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On This Day: May 1

Aviation events for May 1

1942: Squadron No. 588 of the Soviet Air Force, an all-woman night-bombing unit equipped with Polikarpov Po-2 biplanes, is formed in the USSR.
1947: Malayan Airways (predecessor to Singapore Airlines) is founded.
1952: Trans World Airways (TWA), British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) and Air France launch the world’s first scheduled tourist-class flights on their transatlantic routes from New York, London and Paris.
1954: The Myasishchev M-4, the first Soviet bomber designed to reach the United States and return to the Soviet Union, is displayed to the public for the first time.
1960: A Lockheed U-2 reconnaissance aircraft, piloted by U.S. Air Force Col. Francis Gary Powers, is shot down over the Soviet Union by a surface-to-air missile (SAM).
1960: Thai Airways International (TG) is founded.
1963: Jacqueline Cochran takes off from Edwards Air Force Base, California, to set a 100-km (62-mile) closed-circuit world speed record for women of 1,203.7mph in a Lockheed Starfighter.
1965: Luna 5, USSR Lunar Soft Lander, launched. The lunar soft-lander failed and impacted the moon.
1982: A Royal Air Force Avro Vulcan bomber based on Ascension Island attacks the airfield at Port Stanley on East Falkland Island. It is the first strike of Operation Black Buck, a series of five very-long-range missions to strike Argentinian positions in the Falkland (Malvinas) Islands. Each mission requires a 16-hour round trip of almost 8,000 nautical miles (9,200 statute miles; 15,000 km); they are the longest bombing missions in world history up to that time, and are not exceeded in distance and duration until the 1991 Gulf War.
1982: BAE Sea Harriers attack Falklands targets for the first time and shoot down two Argentine Mirage III fighters. They are the first air-to-air kills of the Falklands War.
1982: American Airlines launches AAdvantage, the first frequent flyer program in history. United Airlines launches its own program, Mileage Plus, only a week later.
1990: First flight of the McDonnell Douglas MD 520N.
2006: Song (airline) turned down all operations to Delta Air Lines.

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