Great Moments in Travel History – August 2015

By Jesse Sokolow on 1 August 2015
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The United Kingdom officially entered the First World War on August 4, 1914, with a declaration of war against Germany in support of its ally, France.  Hostilities had broken out on July 28 when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo.

Harriet Quimby became the first woman in the United States to be licensed as a qualified pilot on August 2, 1911.

The International Air Traffic Association was formed on August 28, 1919, in The Hague, Holland.  The organization is the predecessor to the International Air Transport Association, which currently represents 240 airlines that make up approximately 84% of all airlines’ passenger carrying capacity.

On August 20, 1935, Boeing test pilot Les Tower flew the Model 299 aircraft nonstop from Seattle, Washington, to Dayton, Ohio, and established an unofficial record of flying 2,100 miles (3,379 kilometers) at an average speed of 232 miles per hour (373 kilometers per hour).

On August 13, 1940, a major airplane crash occurred near Canberra, Australia.  All ten people aboard the RAAF Lockheed Hudson bomber perished in the crash, including three members of the Australian Cabinet and the Chief of the General Staff.

The last of the famous Douglas Skymasters to be built, DC-4 number 1,242, was delivered by Douglas Aircraft to South African Airways on August 11, 1947.

Pan American World Airways took delivery of the country’s first commercial jet airliner, a Boeing 707-120, on August 15, 1958, four months ahead of schedule.  Clipper America, with 111 passengers on board, entered service in October of that year on a flight from New York’s Idlewild airport (currently JFK International) to Le Bourget in Paris, France, with a refueling stop in Gander, Newfoundland.  The 707 remained in production through 1979 and is credited with having ushered in the jet age.

The Douglas DC-10, the first jumbo jet from Douglas, made its first flight on August 29, 1970, and officially entered into service (with launch customer American Airlines) on August 5, 1971.  The aircraft is a three-engine wide-body jet that can carry up to 380 passengers.

Northeast Airlines merged with Delta Air Lines on August 1, 1972.

The Königs Wusterhausen air disaster occurred on August 14, 1972, when an Interflug Illyushin II-62 crashed shortly after takeoff from Berlin Schönefeld Airport in Germany.  All 156 people onboard the plane died, in what was the second deadliest aviation accident at the time, and remains the deadliest aviation accident in Germany’s history.

On August 3, 1973, the Grand Central Hotel, located on Broadway between Bond Street and Great Jones Street in New York City, collapsed killing four and injuring twelve.  Designed by Henry Engelbert, the hotel opened in 1870 and featured an elegant façade with elaborate mansards with dormers in the French Second Empire style.

Chautauqua Airlines, now part of Republic Airways, began operations on August 1, 1974 with a flight from Jamestown, N.Y. to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

On August 3, 1975, a Royal Air Maroc flight on the way to Agadir Inezgane Airport in Morocco, crashed into a mountain killing all 188 passengers and crew.  The incident remains the deadliest ever to involve a Boeing 707.

Boeing began production of the 757 on August 31, 1978.  The aircraft has a two-crew member glass cockpit, turbofan engines, and a supercritical wing design.  A total of 1,049 of the aircraft have been ordered and delivered.

On August 19, 1980, all 301 souls aboard Saudi Arabian Airlines Flight 163 perished in a fire.  Although the Lockheed L-1011 performed a safe and successful emergency landing following a blaze in the rear cargo hold, the aircraft was not promptly evacuated, and everyone onboard died in the fire.

The deadliest single-aircraft accident in history occurred on August 12, 1985, when Japan Airlines Flight 123 crashed into Mount Takamagahara en route from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport to Osaka.  Of the 524 people on board the Boeing 747SR, there were only 4 survivors.

Click here to continue to Page 2737-900 Maiden Flight, Suicide Car Bomber, and Virgin America’s First Flights

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