On This Day in Aviation History


Today in Aviation History: October 30th

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1985 – Space Shuttle Challenger is launched for mission STS-61-A. It would prove to be Challenger‘s final successful mission prior to the ship’s disastrous launch a few months later. With eight astronauts on board, to this day the mission holds the record for the most crewmembers to complete a round trip on a single spacecraft.

1976 РPan Am Flight 50, operated by the 747SP named Clipper New Horizons (N533PA), lands back in San Francisco 54 hours 7 minutes 12 seconds after it left, thereby setting a new speed record for a round-the-world polar flight. Over 170 passengers paid $2222 (economy) to $3333 (first class) for the privilege of flying over the North and South Poles with musicians, a hair dresser and a Gucci fashion show on board. The flight also made stops in London, Cape Town and Auckland along the way. Earlier that year, the same aircraft (though named Clipper Liberty Bell at the time) set a speed record for circumnavigating the globe around the Equator.

1961 – The Soviet Union detonates Tsar Bomba over an island in the Arctic Ocean. The 58 megaton bomb remains the largest manmade explosive ever detonated.

1909 РClaude Moore-Brabazon wins a £1,000 prize offered by the Daily Mail for a circular flight of one mile in a British aircraft.

1908 – Henry Farman completes the first flight between two towns in Europe. He covers the 27 km between Chalons in southeastern France to Rheims in the northeast in 20 minutes.

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