Portal:Aviation/Anniversaries/December 17

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December 17

  • 2003 – The 100th anniversary of the first flight of the Wright Brothers in the Wright Flyer is celebrated as the 100th birthday of aviation.
  • 1997Aerosvit Flight 241, a Yakovlev Yak-42, crashes near Thessaloniki, Greece, killing all 70 occupants – 8 crew and 62 passengers.
  • 1994 – The C-5 Galaxy sets a national record after taking off with the maximum payload of 920,836 pounds (417,684 kg), setting a U. S. national record.
  • 1973Pan Am Flight 110, a Boeing 707, is firebombed by Palestinian gunmen while at gate in Rome, Italy, killing 29 of 68 passengers and crew; other gunmen then hijack a Lufthansa Boeing 737 to Athens; in total, 33 die as a result of the firebombing and hijacking.
  • 1971 – The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 comes to an end. The Indian Air Force has lost 72 aircraft and the Pakistani Air Force 94 aircraft.
  • 1969 – The USAF closes Project Blue Book, its 22-year investigation into sightings of unidentified flying objects, or UFOs.
  • 19601960 Munich Convair 340 crash: A U. S. Air Force Convair C-131D Samaritan crashes due to fuel contamination shortly after takeoff from Munich-Riem Airport in Munich, West Germany. It crashes in the Ludwigsvorstadt borough of downtown Munich, striking a crowded two-section Munich streetcar. All 20 people on the plane and 32 people on the ground die.
  • 1960 – The visitor’s center at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, is dedicated on the 57th anniversary of the Wright Flyer‘s first flight in 1903.
  • 1953 – A USAF Boeing B-29 Superfortress, 44-87741, built as a B-29-90-BW, making an emergency landing at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, failed to reach the runway and crashed into an officers housing area at the base, demolishing ten homes and damaging three more. Nine of sixteen crew were killed, as were seven on the ground – an officer, his wife, and five children.
  • 1944 – U. S. Army Air Forces Major Richard Bong scores his 40th and final aerial victory, enough to make him the top-scoring American ace of World War II. He has made all of his kills flying the Lockheed P-38 Lightning.
  • 1943 – For the first time, the Cape Torokina airstrip on Bougainville is used to stage the first Air Solomons (AirSols) raid on Rabaul.
  • 1942 – A U. S. Army Air Forces reconnaissance and bombing raid on Amchitka in the Aluetian Islands destroys every building in the deserted Aleut village there, although no Japanese are on the island.
  • 1941 – (17-20) All surviving Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bombers of the United States Army Air Force‘s Far East Air Force are withdrawn from the Philippine Islands to Australia. All other Far Eastern Air Force aircraft are destroyed or captured by the Japanese.
  • 1941 – A Yokosuka E14Y floatplane (Allied reporting name “Glen”) launched by the Japanese submarine I-7 conducts a post-strike reconnaissance flight over Pearl Harbor. It is the E14Y’s combat debut.
  • 1941 – Aircraft from HMS Audacity (D10) damage the German submarine U-131 so badly that her crew later scuttles her. It is the first time that escort aircraft carrier-based aircraft contribute to the sinking of a submarine.
  • 1941 – In the Philippine Islands, United States Army Air Forces Curtiss P-40 Warhawk pilot Lieutenant Colonel Boyd Wagner shoots down his fifth Japanese plane near Vigan, becoming the first American ace of World War II.
  • 1939 – UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand sign an agreement at Ottawa to set up the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan in Canada for the training of aircrew. The Plan was to be administered and organized by the RCAF.
  • 1935 – The Douglas DC-3, one of the most successful airliners of all time, makes its first flight
  • 1903 – The Wright Brothers make four flights in their Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. After years of dedicated research and development, the brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright fly 120 feet (37 m)) in the first practical aeroplane. This may be the first controlled powered heavier-than-air flight and the first photographed powered heavier-than-air flight. On their fourth flight they manage 850 feet (260 m).