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On This Day: April 6

Aviation events for April 6

1890: Anthony Herman Gerald Fokker, Dutch pioneer airman and aircraft manufacturer, is born in Kediri, Java. His Fokker D.VIII was one of the finest all-around fighters of the WWI. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen and his Fokker T-2 made the first non-stop flight across the U.S. In 1926, the North Pole was over flown in a Fokker trimotor airplane.
1909: The first machine wholly designed by Anglo-French air pioneer Henry Farman takes to the air at Bouy, France. Called either the Henry Farman III or, because it represents a new departure, the HF1, the biplane is the first aircraft to incorporate practical ailerons attached to the trailing edges of the wings.
1924: The first successful flight around the world starts as four Douglas World Cruisers leave from Seattle, Washington. Of the four, only two complete the circumnavigation as they each fly 27,553 miles (44,340 km) in 175 days, and return to Seattle on September 28. The actual flying time is 371 hours, 11 minutes, and the successful pilots are Lt. Lowell H. Smith and Lt. Erik Nelson.
1949: A Sikorsky S-51 completes a record helicopter flight of 3,750 miles from Elizabeth, New Jersey to Port Angeles, Washington.
1957: Olympic Airways is created by the shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis from the ashes of bankrupt Greek state airline T.A.E.
1965: Intelsat 1 ("Early Bird") 1st commercial geosynchronous communication satellite.
1967: Trans World Airlines (TWA) becomes the first American airline to have a fleet composed entirely of jet aircraft.
1973: Pioneer 11 - USA Jupiter/Saturn Flyby (April 6, 1973 - November 1995) launched. Pioneer 11 flew by Jupiter on December 1, 1974 passing 42,900 kilometers from Jupiter's cloud tops. It took better pictures than Pioneer 10, and measured Jupiter's intense charged-particle and magnet field environment. As it flew by Jupiter it was given a gravity assist which swung it onto a course for Saturn. On September 1, 1979, Pioneer 11 flew past the outer edge of Saturn's A ring at a range of 3,500 kilometers. It traveled underneath the ring system and passed 20,930 kilometers from Saturn's cloud tops. It has now left the solar system.
1982: Columbia returns to Kennedy Space Center from White Sands.
1984: 11th Space Shuttle Mission (41-C)-Challenger 5 is launched.
1984: 1st time 11 people in space.
1994: A surface-to-air missile shoots down the presidential jet of Rwanda, a Dassault Falcon 50, as it prepares to land at Kigali International Airport at Kigali, Rwanda, killing all 12 aboard, including President of Rwanda Juvénal Habyarimana and President of Burundi Cyprien Ntaryamira. Their assassination will spark the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.
1997: Progress M-34 Launch (Russia).

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