This Week In Business Travel History – 19 February 2012

By Michael Acampora on 20 February 2012
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In 1784, Samuel Shaw and Thomas Randall left on an important business trip. They were passengers on the Empress of China, which departed New York for China under the command of Captain John Green.  Its mission was to open commerce between the two nations in what eventually came to be known as the Old China Trade.

In 1792, President George Washington signed legislation that created what is now called the the United States Postal Service. This same week in 1923 also saw the beginning of transcontinental airmail service in the U.S.

Aboard the Monocoque, Jules Vedrines became the first pilot to take a plane over 100 mph (160 km/h) in 1922, doing so near Pau, France.

Although he addressed Congress by radio in December of 1923, it was not until this week in 1924 that President Calvin Coolidge first used the device to address the American people.

In 1951, an English Electric Canberra, a light bomber, became the first jet to cross the Atlantic Ocean without refueling. Covering 1,800 miles (2,897 km), the trip took 4 hours 37 minutes.

John Glenn (pictured, entering the Friendship 7 Mercury space capsule) became the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962.

The Boeing 757, a narrow-body twin-engine jet airliner, made its first flight in 1982.  It was intended to replace the Boeing 727 and Boeing made 1,050 of them by the time production ended in 2004.

In 1987, the Airbus A320, also a narrow-body twin-engine aircraft, made its first flight. The A320 is still in production and over 4,800 have been manufactured while over 3,200 are on order, including orders for the next-generation A320neo.

Finally, in 1990, all flights in the United States became smoke-free.

(Photo: Courtesy of NASA)

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