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On this Day in Aviation History – November 16

On this Day in Aviation History – November 16

2004:     NASA’s X-43 reaches a record speed of Mach 10 (7,000 mph, 11,200 km/h). An unmanned experimental hypersonic aircraft. Part of NASA’s Hyper-X program, the project includes multiple planned scale variations meant to test all aspects of hypersonic flight. A winged booster rocket with the X-43 itself at the tip, called a “stack”, is launched from the B-52 carrier plane. After the booster rocket, (a modified first stage from a Pegasus rocket,) brings the stack to the target speed and altitude, it is discarded, and the X-43 flies free using its own a scramjet engine. So far the X-43 has set several airspeed records for jet-propelled aircraft.



1993:     Italy decides to lease 24 Panavia Tornado F3s from the Royal Air Force (RAF). They will be replaced by Eurofighters after 10 years.


1959:     Captain Joseph W. Kittinger Jr. makes a balloon ascent, gaining an altitude of 23,285 meters (76,400 feet) in an open gondola. He parachutes to the ground, recording a free-fall of 19,505 meters (64,000 feet).



1955:     KLM Royal Dutch Airlines becomes the first European airline to buy American jet transport planes with its order of eight Douglas DC-8s.



1927:     Commanded by Captain H. E. Yarnell, the USS Saratoga, first carrier to bear the name, was placed in commission at Camden, N.J.,.  A 33,000-ton aircraft carrier, it was converted from the battle cruiser Saratoga (CC-3) while under construction at Camden, New Jersey. As the second of the Navy’s initial pair of fully capable aircraft carriers, Saratoga spent the years before World War II taking part in exercises, training aviators and generally contributing to the development of carrier techniques.


1919:     Captain H.N. Wrigley and Lieutenant A.W. Murphy become the first men to fly across Australia when they fly a Royal Aircraft Factory BE2e from Melbourne to join Ross and Keith Smith. They land at Darwin on 12 December after a flying time of 46 hours.


1915:     Victor Carlstrom becomes the first pilot to fly from Toronto, Canada to New York. Carlstrom flew in a Curtiss R-2 biplane and was in the air for 6 hours and 40 minutes.

Updated: November 16, 2011 — November 16, 2011

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