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On This Day: December 21

Aviation events for December 21

1914: The UK is bombed by a German aircraft for the first time – a Taube drops two bombs near the Admiralty Pier, Kent.
1923: The French dirigible Dixmude is struck by lightning and explodes over the Mediterranean Sea en route from Cuers-Pierrefeu to Algeria, killing all 52 on board.
1945: Ethiopian Airways is founded.
1955: Condor Flugdienst is founded.
1960: The first major combat aircraft with variable geometry wings, the General Dynamics F-111, makes its first flight.
1963: First flight of the Hawker Siddeley Andover.
1965: New York Airways begins helicopter flights between the roof of the Pan Am Building in midtown Manhattan and JFK Airport.
1966: Longest flight of a A-12 was flown by Bill Park. Lasted just under 6 hours and covered 10,198 miles. This mission was used to demonstrate the A-12s capabilities to support the BLACK SHIELD project in Okinawa.
1970: First flight of the Grumman YF-14A.
1979: The NASA AD-1 oblique-wing concept demonstrator makes its first flight at Edwards Air Force Base. The plane successfully demonstrated a wing that could pivot obliquely from zero to 60 degrees in flight.
1982: The last V-bomber squadron of Britain’s RAF, 44, is disbanded at Waddington, Lincolnshire.
1988: Pan Am Flight 103, a Boeing 747-100 bound for New York from London, explodes over Lockerbie, Scotland and plummets to earth, killing all 259 on board and 11 on the ground.
1990: Kelly Johnson dies at age 80, at St Joseph Medical Center after an illness of manyyears. Kelly is buried at Forest Lawn (Hollywood Hills), Los Angeles, California.
1992: Martinair Flight 495, a DC-10 (PH-MBN) flying from Amsterdam to Faro, Portugal, crashes while landing during a thunderstorm at Faro, killing 56 of the 340 souls on board.
1993: First flight of the Cessna Citation X.
2009: Air Comet ceases operations.

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