On This Day in Aviation History


Today in Aviation History: October 24th

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Written by: NYCAviation Staff
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2003 – Farewell, Concorde. Following its retirement by Air France earlier in the year, British Airways completes the final revenue flight of any remaining Concorde. Speedbird 2 Heavy, operated by G-BOAG, departs JFK Airport‘s Runway 31R and lands at London Heathrow three hours later.

Here is a clip from a Discovery Channel special about the final flight, including some fantastic footage of the final takeoff. You may notice some old school NYCA’ers interviewed in this clip. Visit Discovery.com to watch the entire show.

2000: First flight of the Lockheed Martin X-35, the prototype of the F-35 Lightning II.

1998 – A Delta II rocket carrying NASA’s Deep Space 1 comet and asteroid research probe is launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

1986 – Nezar Hindawi is sentenced to 45 years in prison by a British court, the longest sentence ever handed down in the country. A Syrian immigrant, Hindawi attempted to take down an El Al flight from London to Tel Aviv by hiding a bomb in his unwitting pregnant fiance’s baggage. El Al security found the bomb before the woman boarded and arrested both her and Hindawi.

1960 – A prototype of the Soviet R-16 intercontinental ballistic missile explodes on the launch pad at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, killing at least 120 people including the country’s Chief Marshal of Artillery, Mitrofan Nedelin. The resulting delay in the development of the long-range missile was part of Nikita Khrushchev’s motivation for deploying shorter-range missiles to Cuba, which in-turn spurred the Cuban Missile Crisis.

1957 – The US Air Force issues a proposal to build a reusable manned spaceplane. Boeing’s X-20 Dyna Soar design wins the contract the following year, but the program is canceled just after construction began.

1946 – The White Sands Rocket, officially designated V-2 No. 13, reaches an altitude of 107 miles and snaps the first photograph of earth ever captured from space.

1944 – The US Navy aircraft carrier USS Princeton is sunk by a Japanese bomb off the coast of the Philippines during the battle of Leyte Gulf. Allied forces would achieve a decisive victory two days later.

1912 – Australian aviation pioneer Harry Hawker wins the British Empire Michelin Cup for endurance, flying for over eight hours in a Burgess-Wright airplane.

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