This Day In Aviation History

  • 17 December 1984
    Lockheed C-5A Galaxy (Technical Sergeant Bill Thompson, U.S. Air Force) 17 December 1984: At Dobbins Air Force Base, Georgia, Jesse Thomas Allen set a Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) World Record for the Greatest Payload Carried to a Height of 2,000 Meters (6,562 feet), lifting 111,461.57 kilograms (245,730.70 pounds) aboard a Lockheed... Read more »
  • 17 December 1947
    Boeing XB-47 Stratojet 46-065 in flight over a snow-covered landscape. (U.S. Air Force) Robert M. Robbins 17 December 1947: Boeing test pilots Robert M. Robbins and Edward Scott Osler made the first flight of the Model 450, the XB-47 Stratojet prototype. It was a 52-minute flight from Boeing Field, Seattle to Moses... Read more »
  • 17 December 1947
    Jackie Cochran and her P-51B Mustang, NX28388. (Unattributed) 17 December 1947: At Thermal, California, Jackie Cochran flew her green North American Aviation P-51B Mustang, NX28388, to a Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) World Record for Speed Over a 3 Kilometer Course. Her average speed, after two passes over the course in each... Read more »
  • 17 December 1944
    Major Richard Ira Bong, Air Corps, United States Army, Leyte, 12 December 1944. Major Bong is wearing the Medal of Honor. (U.S. Air Force) 17 December 1944: Captain Richard Ira Bong, United States Army Air Corps, flying a Lockheed P-38 Lighting over San José on the Island of Mindoro, Commonwealth of... Read more »
  • 17 December 1935
    Douglas DST NX14988 on its first flight, 17 December 1935. (Douglas Aircraft Company) 17 December 1935: Douglas Aircraft Company vice president and chief test pilot Carl A. Cover made the first flight of the Douglas DST, NX14988, at Clover Field, Santa Monica, California. Also aboard were engineers Fred Stineman and Frank... Read more »
  • 17 December 1903, 10:35 a.m.
    Orville Wright at the controls of the Flyer, just airborne on its first flight at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, 17 December 1903. Wilbur Wright is running along to stabilize the wing. This photograph was taken by John Thomas Daniels, Jr., using the Wright Brothers’ Gundlach Optical Company Korona-V camera.... Read more »
  • 16 December 1960
    The “empennage and fuselage aft of Fuselage Station 1490” of United Air Lines’ Douglas DC-8 N8013U at the intersection of Sterling Place and Seventh Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, 17 December 1960. (New York Daily News) 16 December 1960, 10:33:32 a.m., Eastern Standard Time: United Air Lines Flight 826, a Douglas DC-8... Read more »
  • 15 December 2006
    AA-1, the first prototype Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II, takes off at Fort Worth, Texas, 12:44 p.m., CST, 15 December 2006. (Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co.) 15 December 2006: Lockheed Martin Chief Test Pilot Jon S. Beesely takes the first prototype F-35A Lightning II stealth strike fighter for its first test flight... Read more »
  • 15 December 1965
    Gemini 7, as seen from Gemini 6A, 15 December 1965. (Thomas P. Stafford/NASA) 15 December 1965: At 13:37:26 UTC, Gemini 6A, with NASA astronauts Captain Walter M. Schirra, Jr., United States Navy and Major Thomas P. Stafford, United States Air Force, on board, lifted off from Launch Complex 19 at the Cape Kennedy... Read more »
  • 15 December 1959
    Major Joseph W. Rogers, U.S. Air Force, in the cockpit of Convair F-106A Delta Dart 56-0467, at Edwards AFB, 15 December 1959. (U.S. Air Force) 15 December 1959: At Edwards Air Force Base, California, Major Joseph William Rogers, United States Air Force, flew a Convair F-106A Delta Dart all-weather interceptor, serial... Read more »