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On This Day: December 3

Aviation events for December 3

1945: A de Havilland Sea Vampire fighter becomes the first purely jet-powered airplane to operate from an aircraft carrier, when Lieutenant-Commander E. M. “Winkle” Brown lands his aircraft on the HMS Ocean in England.
 
1958: An aircraft exchange, which will function like the stock markets and commodity exchanges, opens in New York.
 
1962: By the end of 1962, only two A-12s were engaged in flight tests. Full test speeds couldnot be reached since the J-58 engines were not fully available and were experiencing problems. CIADirector, McCone wrote to the President of United Aircraft Corporation (the parent company of Pratt &Whitney) and made a clear case by stating “I have been advised that the J-58 engine deliveries have beendelayed again due to engine control problems. . . by the end of the year it appears we will have barelyenough J-58 engines to support the flight test program adequately. . . Furthermore, due to various enginedifficulties we have not yet reached design speed and altitude. Engine thrust and fuel consumptiondeficiencies at present prevent sustained flight at design conditions which is so necessary to completedevelopment”. By the end of January 1963, ten engines were available and the first flight with two J-58engines occurred on January 15.
 
1971: Start of the Indo-Pakistan War. The Indian Air Force loses 72 aircraft and the Pakistan Air Force 94 aircraft Ends 17 DEC 71.
 
1972: A Spantax Convair 990 crashed at Los Rodeos Airport on the island of Tenerife while taking off in almost zero visibility, killing all 7 crew and 148 passengers.
 
1973: Pioneer 10 sends back the first close-up images of Jupiter.
 
1974: First flight of the Big Tail SR-71 (959).
 
1985: The ATR-42 enters service with Air Littoral.
 
1990: Northwest Airlines Flight 1482 (a DC-9 registered N3313L) collides with Northwest Airlines Flight 299 (a 727-200 registered N287US) on a runway in Detroit, killing 8 people aboard Flight 1482. The DC-9 made two wrong turns, putting them on a runway that the 727 was using to depart. The DC-9 was destroyed completely by fire, and the 727 was able to stop safely and only experienced wingtip damage.
 
1999: NASA loses radio contact with the Mars Polar Lander moments before the spacecraft enters the Martian atmosphere.
 
2005: XCOR Aerospace makes the first manned rocket aircraft delivery of US Mail in Mojave, CA.
 
 
 

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