This Day in History: The first trans-Atlantic crossing in a balloon

On this day in 1978, three Americans land a helium gas balloon, Double Eagle II, in France. They’d just become the first to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a balloon. Did you know that it took nearly two centuries to accomplish this feat? The first balloon took to the skies in 1783. The world had […]

This Day in History: Apollo 15 & the Moon Buggy

On this day in 1971, Apollo 15 astronauts become the first to ride in a so-called moon buggy. Did you know that Apollo 15 carried the only NASA crew composed entirely of former U.S. Air Force pilots? It’s easy to forget what a big deal these Apollo missions were, but they accomplished John F. Kennedy’s […]

This Day in History: Neil Armstrong steps onto the moon

On this day in 1969, Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to walk on the moon. Americans had won a “space race” to get there. We’d overcome the Soviet Union, which had been running ahead for much of that race. Soviets sent the first artificial satellite into orbit, then a dog, then a person.   Americans […]

This Day in History: Howard Hughes flies around the world

On this day in 1938, Howard Hughes nears the end of his flight around the world. He wasn’t the first to make such a flight, but he was well on track to being the fastest. Naturally, Hughes wanted more than mere speed. The entrepreneurial pilot had another vision in mind. “Hughes planned to fly around […]

This Day in History: The U.S. Army Air Service & the first midair refueling

On this day in 1923, two biplanes conduct the first successful midair refueling. Well, sort of. They made the first midair transfer using a hose. Would you believe that another aviator had previously refueled a plane by walking on its wings while it was in flight?! Early aviators were some part genius and some part […]