1956: It Was a Very Cold Place to Land, But Whatever Will Be, Will Be


October 31, 1956

[Photo courtesy of McDonnell Douglas.]

The first-ever aircraft landing at the South Pole took place as a key part of Operation Deep Freeze II, the codename for a series of U.S. missions to Antarctica during 1956-57. The U.S. Navy plane used for this touching down at Earth’s southernmost point was a ski-equipped R4D-5L Skytrain commanded by Rear Admiral George J. Dufek; the aircraft was nicknamed “Que Sera Sera” after a popular song that had been introduced earlier that year in the Alfred Hitchcock movie The Man Who Knew Too Much. The purpose of the flight was to survey the South Pole for the construction of a scientific research station there.

Dufek and his all-Navy crew took off in their plane from what was then a naval air facility at McMurdo Sound on Ross Island near Antarctica. Those on the flight with Dufek were Lieutenant Commander Conrad S. “Gus” Shinn, pilot; Captain William M. Hawkes, co-pilot; Lieutenant John R. Swadener, navigator; John P. Strider, AD2 (aviation machinist’s mate petty officer 2nd class), crew chief; William A. Cumbie, Jr., AT2 (aviation electronics technician petty officer 2nd class), radioman; and Captain Douglas L. Cordiner, observer.

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1911: Cromwell Dixon, the Fearless “Boy Aviator,” Achieves a Major Milestone in Flight Just Two Days Before His Tragic Death — Transportation History


September 30, 1911 Cromwell Dixon became the first person to fly across the mountainous Continental Divide. The 19-year-old Dixon, who received his air pilot license only the previous month, had well-established credentials when it came to transportation pursuits. As a boy, for example, he constructed a rollercoaster for the kids in his neighborhood. Dixon was […]

via 1911: Cromwell Dixon, the Fearless “Boy Aviator,” Achieves a Major Milestone in Flight Just Two Days Before His Tragic Death — Transportation History

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Maria Esperanza Garcia Roach, US Army Nurse and Pilot — Transportation History


As a nurse, Maria Esperanza Garcia Roach was one of an estimated 400,000 to 500,000 Hispanic Americans who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II. Her own lifesaving role in this global conflict very much depended on airborne transportation. Maria was born on July 16, 1915, in the city of Piedras Negras […]

via National Hispanic Heritage Month: Maria Esperanza Garcia Roach, US Army Nurse and Pilot — Transportation History

Adventurer circumnavigates world in gyrocopter


 

James by the Golden Gate bridge

Source: Adventurer circumnavigates world in gyrocopter

An adventurer has become the first person to fly solo around the world in an open-cockpit gyrocopter.

James Ketchell, 37, from Hampshire, has covered 24,000 nautical miles over 175 days since starting his challenge in March.

The adventurer, who landed in Basingstoke on Sunday afternoon, said the experience had been “magical”.

His flight path took him over Europe, Asia, and North America, during 122 separate flights.

 

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1882: The World’s First Licensed Female Pilot is Born — Transportation History


August 22, 1882 French aviation pioneer Raymonde de Laroche was born in Paris. While originally known as Élise Raymonde Deroche, she adopted Raymonde de Laroche as her name by the time she turned 20 and had begun an acting career. She enjoyed playing sports as a child, but as a young adult, she acquired an […]

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1889: An Argentinian Pilot is Born — Transportation History


August 15, 1889 Argentine aviation pioneer Carolina (Carola) Elena Lorenzini was born in Buenos Aires. She became a tremendously gifted athlete whose wide range of pursuits included rowing, cycling, tennis, hockey, horseback riding, and track and field. It was flying, though, that ultimately became Lorenzini’s greatest passion. In 1933, Lorenzini began taking flight lessons at […]

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The First Airmail Flight Across Australia Took Just Over Two Days — Transportation History


July 18, 1914 French pilot Maurice Guillaux achieved a major aviation record by completing the first official airmail flight in Australia. Guillaux began the Sydney-bound flight aboard a Bleriot XI monoplane on July 16 at 9:12 a.m., taking to the skies from the showgrounds in the Melbourne suburb of Flemington. Guillaux made landings at Seymour and […]

via The First Airmail Flight Across Australia Took Just Over Two Days — Transportation History