On this day in Aviation History – January 4

On this day in Aviation History – January 4


2004: The NASA Mars Rover Spirit, lands successfully on Mars.

2004: The NASA Mars Rover Spirit


1989: Two US Navy F-14 Tomcats shoot down two Libyan Air Force MiG-23s over the Mediterranean.

F-14 1989   Mig 23


1964: Pope Paul VI lands in Amman, Jordan, in a special Alitalia DC-8; it is the first time that a pope has used an airplane for an official visit.

Alitalia DC-8


1958: Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth, falls out of orbit and back to terra firma.

Sputnik 1


1957: The Brooklyn Dodgers order a Convair CV-440 Metropolitan for $775,000, becoming the first major league baseball team to buy an airplane. Thanks to Dodger-owner Walter O’Malley’s friendship with Eastern Air Lines president Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker, the Dodgers are able to piggyback onto an Eastern order to get a plane directly from the Convair factory in San Diego.

Dodgers Convair CV-440   Dodgers Convair CV-440


1952: Pan American World Airways inaugurates the first all-cargo service across the North Atlantic with its recently acquired Douglas DC-6A cargo carrier.

Pan Am  Douglas DC-6A


1945: U.S. jeep-aircraft carrier Ommaney Bay sinks after twin-engine kamikaze bomber attacks and hits the deck filled with fueled aircraft.

Ommaney Bay  Ommaney Bay

Updated: June 1, 2015 — 10:18 AM
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