On This Day in Aviation History
Operation Desert Shield Begins, First Flight of SpaceShipOne: August 7 in Aviation History
2003: The SpaceShipOne spaceplane conducts its first unpowered test flight.
1999: TACV Flight 5002, a Dornier Do 228 (registration D4-CBC) operated by the Cape Verde Coast Guard, crashes during a flight from São Vicente, Cape Verde to Santo Antão, killing all 18 on board.
1997: Space Shuttle Discovery lifts off from Cape Canaveral for mission STS-85.
1990: Operation Desert Shield begins, as the first American air patrols, troops and equipment land in Saudi Arabia to discourage an Iraqi invasion. Iraq had annexed neighboring Kuwait five days earlier.
1989: Rep. Mickey Leland (D-Texas) is killed along with 14 others when the plane they are on crashes into a mountain in Gambela, Ethiopia.
1985: Takao Doi, Mamoru Mohri and Chiaki Mukai are chosen to be Japan’s first astronauts. The men would later serve on two NASA space shuttle missions each.
1982: Armenian militants set off a bomb and spray machine gun fire inside Esenboğa International Airport in Ankara, Turkey, killing nine and injuring 72.
1980: The Gossamer Penguin solar-powered aircraft completes its first flight.
1976: The Viking 2 probe enters a Martian orbit after an 11 month trip from Earth.
1971: The Apollo 15 spacecraft splashes down in the Pacific, 330 miles north of Hawaii, following the fourth manned moon mission.
1967: Aerolineas Argentinas and Iberia jointly inaugurate the world’s longest non-stop route, between Buenos Aires and Madrid.
1963: The Lockheed YF-12, a prototype for the SR-71 Blackbird, makes its first flight.
1951: The Douglas Skyrocket sets a new speed record: Mach 1.88 (1,245 mph, 1,992 km/h).
1945: Maiden flight of Japan’s first jet aircraft, the Nakajima Kikka. Its final flight would come a week later.
1943: First flight of the Ilyushin Il-6 long-range bomber. Only four would be built before the project was canceled in 1944.
1933: Pioneering female Korean pilot Park Kyung-won is killed in a plane crash in Japan.
1928: First flight of the Curtiss Model 50 Robin.
1919: Capt. Ernest C. Hoy becomes the first pilot to fly over the Canadian Rockies. His Curtiss JN-4 biplane unable to climb over the 7,000+ ft peaks, he flies between them instead. On his return flight his plane cartwheels after takeoff and Hoy would never fly again.
1913: Sam Cody, American aviation pioneer, showman and first man to fly a powered aircraft in Britain, is killed in Aldershot, England, while flying his latest design, the Cody Floatplane.