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On This Day: February 8

Aviation events for February 8

1743: Comet C/1743 C1 approaches within 0.0390 AUs of Earth.
1908: Flight tests begin at Issy-les-Moulineaux for the Gastambide-Mengin I monoplane, built by Léon Levavasseur and fitted with a 50-hp Antoinette engine.
1914: Berliner, Haase and Nikolai depart on a 1897-mile record flight in their free balloon from Bitterfeld to Perm. This record lasted until 1950.
1919: Lafayette Escadrille, the US volunteer squadron serving in the French Army is transferred to the US Army and redesignated the 103rd Aero Squadron.
1919: The Farman brothers make the first scheduled international flight in Europe when a Farman F.60 Goliath piloted by M. Lucien Bossoutrot carries a token load of military passengers between Toussus le Noble airfield outside Paris and Kenley in southern England.
1933: The first Boeing 247 takes to the air opening a new era in air transport, representing the new age of all-metal monoplane designs.
1965: Eastern Air Lines Flight 663 flies from Boston to Atlanta and crashes near Jones Beach State Park in New York, killing all 84 souls on-board. The Douglas DC-7 (N849D) had just departed JFK (one of its stops along the way) and made a hard right turn to avoid a Pan Am 707, missing by only 200-500 feet. Unable to recover from its bank and becoming disoriented, the aircraft plunged into the ocean.
1966: Freddie Laker founds Laker Airways after quitting British United to start his own airline.
1967: First flight of the Saab Viggen.
1974: Skylab 4's astronauts land.
1984: 1st time 8 people in space.
1984: Soyuz T-10 launches with crew of 3 to Salyut 7.
1988: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) retires an aircraft registration number for the first time – that of Amelia Earhart’s airplane, which disappeared over the Pacific in July 1937.
1988: NASA launches DOD-2.
1989: Independent Air Flight 1851, a Boeing 707-331B (N7231T) crashes into Pico Alto, a mountain on Santa Maria Island in the Azores. All 144 on the aircraft died after the flight crew failed to properly brief themselves about the 3,000ft minimum safe altitude (MSA), and were also given the wrong barometric altimeter setting by a trainee controller.Eagle Airways Flight 2279 is hijacked 10 minutes after takeoff from Woodbourne Airport in New Zealand by a Somalian refugee. The pilots of the BAe Jetstream 32 (ZK-ECN) received minor injuries in the passengers’ knife attack until finally being subdued.
1992: Ulysses - USA & Europe Solar Flyby made a Jupiter flyby. The Ulysses spacecraft is an international project to study the poles of the Sun and interstellar space above and below the poles. It used Jupiter for a gravity assist to swing out of the ecliptic plane and onward to the poles of the Sun. The first solar polar passage was in June 1994. The spacecraft passed the solar equator in February 1995 and passed over the north pole in June 1995.
2010: First flight of the Boeing 747-8 in the United States.

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