on approach to Los Angeles International Airport collides with a Piper PA-28-181 Archer over Cerritos, California. Both planes plummet to the earth, killing all 64 people on the DC-9, all three people on the Piper and 15 people on the ground.
1978: Boeing begins production of the 757.
1977: A Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 reaches a record altitude of 123,523.62 ft. (23.39 miles) over Podmoskovnoye, USSR.
1969: Former heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Marciano is killed when the Cessna 172 he is on hits a tree two miles short of Newton Municipal Airport in Iowa while attempting to land during bad weather, also killing the pilot and another passenger. The crash is blamed on the pilot’s inexperience in Instrument Meteorological Conditions and night flying.
1968: Rolls-Royce powers up their new RB211 jet engine for the first time. Designed to power the Lockheed L-1011, future versions would be offered for the Boeing 747 and 757, the Tupolev Tu-204-120 and for re-enginging of the B-52H Stratofortress bomber. The modern Rolls-Royce Trent series is a descendant of the RB211.
1965: The Aero Spacelines B-377-SG/SGT Super Guppy makes its maiden flight.
1958: First flight of the North American A3J-1 Vigilante, an aircraft carrier-based supersonic bomber.
1956: First flight of the Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker aerial refueling tanker.
1956: The Avro Vulcan enters service with the RAF.
1950: TWA Flight 903, a Lockheed Constellation L-749A flying from Cairo to Rome, crashes outside of Cairo, killing all 55 people onboard. After an engine fire broke out, the plane attempted to return to Cairo, but went down far from the airport when the burning engine fell off.
1947: First flight of the Antonov An-2 “Colt” single-engine biplane.
1940: Pennsylvania Central Airlines Trip 19, a Douglas DC-3, crashes near Lovettsville, Virginia after flying through a thunderstorm and possibly being struck by lightning. US Senator Ernest Lundeen of Minnesota is among the 25 dead.
1925: U.S. Navy Commander John Rodgers and his crew take off from San Francisco, California in a PN-9 flying boat in an attempt to make the first transpacific flight from North America to the Hawaiian Islands. They are forced down in the Pacific Ocean on September 1 after flying 1,841.12 statute miles (2,964.77 km) nonstop. The four then sail the aircraft as a boat 450 nautical miles (833 km) farther toward Hawaii before being picked up by the U.S. Navy submarine USS R-4 (SS-81) 10 nautical miles (18.5 km) north of Kauai on September 10. Although unsuccessful, their flight sets a world nonstop distance record for Class C seaplanes which will stand until 1930.