2013 -- “Bride and Boom!”
We’re Number One... In Obliterating Wedding Parties By Tom Engelhardt.
2011 -- A Saudi BAE Systems Hawk, single-engine, advanced jet trainer aircraft of the Royal Saudi Air Force crashed during a training mission in the north-western region (Tabuk) this morning.
The Ministry of Defence said the crash was caused by a bird strike, which led to a malfunction in one of its engines. The pilot managed to eject safely.
2011 -- New details emerge in doomed flight that killed 5 in Morris County, New Jersey, U.S.A.
2011 -- The majority of Virgin America flight attendants have voted against unionization.
Fifty-nine percent of the flight attendants who voted cast their ballots against joining the Transport Workers Union.
2011 -- NASA's Kepler spacecraft has located its first two Earth-size worlds.
Although neither are plausibly hospitable to life, it seems only a matter of time before the mission scores its ultimate goal of finding planets that are about the size of Earth and have temperate surface conditions.
2011 -- Airbus Military is investigating the loss of part of a refuelling boom over the Atlantic during testing of a tanker plane being developed for the Royal Australian Air Force.
2010 -- Venezuela’s authorities took Fuerza Aérea Dominicana (FAD) (Dominican AF) lieutenant colonel Carlos Quiñones into custody for trying to fly a Falcon airplane with drugs to Dominican Republic, from a rural airport in that South American nation.
The arrest came after the Dominican pilot tried to fly the plane despite having a no-fly restriction issued by the Venezuela Aviation authorities.
2010 -- First flight HondaJet from the company’s Honda Aircraft Co. operation at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina, U.S.A.
While an earlier version called a proof-of-concept aircraft has logged more than 500 hours of flight testing, flying the version built to Federal Aviation Administration rules is what really counts toward bringing the plane to market.
The HondaJet has been in development since 1997 when Fujino first sketched the design. The proof-of-concept aircraft made its first flight in December 2003 and has since racked up more than 500 flight test hours. In 2007 the company revealed the interior design concept for the aircraft which is slated for delivery in 2012.
Honda is also nearing completion of its 266,000 square foot (24,712 m2) aircraft production facility on its Greensboro campus that is scheduled for completion in early 2011. Upon completion, the company fit will begin the process of moving equipment and personnel into the facility and begin ramping up production.
2010 -- Israeli fighter jets attack Gaza.
Air raids hit targets in several parts of the Hamas-ruled Palestinian territory. Apparently the raids were in retaliation for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip fired seven mortar shells into southern Israel that fell on open ground, causing no casualties.
2010 -- "I counted them all out, and I counted them all back:" Brian Hanrahan, a veteran BBC reporter who was responsible for one of British war reporting’s most celebrated moments, aboard Royal Navy aircraft carrier Hermes off the Falklands in 1982, has died from cancer. He was 61.
2010 -- The fourth Airbus Military A400M military airlifter has made its first flight – the culmination of a highly successful 2010 which also saw the fleet of Grizzly development aircraft complete just over 1,000 hours flight-time and 300 flights.
Known as Grizzly 4, the aircraft took off from Seville, Spain with a weight of 130 tons at 10h18 local time (GMT+1) and landed five hours and ten minutes later.
Sonic booms created by Israeli warplanes speeding across the sky are having the unintended consequence of launching hibernating crocodiles into mating mode.
2008 -- Continental(CAL) Flight 1404, a Boeing 737-500, veered off the runway in Denver around 6 p.m., hit an embankment and burst into flames. Within 90 seconds, every passenger had been evacuated. There were no fatalities, although 37 people were injured.
Much of the credit for the successful evacuation belongs to three flight attendants who made sure the passengers exited before they did -- even as a fire, burning on the right side of the aircraft, made right side exits unusable, melted overhead bins and caused windows to melt and pop. The crew included Pamela Howard, an 18-year flight attendant; Regina Ressler, with 11 years, and 10-year-veteran Al Felipe.Ressler, even though she broke her ankle and had to stand on one foot, never lost her composure until after all passengers were off of the plane. Felipe disregarded his own safety and searched every row and searched through pillows, blankets and luggage on the floor to make sure no one was there. Howard opened the rear door, assisted passengers, and -- wearing high heels -- went through the plane to make sure everybody was out before exiting.
2006 -- During Operation Deep Freeze, Airmen from McChord AFB, Washington, flew the first C-17 Globemaster III airdrop mission to the South Pole by dropping 70,000 pounds of supplies to the National Science Foundation team at Antarctica's South Pole Station.
The airdrop showed that one C-17 could deliver up to four times the tonnage of a ski-equipped LC-130 Hercules, when bad weather interfered with the resupply mission. The LC-130s belonged to the 109th Airlift Wing at Stratton Air National Guard Bureau in Scotia, New York.
2004 -- The U.S. Air Force inactivated its last operational F-4 Phantom II squadron at Holloman AFB, New Mexico.
The 20th Fighter Squadron's inactivation also ended a 33-year German-American joint fighter training program in F-4E/F aircraft. The last F-4s from Holloman were transferred to the Aircraft Maintenance and Regeneration Center at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona
2000 -- Death of Friedrich Duerr.
Hubble Space Telescope (HST) servicing mission SM-3A, delayed repeatedly by technical problems with the shuttle fleet after the near-disastrous previous launch. Finally launched after the last possible day to avoid Y2K computer problems.
1999 -- Torrential rains in mid-December caused massive landslides down Mount Avila near Caracas, Venezuela.
The landslides destroyed most shantytowns around Caracas and killed as many as 30,000 people, while leaving another 400,000 homeless. A C-5 from the New York Air National Guard arrived at Roosevelt Roads Naval Air Station in Puerto Rico on December 23 with water purification equipment. From Roosevelt Roads, C-130 aircrews from the Puerto Rico Air National Guard airlifted the C-5's cargo to Caracas. Through December 28, the U.S. Air Force dispatched six C-130s, one C-5 and two MH-60 helicopters to Caracus to provide humanitarian relief.
1997 -- A C-141A towed a modified QF-106 Delta Dart into the air for the first Eclipse Project flight.
Dryden Research Center pilot Mark Stucky flew the Eclipse experimental Demonstrator-1 to 10,000 feet above Edwards AFB, California. Eclipse was a joint U.S. Air Force/NASA/Kelly Space & Technology Inc. concept demonstrator for a future reusable space vehicle.
1996 -- U.S. astronomer and writer of popular science books Carl Edward Sagan died.
Sagan played a prominent role in the U.S. space program, with his involvement in the Mariner, Viking, and Voyager spacecraft expeditions.
1992 -- Royal Naval Air Service Ace Aubrey Beauclerk Ellwood, who scored ten victories flying the Sopwith Camel during WW I, died at Crewkerne, Somerset, England.
Air Marshal Sir Aubrey Beauclerk Ellwood KCB, DSC, DL, RAF, served in WW II as Deputy Director of Bomber Operations.
1991 -- U.S. Navy announces plans to close Argentia Newfoundland base in 1994; 500 personnel will leave; once the largest U.S. base on foreign soil.
1989 -- Operation Just Cause was the invasion of Panama by the United States. It occurred during the administration of U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush, and ten years after the Torrijos–Carter Treaties were ratified to transfer control of the Panama Canal from the United States back to Panama by the year 2000.
During the invasion, de facto Panamanian leader, general, and dictator Manuel Noriega was deposed, president-elect Guillermo Endara sworn into office and the Panamanian Defense Force dissolved.
Military Airlift Command played a significant role in the operation as 24 active and nine reserve units completed 84 airdrops, and 22 C-130s, 77 C-141s, and 12 C-5s flew employment missions. Another 40 C-141 and 13 C-5s airlifted follow-on security forces. Meanwhile Strategic Air Command KC-135s and KC-10s flew more than 160 missions to deliver 10 million pounds of fuel. From Tactical Air Command, the F-117A Stealth Fighter made its combat debut by dropping 2,000 pound bombs to "disorient, stun, and confuse" Panamanian Defense Force troops near Rio Hato. The Army's AH-64 Apache helicopter from the 82nd Airborne Division's Aviation Brigade saw action for the first time, launching AGM-114 Hellfire missiles against Panamanian targets. In aeromedical evacuations to January 5, 1990, eight C-141s and one C-130 flew 257 wounded soldiers from Panama to the U.S. During humanitarian airlift, airlifters carried three tons of medical supplies.
1989 -- A 16th Special Operations Squadron AC-130 crew, under the command of Capt. Greg McMillian, received the 1990 Mackay Trophy for leading the attack on the Panamanian Commandancia in Operation Just Cause.
1989 -- U.S. Air Force Reserve crews contributed to the success of Operation Just Cause.
Reserve airlifters carried more than 5,900 passengers and 3,700 tons of cargo, while refuelers supported active and reserve aircraft. Reserve gunships flew 29 sorties and expended over 7,000 rounds of ammunition.
1989 -- Air National Guard fighter, special operations, and airlift units also participated in Operation Just Cause. Participants included the 114th Tactical Fighter Group, 180th Tactical Fighter Group, 193rd Special Operations Group, and the 105th, 136th, 139th, 146th, 166th, and 172nd Tactical Airlift Groups.
1989 -- In Operation Just Cause, Military Airlift Command units transport 9,500 airborne troops from Pope AFB, North Carolina, to Panama in less than 36 hours, making it the largest night-combat airdrop since the Normandy invasion of 1944.
1984 -- Two C-130 Hercules aircraft moved 23.8 tons of emergency rescue equipment and vehicles to help in the unsuccessful rescue of 27 miners trapped over a mile below the earth's surface near Huntington, Utah.
1984 -- Death of Dmitri Fedorovich Ustinov.
Primary manager of the Soviet missile and space programs 1946-1976. In charge of development of Soviet rocketry 1946-1957. Chairman of the VPK 1957-1963. Secretary of Central Committee for Defence and Space 1965-1976, was Minister of Defense of the Soviet Union from 1976 until his death.
1978 -- Devendra Nath Pandey and Bhola Nath Pandey hijacked Indian Airlines flight IC-410.
They demanded the immediate release of Indian National Congress party leader Indira Gandhi who was imprisoned at that time on the charges of fraud and misconduct. Later, they were awarded with party tickets for this act by the Indira Gandhi government in 1980 such that Devendra Nath Pandey rose to become a minister in the government of most populous state of India, Uttar Pradesh. This case was also mentioned by Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale to justify his claim regarding the hypocrisy of the Indian government.
1972 -- Day Three of Operation Linebacker II. The targets of the 99 bombers sent in on 20 December included the Yen Vien Railroad yards, the Ai Mo warehouse complex, the Thai Nguyen power plant, a transhipment point at Bac Giang, the Kinh No Railroad complex, and the Hanoi petroleum products storage area–all in or near Hanoi.
The combination of repetitive tactics, degraded EW systems, and limited jamming capability, however, led to dire consequences.
The repetitious nature of the previous evening's strike profiles had allowed North Vietnamese air defense forces to anticipate strike patterns and to salvo 34 missiles into the target area. Four B-52Gs and three B-52Ds were lost in the first and third waves of the mission. A fourth D model, returning to Thailand, crashed in Laos. Only two of the eight downed crews were recovered by search and rescue aircraft.
Of the 99 huge B-52 bombers in this bombing raid on targets around Hanoi, eight were lost to enemy fire, resulting in 36 airmen killed or captured.
The Strategic Air Command (SAC) blamed the tactics utilized (flight paths, altitudes, formations, timing, etc.), which had not varied from raids the two previous days. Air Force historian Earl Tilford offered a differing opinion: "Years of dropping bombs on undefended jungle and the routines of planning for nuclear war had fostered a mind-set within the SAC command that nearly led to disaster...Poor tactics and a good dose of overconfidence combined to make the first few nights of Linebacker nightmarish for the B-52 crews."
President Nixon ordered that the effort be extended past its original three-day deadline. The first change that SAC headquarters in Omaha stipulated was that only the aircraft stationed at U-Tapao (equipped with more powerful and sophisticated ECM gear) be allowed over the North. As a result the attack waves were reduced in size, although the tactics employed did not change.
1972 -- The Northrop M2-F3 lifting body completed its 27th and final flight after an air launch from a B-52. It reached 1,066 mph and 17,500 feet.
1971 -- The NF-104 rocket-powered aerospace training aircraft completed its last flight.
Students at Edwards AFB, California, used the NF-104 for steep zoom climb flights to reach the fringes of space.
1968 -- NASA terminated the X-15 hypersonic research program.
The X-15's 200th flight, scheduled for this day, was cancelled for bad weather, and the decision was made to end the program. The last actual flight attempt was December 12, 1968, but snow at several of the dry lakes used as emergency landing areas resulted in the flight being cancelled.
There had been three X-15A rocketplanes built by North American Aviation, Inc. The project was sponsored by the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA), the United States Air Force and United States Navy, with the purpose of exploring flight in the Mach 3–Mach 7 range and altitudes above 100,000 feet (30,480 meters).
The first X-15 flight took place June 8, 1959 with former NACA test pilot Albert Scott Crossfield in the cockpit of the Number 1 ship, 56-6670.
Over the next nine-and-a-half years, the three rocketplanes were carried aloft from Edwards Air Force Base in the high desert of southern California and Nevada by two modified Boeing B-52 Stratofortress “motherships.” They were flown by twelve test pilots, three of whom would qualify as astronauts in the X-15, and one, Neil Alden Armstrong, who would be the first human to set foot on the surface of the Moon. One pilot, John B. Jack McKay, was seriously injured during an emergency landing at Mud Lake, Nevada, and another, Michael James Adams, was killed when the Number 3 ship went into a hypersonic spin and broke up on the program’s 191st flight, November 15, 1967.
After 46 years, no other airplane has flown faster and higher, and it has been a museum piece for four decades. That is food for thought.