On This Day in Aviation History

October 9, 2012

Last Flight of the SR-71 Blackbird: October 9 in Aviation History

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By: NYCAviation Staff
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An SR-71B Blackbird, NASA 831, slices across the snow-covered southern Sierra Nevada Mountains of California after being refueled by an Air Force tanker during a 1994 flight. SR-71B was the trainer version of the SR-71. Notice the dual cockpit to allow the instructor to fly the airplane. (Photo by NASA)
An SR-71B Blackbird, NASA 831, slices across the snow-covered southern Sierra Nevada Mountains of California after being refueled by an Air Force tanker during a 1994 flight. SR-71B was the trainer version of the SR-71. Notice the dual cockpit to allow the instructor to fly the airplane. (Photo by NASA)
2009: The Centaur module of NASA’s Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) is purposely smashed into the surface of the Moon, creating a plume of dust which is collected by another spacecraft to test for the presence of water. Five weeks later, test results confirm the existence of water vapor on the Moon.

1999: Completing a career during which she set scores of speed and altitude records, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird makes its final flight.

1900: French aeronaut Count Henri de La Vaulx sets a world record for non-stop long-distance balloon flight, flying over 35 hours after taking off from Paris.

1890: French inventor Clément Ader completes what is arguably the first flight of a manned, powered airplane when his steam-engined, propeller-pushed Éole flies about 164 ft (50 m) at an altitude just under 8 inches (20 cm).