The online aviation athenaeum providing daily milestones and opinions of flight -- past and present, links to books, articles, documentaries, and other online resources celebrating and educating the public about the world-changing achievements of flight. Often providing a corrective view to the official hagiographies of flight.
The Goma Express, an airline company whose aircraft was attacked, said a Russian pilot escaped and flew the plane back to Goma, the provincial capital 150km away, with a wounded Congolese national on board.
The FDLR attacked a plane with the assistance of Mai Mai Sheka [militia]. They took food supplies that were onboard and the co-pilot of the plane.
About 15 planes a day land at Walikale's airstrip to export tons of cassiterite from the Bisie mine in the deep jungle.
2010 -- The families of victims from the Concorde supersonic jet crash gather at the site of the crash in Gonesse, North of Paris.
Families of those who died when a supersonic Concorde jet crashed on takeoff from Paris have gathered to mark the tenth anniversary of the disaster. Air France officials gave flowers to some 100 family members, mostly from Germany, to lay at a monument to the dead, in Gonesse, near Charles de Gaulle Airport.
2010 -- – Unmanned U.S. aircraft fired missiles at houses in two different parts of northwestern Pakistan today, reportedly killing at least 12 militants in attacks that occurred hours apart.
Around midday aircraft fired four missiles at a house in Shaktoi, a village along the border of North and South Waziristan, killing five suspected militants and wounding at least 4 others.
Later, two missiles hit a house in Taipi village near Miran Shah, the main town in North Waziristan, Pakistan, killing seven suspected militants.
The strikes came a day after U.S. missiles targeting a compound in the Nazai Narai area of South Waziristan killed 16 suspected militants.
2000 -- ConcordeFlight AF4590 crashes minutes after take-off from Charles de Gaulle airport near Paris killing 113 people, the first Concorde in the aircraft's 31-year history to crash.
The Air France jet, bound for New York, crashed into a Relais Bleu hotel in the town of Gonesse, 10 miles north of Paris just before 1700 local time (1500 GMT).
A 16-inch (40cm) piece of metal lost by a plane that had taken off five minutes earlier punctured one of the Concorde's tires.
This caused debris to be flung into the fuel tank which subsequently started a catastrophic fire.
As part of the safety improvements the supersonic plane's fuel tanks were fitted with bullet-proof Kevlar rubber linings, tougher tires were introduced and a strengthening of the wiring in the undercarriage bay was undertaken.
However, the aircraft has been dogged by a series of problems since the accident and on April 10, 2003, BA and Air France announced the aircraft would be taken out of service for good by the end of October 2003. Concorde's last commercial flight was on October 23, 2003.
1999 -- A Swedish pilot, Mikael Carlson,re-enacted the first cross-Channel flight 90 years after Louis Blériot's historic journey.
Carlson landed his 1910 vintage Blériot XI plane on the cliffs at Dover 33 minutes after taking off from France - seven minutes faster than Bleriot's time. He said: "This was the first big heroic flight when the century was young, and I wanted to celebrate the end of this century in the same way it started."
He was the founder and director of the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory, later renamed the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, which under his direction designed and built the Apollo Guidance Computer for NASA, which made the Apollo moon landings possible.
1984 -- Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to walk in space as she carried out more than three hours of experiments outside the orbiting space station Salyut Seven.
1983 -- The Royal Air Force (RAF) takes delivery of its first British Aerospace (BAe) VictorVC10K Mk2 tanker conversion.
ZA140/A was the first VC10 tanker to enter RAF service as a K.Mk.2. Together with the Victor tanker, it was invaluable during the 1991 Gulf War.
In 2001 the VC10 K2 made it's last flight as a tanker. The five K2s were the oldest airframes in the fleet, and in recent years some of these airframes had already been temporarily stored when not in need. Since then all the K2s have been ferried to RAF St. Athan where they have been reduced to spares, a colloquial term for reducing a once lovely airliner to a pile of scrap metal.
1981 -- A B-52 with an offensive avionics system fired an air-launched cruise missile for the first time.
1974 -- A detachment of four Westland/Aerospatiale Puma HC1s from No.33 and No.230 Squadrons and No.240 Operational Conversion Unit are flown to Akrotiri aboard two Shorts Belfast transport aircraft of No.53 Squadron.
Following reassembly, the helicopters commenced operations on July 30, flying reconnaissance sorties of the original cease-fire lines between Greek and Turkish forces and communications tasks. The detachment ended on October 31 and the aircraft and personnel returned to RAF Odiham between November-7.
1961 -- A Titan 1 completed its first full-range flight test with an all-inertial guidance system. It launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and flew down the Atlantic Missile Range.
1946 -- Task Group 1.5, a 2,200-man U.S. Army Air Force element, conducted the second phase of a test to burst an A-bomb underwater off Bikini Island during Operation Crossroads.
This group provided aircraft and personnel to photograph and collect data on the explosion.
1944 -- An effort to breakout U.S. forces at Normandy began with 3,000 planes, including 1,500 Eighth Air Force bombers, attacking German posts at St. Lo near American lines for three hours during Operation Cobra.
Although the operation succeeded a few bombers hit the wrong target area and killed almost 500 U.S. troops, including Lt. Gen. Lesley J. McNair, the U.S. Ground Forces commander.
This record would stand for two years. Champion had set the world seaplane altitude record just three weeks before with his float equipped Wright Apache when he climbed to 37,995 on July 4. His departure airfield for both records was Naval Air Station Anacostia, in Washington, DC.
Lieutenant Champion’s aircraft powered by a 425 hp Pratt & Whitney engine climbed to 47,000 feet on his cockpit altimeter, when two cylinder heads blew off the engine, just missing Champion’s head. He ducked for effect, but his head movement jerked the oxygen tube out of his mouth. Instantly he passed out. His Apache aircraft now descended in an uncontrolled state with an unconscious pilot. At lower altitude Champion regained consciousness and found hisApachefalling and on fire. He placed the oxygen tube back in his mouth and took control of the aircraft, sideslipping the aircraft and diving in an attempt to put out the fire. Still wozy from the hypoxia, he was able to land in a cornfield having fought four fires on the way down. Later examination of his instruments would yield the record altitude of 38,419 feet. Champion’s flight would lead to the development of the oxygen mask, a tool that would save many future pilots.
1926 -- Nils Söderberg is the first person whose life is saved by parachute in Sweden.
1909 -- Louis Blériot of France, flies his Blériot No.XI monoplane from Les Baraques near Calais at 0441 hours across the English Channel and lands at Northfall Meadow next to Dover Castle 36 ½ minutes later.
Blériot was ready to go with his tiny Type XI. The weather intervened, however, and strong winds kept him and his competitor Leon Levavasseur grounded for several days. Finally, in the early hours of July 25, Blériot, awake because of a troublesome burn on his foot suffered in an accidnet a few days before, noticed that the wind had dropped. At 3:30 a.m., he air-tested the Type XI. Satisfied that all was well, he refueled and took off at 4:41 a.m., heading out into a mist over the gray water of the Channel. Ten minutes later, without a compass or a watch, and with the 25-horsepower Anzani engine already showing signs of over-heating, Blériot had outpaced the escorting French destroyer. In a later account, he said: "For ten minutes I was on my own, isolated, lost in the middle of the foaming sea, seeing no point on the horizon, perceiving no boat." He flew between 150 and 300 feet above the sea and "let the aeroplane take its own course. Then, twenty minutes after I have left the French coast, I see the cliffs of Dover, the castle, and away to the west the spot where I had intended to land....It is evident that the wind has taken me out of my course." Blériot had a few more problems before he landed. With a flight less than 37 minutes, Louis Blériot had made the world's first international overseas airplane flight. Blériot made the historic crossing after Lord Northcliffe, the owner of the Daily Mail, offered £1,000 to the first successful pilot. The event increases public and government awareness of the possible military aspects of the airplane.
1909 -- Van den Schkrouff makes the first flight in Russia in a Voisin biplane at Odessa.
1907 -- At Issy-les-Moulineaux, Blériot flies 492 feet in his monoplane No.VI, the Libellule [dragonfly].
Built by Louis Peyret, the foreman at his works, it has two sets of wings in tandem. To control vertical movement, the pilot slides to end fro on a wheeled seat.