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On This Day: 1940

Aviation events for 1940

February 24: The 2,000-hp prototype Hawker Typhoon fighter makes its first flight in England.
February 26: The US Air Defense Command is formed at Mitchell Field, New York.
April 8: 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...
April 25: McGee Airways pioneers the transportation of fresh meat and milk to the Alaskan interior.
May 6: Trans World Airlines receives their first Boeing 307 Stratoliner, one month after Pan Am becomes the launch airline.
May 13: The first successful free flight of a true helicopter is made by Igor I. Sikorsky’s single-rotor VS-300.
May 15: World War II: British bombers make their first runs over Germany.
May 29: First flight of the Chance Vought XF4U-1.
June 1: U.S. Army Air Corps announces plans for the construction of the world’s most powerful wind tunnel at Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio.
July 5: The first American paratrooper unit is formed at Fort Benning, Georgia.
July 10: The fourth Messerschmitt Bf 109F series prototype makes its first flight in Germany, powered by one of the new 1,350-hp Daimler Benz DB 601E.
October 26: The North American P-51 Mustang long-range fighter makes its maiden flight. Fast and durable, it would help assure Allied air dominance in World War II.
November 16: In response to Germany leveling Coventry two days earlier, the Royal Air Force bombs Hamburg.
November 25: First flight of the de Havilland Mosquito prototype W4050.
November 29: First flight of the Junkers Ju-288.
December 7: First flight of the Fairey Barracuda prototype, P1767.
December 8: The New York City experiences its first blackout and anti-aircraft exercise, around the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
December 18: First flight of the Curtiss SB2C Helldiver.
December 23: The first U.S. all-cargo air service is inaugurated by United Air Lines when at 11:30 P.M. a flight leaves New York for Chicago, where it arrives at 3:40 A.M. local time the following morning after stopping in Cleveland.

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