On This Day in Aviation History


Today in Aviation History: November 17th

1970 – The Soviet Union lands Lunokhod 1 on the Moon, becoming the first remote-controlled robot to visit the surface.

1968 – A customized version of the BAC One-Eleven, the 1-11 510ED, enters service with British European Airways.

1962 – President John F. Kennedy dedicates Dulles International Airport.

1957 – A British European Airways Vickers Viscount 802 (G-AOHP) carrying cargo to Copenhagen, crashes when three of its four engines fail after takeoff from London Heathrow Airport. The plane’s only occupants, the two pilots, escape unharmed, but the plane is damaged beyond repair. Ice buildup on the cowlings, an inoperable anti-ice system and subsequent ingestion of the ice into the engines are blamed for the crash.

1954– A B-47 is forced by bad weather to remain aloft for 47 hours 35 min, requiring air-to-air refueling nine times before successfully landing.

1927 – British aviation pioneer Sir Alan Cobham takes off from England in a Short Singapore flying boat to take an aerial survey of Africa.

1910 – Ralph Johnstone, a pilot for the Wright Exhibition Team, becomes the first American pilot to die in a plane crash when his machine breaks apart in mid air in full view of about 5,000 spectators at Denver, Colorado.

1906 – London’s Daily Mail newspaper offers a £10,000 prize for the first aviator to fly from London to Manchester in less than 24 hours with no more than two stops. The prize is won by Louis Paulhan of France nearly four years later.

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