This Day In Aviation History

  • 18 July 1967
    18 July 1967: For the first time, a U.S. Air Force Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giant combat search and rescue helicopter refueled in flight from a Lockheed HC-130P Combat King command and control aircraft during an actual rescue mission in Southeast Asia. A Lockheed HC-130P Combat King refuels a Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giant, with escorting Douglas A-1E and A-1H Skyraiders, Southeast Asia, 1968. (U.S. Air Force) © 2015, Bryan… Read more »
  • 18 July 1966, 22:20:26.648 UTC, T minus Zero
    Gemini 10 launches from LC-19, Cape Kennedy Air Force Station, at 22:20:26 UTC, 18 July 1966. (NASA) 18 July 1966: At 22:20:26.648 UTC, Gemini 10 launched from Launch Complex 19 at the Cape Kennedy Air Force Station. The two astronauts aboard were John W. Young, on his second space flight, and Michael Collins. The launch vehicle was a liquid-fueled Martin SLV-4 Titan II, serial number 62-12565. John Watts Young, Command… Read more »
  • 18 July 1942
    Chief Test Pilot Fritz Wendel with the Messerschmitt Me 262 V3 prototype, PC+UC. (Photograph courtesy of Neil Corbett, Test and Research Pilots, Flight Test Engineers) Test Pilot Fritz Wendel (left) talks with Willy Messerschmitt after the maiden flight of Me 262 V3, 18 July 1942. 18 July 1942: (25 March 1942???) In the late 1930s, Germany began developing a fighter powered by a turbojet engine. In early 1942 the first… Read more »
  • 18 July 1919
    Élise Léontine Deroche poses with the airplane in which she would later be killed, at Le Crotoy, France, 18 July 1919. 18 July 1919: Élise Léontine Deroche was at Le Crotoy in northern France, co-piloting an experimental airplane, a civil variant of the Caudron G.3. The aircraft suddenly  pitched down and crashed, killing Deroche and the pilot, M. Barrault. Mme Deroche was 36 years old. According to a notice in Flight,… Read more »
  • 17 July 1996, 00:31:12 UTC
    Trans World Airlines’ Boeing 747-131 N93119 at London Gatwick Airport. (Cropped detail from photograph by Burmarrad via 17 July 1996, 8:31 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time: Trans World Airlines (TWA) Flight 800, a Boeing 747-131, FAA registration N93119, was enroute from New York to Paris with 212 passengers and 18 crewmembers persons aboard, and had been cleared to climb from FL130 (13,000 feet, 3,962 meters) to FL150 (15,000 feet, 4,572… Read more »
  • 17 July 1989
    Bruce J. Hinds and Richard Couch. (Photograph courtesy of Neil Corbett, Test and Research Pilots, Flight Test Engineers) 17 July 1989: The first Northrop B-2A Spirit, 82-1066, took off from Air Force Plant 42, Palmdale, California, on its first flight. The crew was Northrop Chief Test Pilot Bruce J. Hinds and Colonel Richard Couch, U.S. Air Force. The top secret “stealth bomber” prototype landed at Edwards Air Force Base 1… Read more »
  • 17 July 1975
    Apollo CSM-111 in orbit, as seen from Soyuz 19, 17 July 1975. (NASA ) At 12:20 UTC, 15 July 1975, Soyuz 19 launched from Gagarin’s Start at Baikonur Cosmosdrome, Kazakh SSR with Alexei Leonov and Valeri Kubasov, both on their second space flights. The launch vehicle was a Soyuz-U three-stage rocket. At 19:50 UTC, 15 July 1975, Apollo ASTP lifted off from Launch Complex 39A, Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida. The… Read more »
  • 17 July 1965
    North American Aviation XB-70A-2-NA 62-0207 takes off for the first time at AF Plant 42, 17 July 1965. (U.S. Air Force) 17 July 1965: At Air Force Plant 42, Palmdale, California, the second North American Aviation B-70 Valkyrie prototype, XB-70A-2-NA 62-0207, took off on its maiden flight enroute Edwards Air Force Base where it would continue the flight test program with its sister ship. The Valkyrie was designed as a Mach 3+… Read more »
  • 17 July 1962
    With Major Robert M. White and the X-15 under its right wing, the Boeing NB-52A Stratofortress, 52-003, takes of from Edwards Air Force Base, 17 July 1962. The rocketplane’s belly is covered with frost from the cryogenic propellants. (U.S. Air Force) 17 July 1962: At 9:31:10.0 a.m., the Number 3 North American Aviation X-15, 56-6672, was airdropped from a Boeing NB-52A Stratofortress, 52-003, over Delamar Dry Lake, Nevada. Air Force… Read more »
  • 17 July 1938
    Douglas Corrigan with his modified Curtiss Model 50 Robin B, NX9243, at Floyd Bennett Field, July 1938. 17 July 1938: For more than ten years it had been Clyde Groce Corrigan’s ambition to emulate his hero, Charles A. Lindbergh, and to fly solo, non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean. An aircraft mechanic, he had worked on the construction of the Spirit of St. Louis as an employee of Ryan Aircraft Co. in San… Read more »