December Aviation History
December marks numerous aviation milestones.
December 1892-The Wright brothers open their first bicycle shop.
December 8, 1903-Samuel P. Langley’s Aerodrome, piloted by Charles Manley, crashes into the Potomac River.
December 17, 1903-The Wright Flyer takes off at 10:35 am for the world’s first powered, manned, controlled, sustained, heavier than air, flight for 12 seconds and 120 ft.
December 27, 1906-French emissary visits the Wrights and acquires the option to buy an aircraft, $200,000.
December 10, 1911-Cal Rodgers, piloting the Wright EX Vin Fiz, completes the first transcontinental flight from Long Island, NY, to Pasadena, CA.
December 24, 1925-The Wasp, Pratt & Whitney’s first engine, is completed.
December 1, 1935-First airway traffic control tower is established in Newark, NJ.
December 17, 1935-The Douglas DC-3 takes off for the first time in Santa Monica, CA.
December 1, 1941-The Civil Air Patrol is established.
December 7, 1941-Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, HI.
December 20, 1957-Boeing’s 707 first flight.
December 15-16, 1965-Gemini V1-A orbital rendezvous flown by astronauts Wally Schirra and Tom Stafford.
December 21-27, 1968-Apollo 8 orbits the moon-Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders.
December 7-19, 1972-Apollo 17 crew makes last lunar landing-Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans, and Harrison Schmitt.
December 23, 1986-Voyager flies nonstop around the world without refueling.
December 17, 2003-100th Anniversary of powered flight and first powered flight of SpaceShipOne.
December 15, 2009-First flight of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
December 23, 2014-Airbus delivers the first A350.
Credit: AOPA Magazine, December 2015