On This Day in Aviation History


August 7th in Aviation History: Operation Desert Shield Begins, First Flight of SpaceShipOne

Coalition aircraft in formation over Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield. From left to right: Qatari F-1 Mirage, French F-1C Mirage, US Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon, Canadian CF/A-18A Hornet and Qatari Alpha Jet. (Photo by US Air Force/Staff Sgt. Lee Corkran)

2004: A rusting Eastern Air Lines DC-7B (N836D) is ferried from St. Paul, Minn., to Opa-locka, Fla., for a full restoration.

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.

1959: The first ever television images of earth from space are transmitted from the Explorer 6 satellite.

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.

About the Author

NYCAviation Staff



PHOTOS: The Three Remaining WB-57Fs Take Flight Over Houston

Residents of Houston Texas were given a rare treat last Thursday: A formation flight by the only three remaining airworthy B-57s, NASA's WB-57Fs.
by Nathan Moeller


Space Travel’s Biggest Benefit – World Peace? Why We Must Venture Further

Why do we travel to space? What if there was a reason greater than technological advancements and finding a home on other planets? Dare we say...
by Phil Derner Jr.



WATCH LIVE: Orion EFT-1 Launch Will Test Human Flight Into Deep Space

Orion, NASA’s newest spacecraft, is set to launch atop a Delta IV Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 7:05 a.m. Watch it live!
by Sarina Houston


Cool NASA Animation Beautifully Details Every Step of Orion’s First Launch!

A cool animation details NASA’s Orion Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) mission, which will go farther than any human spacecraft has in the past 40 years.
by Ken Kremer, UniverseToday.com


Iconic Kennedy Space Center Countdown Clock Retires

Space enthusiasts say goodbye to Kennedy Space Center's iconic Countdown Clock after years of poor weather and decades of unforgiving time have visibly taken their toll.
by Ken Kremer, UniverseToday.com