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On This Day: April 8

Aviation events for April 8

1931: Amelia Earhart climbs to a record altitude of 18,415 feet in a Pitcairn autogyro at Willow Grove, near Philadelphia.
1940: The U.S. Navy places a contract with Grumman for two prototypes of the XTBF-1, later named Avenger, a chunky mid-wing monoplane that would become the U.S. Navy’s standard carrier torpedo bomber of World War II. Read more...
1946: Ethiopian Airlines commences flight operations.
1947: Largest recorded sunspot (7,000) observed.
1954: A de Havilland Comet 1, operating South African Airways Flight 201 from Rome to Cairo and Johannesburg, disintegrates in mid-air over the Mediterranean Sea near Naples following fatigue failure, killing all 14 passengers and seven crew. Read more...
1961: USAF Discoverer XXIII placed into polar orbit from Pacific Missile Range but reentry capsule stayed in orbit.
1964: Unmanned Gemini 1 launched.
1966: OAO 1, 1st orbiting astronomical observatory, launched.
1988: Pacific Southwest Airlines shut down operations and was integrated to USAir (now US Airways).
1993: STS-56, Discovery, launches into orbit. Read more...

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