On This Day in Aviation History


World’s First Jet Plane Takes Off in Nazi Germany: July 18 in Aviation History

1914: the U.S. Congress forms the Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps, formerly known as the Aeronautical Division, U.S. Signal Corps. Six name changes and 33 years later, it would become the United States Air Force.

1914: A French pilot, Maurice Guillaux, completes Australia’s first official airmail flight, carrying 1,785 letters, some Lipton Tea and OT Lemon Squash.

1915: Near Chicago, Katherine Stinson becomes the first female pilot to fly a loop the loop.

1919: Baroness Raymonde de Laroche, the first Frenchwoman to earn a pilot’s license, is killed in a plane crash in northern France.

1921: John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth, is born in Cambridge, Ohio.

1942: The world’s first operational jet-powered fighter aircraft and first mass-produced jet aircraft, the Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe, is flown in Germany for the first time. It wouldn’t enter service until near the end of the war in 1944.

1965: the first Russian satellite to complete a lunar flyby, Zond 3, is launched.

1966: Gemini 10, the first mission to complete a double rendezvous with other spacecraft, is launched from Cape Canaveral.

1984: Beverly Lynn Burns becomes the first female Boeing 747 airline captain, flying PEOPLExpress flight 604 from Newark to LAX. The achievement earned her extensive media attention, congratulatory honors from several local politicians–and even an invitation to President Ronald Reagan’s second inauguration. By the time she retired from Continental in 2008, she had captained the 727, 737, 747, 757, 767, 777 and DC-10.

2006: Emirates orders 10 Boeing 747-8 Freighters at the Farnborough Airshow.

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