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On This Day: May 6

Aviation events for May 6

1896: After four years of work and failed flights, Samuel P. Langley succeeds in obtaining good results with his steam-powered, model-size, tandem-wing airplane. His model No.5 makes a flight of 3,300 feet (c. 1 km).
1908: The Wright brothers fly for the first time since 1905, at Kitty Hawk. Wilbur pilots the 1905 Flyer III, modified so that the pilot and a passenger can sit erect, on a flight of just over 1,000 feet.
1919: The first commercial flight, from Canada to United States, occurs as a Canadian Curtiss aircraft flies 150 pounds of raw furs from Toronto to Elizabeth, New Jersey. It is not a non-stop flight.
1929: The Boeing F4-B1 fighter makes its first flight. It would serve as the US military’s primary fighter until the 1940s.
1930: Boeing’s first commercial monoplane, the Monomail, makes its first flight.
1937: The Hindenburg explodes at NAS Lakehurst, New Jersey, ending the era of the airship
1940: Trans World Airlines receives their first Boeing 307 Stratoliner, one month after Pan Am becomes the launch airline.
1941: Igor Sikorsky pilots the Sikorsky VS-300 helicopter in Stratford, Connecticut, on a flight of 1 hour, 32 minutes, 26 seconds, a world endurance record for a helicopter.
1941: The first flight of the P-47 Thunderbolt. In its 25 years of service, more than 15, 600 were built by Republic Aviation in Farmingdale, NY.
1949: Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) operates its first flight with a leased Douglas DC-3 with weekly service between San Diego and Oakland with a stop in Burbank, California. They would later be absorbed by USAir in May of 1987.
1955: United Airlines begins the first nonstop flights between New York and San Francisco.
1988: Wideroe Flight 710, a de Havilland Dash-7, crashes while on approach in Norway after descending four miles too soon and striking a hill in low visibility, leading to the deaths of all 36 aboard. This stands as the worst disaster for the aircraft type, as the aircraft was fully packed with passengers, even in the cockpit jumpseat.
2001: The Russian Soyuz capsule, returning from the International Space Station (ISS), touched down right on time, carrying Dennis Tito, the world's first space tourist.
2004: An Air Cush Let 410UVP (9XR-EF) stalls on takeoff in Jiech, Sudan, due to an imbalance after a shift in its cargo load. The plane is sent crashing into the ground, killing 6 of the 10 occupants.
2006: SkyValue USA and their fleet of one Boeing 737 (leased from Xtra Airways) ceases operations, citing poor demand and even blaming hot weather forcing them to fuel-stop on flights from Las Vegas to Mesa and Phoenix, AZ (Hot weather in the desert? Surely you jest!)
2006: The U.S. Air Force retired the last Lockheed Martin C-141 Starlifter The Hanoi Taxi landed for the last time and was received in a formal retirement ceremony at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, located at WPAFB in Riverside, Ohio near Dayton.
2012: An American unmanned aerial vehicle strike in eastern Yemen kills Fahd al-Quso, the al-Qaeda leader in Yemen, wanted in connection with the 12 October 2000 bomb attack on the U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG-67).

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