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August in Aviation History

Some random aviation events in the month of August:

1861 – John La Mountain becomes the first balloonist to use boats for aerial operations in a military conflict. Using the Union tug Fanny, he ascends from its deck to a height of 2,000 ft. to conduct aerial reconnaissance of Confederate forces during America’s Civil War

1901 – Octave Chanute arrives at the Wright brothers’ camp at Kill Devil Hill and photographs their flight tests with the 1901 glider. Wilbur Wright achieves a flight of 389 feet.

1908 – Wilbur Wright makes his first flights at the Hunaudières racetrack at Le Mans, France. The Wright Flyer used for this and later flights had been shipped to Le Havre by Orville the previous year. It had been seriously damaged by custom officials when it arrived in France and uncrated. Wilbur spent the whole summer of 1908 rebuilding the machine and getting it into flying condition. Wilbur’s flights in this machine will have a profound effect on European aviation during the following months.

1909 – The first flying machine purchased and put into service by a government is the Wright Flyer. The US Army accepts its first airplane and pays the Wrights $25,000, plus a $5,000 bonus, because the machine exceeded the speed requirement of 40 mph

1911 – The Aero Club of America grants Harriet Quimby the first U. S. pilot’s license issued to a woman.

1930 – Neil Armstrong, Ohio, X-15 pilot, 1st Moonwalker (Gemini 8, Apollo 11) was born on August 5.

1935 – Wiley Post, the first pilot to fly solo around the world, and his passenger Will Rogers are killed in a crash in Alaska

1939 – August 19 was established as National Aviation Day by the presidential proclamation of Franklin Roosevelt. The date was selected to coincide with Orville Wright’s birthday (August 19,1871).

1942 – The 82nd Airborne (All American) paratroop division is formed.

1946 – On August 20 a captured Messerschmitt Me 262A, crashed two miles S of Xenia, Ohio near Route 68, test pilot Walter J. McAuley, Jr., of the Flight Performance Section, Flight Test Division, Wright Field, Ohio, successfully parachuting to safety. This brand new airframe had been surrendered on 31 March 1945 by Messerschmitt test pilot Hans Fay who defected during a functional check flight rather than fly it to an operational unit, landing at Rhein-Main, Frankfurt, the first Me 262 to fall into Allied hands

Aug 1 1997 – Boeing and McDonnell Douglas complete a merger, forming The Boeing Company


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