On This Day in Aviation History

January 12, 2013

First Pan Am 747 Lands At Heathrow: January 12 in Aviation History

2005 – The Deep Impact space probe is launched from Cape Canaveral aboard a Delta II rocket. Its mission is to collide with and analyze the composition of the comet 9P/Tempel, which it would complete successfully in June 2005.

1997 – Space Shuttle Atlantis launches on mission STS-81 enroute to the Mir space station.

1991 – The US Congress authorizes the use of military force to expel Iraqi forces out of Kuwait.

1986 – As Space Shuttle Columbia launches on mission STS-61C, Mission Specialist/Congressman Bill Nelson becomes the second sitting member of Congress to orbit the earth.

1979 – Pilatus Aircraft acquires Britten-Norman.

1975 – British Airways inaugurates Europe’s first no-reservations-needed shuttle, flying between London and Glasgow.

1973 – A US Navy F-4 Phantom scores the 197th and final US air-to-air victory of the Vietnam War.

1970 – Pan Am flies the first 747 ever delivered, Clipper Victor (reg: N736PA) on a proving flight between New York and London, which in the process becomes the first widebody aircraft to land at Heathrow Airport. Commercial service would commence on January 21st.

1969 – The New York Jets, so named in honor of the airport (LaGuardia) next to their Shea Stadium home, win Super Bowl III over the heavily favored Baltimore Colts.

1939 – RAF forms the Auxiliary Air Force.



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Today in Aviation History: January 6

Happy birthday to Lufthansa! United Grounds Ted, the US Marines take delivery of their first AV-8 Harrier and more...
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President Richard M. Nixon and Dr. James C. Fletcher, NASA Administrator, discuss the proposed Space Shuttle vehicle in San Clemente, California, on January 5, 1972. (Photo by NASA)

Today in Aviation History: January 5th

The Space Shuttle program is launched, Amelia Earhart is declared legally dead, Independence Air ceases operations, and more...
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The Apollo 17 spacecraft, containing astronauts Eugene A. Cernan, Ronald E. Evans, and Harrison H. Schmitt, glided to a safe splashdown at 2:25 p.m. EST on Dec. 19, 1972, 648 kilometers (350 nautical miles) southeast of American Samoa. The astronauts were flown by recovery helicopter to the U.S.S. Ticonderoga slightly less than an hour after the completion of NASA's sixth and last manned lunar landing in the Apollo program. (Photo by NASA)

Today in Aviation History: December 19th

The world's first airport opens near Paris, the last moon mission returns to earth, a Chalk's Ocean Airways crash is captured on video, and more...
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Today in Aviation History: December 16th

The midair collision of a United DC-8 and TWA Constellation over New York City, Concorde makes the first sub-3-hour Atlantic crossing, an Air Canada CRJ crashes, and more...
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Today in Aviation History: December 15th

In a near disaster, KLM Flight 867 loses all engines temporarily after flying through a cloud of volcanic ash, McDonnell Douglas and Boeing merge, the Boeing 787 makes its first flight, and more..
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  • Dan A.

    Note on aircraft NP736PA: March 27, 1977, it was involved in the horrific ground collision with KLN 747 at Tenerife.

    • mickrussom

      Yes RN N736PA . Tenerife was was the worst accident ever in aviation, 583 people.

  • Dan A.

    Note on aircraft NP736PA: March 27, 1977, it was involved in the horrific ground collision with KLN 747 at Tenerife.