On This Day in Aviation History

November 18, 2014

Today in Aviation History: November 18th

2009 – Virgin America commences service between their San Francisco (SFO) hub and Fort Lauderdale (FLL), as well as LAX-FLL.

2002 – American Airlines and British Airways announce their plan to launch codeshares on transatlantic flights, a plan that would be essentially derailed by U.S. regulators.

1997 – The FBI concludes its investigation of the TWA Flight 800 crash, declaring there is no evidence of foul play. The NTSB’s investigation would continue.

1985 – General Dynamics completes its purchase of Cessna. (Cessna would be sold to Textron in 1992).

1985 – Space Shuttle Enterprise, is ferried from Kennedy Space Center in Florida to Washington Dulles Airport for display at the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

1966 – The North American X-15 rocket plane, piloted US Air Force Captain William J. Knight, sets a speed record of Mach 6.33 (4,250 mph, 6,840 km/h).

1955 – The Bell X-2 rocket plane makes its first powered flight.

1949 – A C-74 Globemaster delivers 103 passengers across the Atlantic, a record load for a transatlantic flight.

1943 – The Battle of Berlin begins, with 440 Royal Air Force planes bombing the German capital, though causing only moderate damage. 131 Germans are killed, while the RAF loses nine aircraft and 53 air crew. The bombing continues until the end of March 1944.

1930 – Boeing’s first monoplane fighter aircraft, the XP-9, makes its first flight at Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio. The design is almost immediately rejected by Army test pilots: The wing’s placement atop the fuselage in front of the cockpit severely obstructs visibility to the point that landing is dangerous. The plane is also inherently unstable, resulting in a demand for a larger tail. Even with the tail modification, the single copy of the aircraft is retired the following year after just 15 hours of flight time.

1923 – Alan Shepard, American astronaut, was born. Shepard was the first American in space. He later commanded the Apollo 14 mission, and was the fifth person to walk on the moon.



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