Great Moments in Travel History – July 2013
Galileo Galilei became the first person to observe and report the rings of Saturn on July 30, 1610.
On July 27, 1909, Orville Wright piloted the first official test flight of the U.S. Army’s first airplane at Fort Myer, Virginia. The flight lasted approximately one hour and 12 minutes.
The British dirigible Airship R-34 completed the first crossing of the Atlantic on July 6, 1919. The lighter-than-air craft flew to New York from East Fortune in Scotland.
The Boeing Model 80, a 12-passenger trimotor biplane transport, made its first flight on July 27, 1928.
On July 1, 1933, the DC-1, the first Douglas airliner, made its maiden flight. TWA became the launch customer a few months later.
Varney Speed Lines, known today as Continental Airlines, made its first flight on July 15, 1934. The flight carried only mail, no passengers, on a 530-mile route from Pueblo, Colorado, to El Paso, Texas, with stops in Las Vegas, Santa Fe, and Albuquerque, New Mexico.
On July 21, 1936, the Boeing Airplane Company signed a contract with Pan American Airways to build six Model 314 Clippers.
Three Boeing Stratoliners started flying Latin American routes for Pan American on July 4, 1940.
On July 8, 1940, the first Boeing Trans World Airlines Stratoliner flew from New York to Los Angeles in 12 hours and 18 minutes.
On July 31, 1942, the world’s first operational jet-powered fighter aircraft, the Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe, was flown for the first time in Germany.
The Boeing 377 Stratocruiser airliner made its first flight on July, 8, 1947.
Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first human beings to walk on the moon when Apollo 11 made the first successful moon landing on the Sea of Tranquility on July 20, 1969.
One July 29, 1971, American and United airlines took delivery of the first two production Douglas DC-10 jetliners, and American puts its new DC-10 in regular service just eight days later.
Northeast Airlines completed its final flight on July 31, 1972. The next day it merged with Delta Air Lines.
On July 17, 1975, the first international space mission was successfully completed with the Apollo-Soyuz test project, in which U.S. astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts docked their spacecraft in Earth orbit.
One hundred and fourteen people died on July 17, 1981, when two connected walkways at the Hyatt Regency Kansas City in Missouri collapsed and fell into the hotel’s lobby, which was the scene of a dance. An additional 216 people were injured that day and, until September 11, 2001, it was the deadliest structural collapse in U.S. history.
On July 22, 1983, the FAA announced that a pilot who qualifies in either a Boeing 757 or 767 models is automatically qualified on the other because the two had so many features in common.
Boeing began production of its 767 wide-body aircraft on July 14, 1978. The aircraft was the company’s first wide-body twinjet, as well as its first airliner with a two-crew glass cockpit. United Airlines was the launch customer for the 767 in 1982 and Delta Air Lines is currently the largest operator, with over 90 in service.
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