Text By Wynne Dough
The events to
be immortalized on an Icarus monument are still up in the air, but you probably
wont see any mention of these.
|1906 May 22
The Wright brothers obtained a patent for their flying machine on their
third try. Six years earlier, someone had seriously recommended shutting down
the Patent Office because there was nothing left to invent.
Matters, an enfranchised Australian, dropped suffrage fliers from an 80-foot
dirigible onto the British Parliament, inaugurating the political use of
|1911 The flower of
Teutonic manhood was so upset by the idea of a woman pilot that several
specimens drained Melli Beeses fuel tank and sabotaged her steering
before her check flight. She flew anyway and earned her license.
|1913 Circa November
30 Mexican Civil War mercenaries Phil Rader and Dean Ivan Lamb exchanged
pistol fire and so became the first reported aerial combatants.
|1918 May 15 The
U.S. Postal Service started airmail service, but quickly suspended it after the
pilot got lost.
|1920 April 27
Daredevil Ormer Locklear was fined $25 for reckless aerial driving
over Los Angeles. He was killed August 2 in a stunt for his second movie, The
12 Wesley May performed the first air-to-air refueling when he jumped from
one aircraft to another with a five-gallon can of gasoline over Long Beach,
|1937 April 26
German and Italian bombers in the service of Gen. Francisco Franco destroyed
the Basque town of Guernica, Spain, but missed their supposed target, a
1718 Douglas Corrigan filed a flight plan for California, took off
from Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, and landed in Ireland the next day.
Wrong Way Corrigans compass failure let him get
around the authorities whod refused him permission to cross the Atlantic.
He received a heros welcome on his return to New York.
|1939 July 6
Eastern Air Lines used autogiros to carry mail five miles from Philadelphia to
Camden, New Jersey, roughly the distance from Manteo to Wanchese.
|1947 Around July
8, an extraterrestrial vessel crashed outside Roswell, New Mexico; a large
number of people, including the senior staff of Roswell AAF, mistook balloon
debris for alien wreckage and corpses; a prankster fooled a lot of people; or
many hallucinated a close encounter. These four summaries are about equally
interesting, and at least one of them is true.
|1947 November 2
Howard Hughes himself took the controls of the Hughes Aircraft H-4 flying boat,
nicknamed the Spruce Goose, on its only flight one mile,
which was less than seventeen times its wingspan. Its still the largest
airplane ever built.
|1949 January 25
The U.S. Air Force adopted blue uniforms.
|1955 November 1 In
an effort to collect his mothers insurance money, John Graham blew up a
United Airlines DC-6 over Colorado, killing his mother and forty-three others
and inspiring a generation of terrorists.
|1956 February 17
Tony LeVier accidentally made the first flight in a Lockheed F-104A
Starfighter during taxi tests at Edwards AFB, California.
|1959 June 8 The
U.S. Post Office put 3,000 stamped envelopes into a Regulus I missile fired
from the USS Barbero. It landed twenty-one minutes later at the Naval Auxiliary
Air Station at Mayport, Florida.
|1966 August 11An
anonymous F-8 pilot released a paper airplane at a record altitude of 50,125
feet over Florida. The drone was never recovered.
|1969 BAC and
Aerospatiale unveiled the first supersonic airliner, the Concorde, for moving
business travelers between holding patterns at Mach 2.2 (1,450 mph). Its
been largely replaced by the fax machine.
|1979 June 12 Bryan
Allen, pedaling the Gossamer Albatross, became the first human being to propel
an aircraft across the English Channel by himself.
|1988 October 25
The pilot of a U.S. Navy S-3 Viking from the carrier Theodore Roosevelt
received a ticket for overshooting a runway in southern England and landing on
a public road.
|1990 July 24 The
Strategic Air Command ended Looking Glass more than
twenty-nine years of continuous airborne alert as a Boeing EC-135C
landed at Offutt AFB, Nebraska. Figures on the amount of coffee consumed are
|1994 Vicki Van
Meter, age twelve, flew a Cessna 210 across the Atlantic, becoming the youngest
pilot to make a transatlantic flight and opening the door for toddlers and
infants. The present record-holder wont be conceived until
|1999 September 23
The Mars Climate Orbiter sailed off into deep space because of software
developed by two autonomous NASA teams hundreds of miles apart. (One used
metric units of measure while the other stuck with U.S.