A GREAT DAY IN THE HISTORY OF FLIGHT
Image Credit & Copyright: NASA of the rollout of Apollo 11. CLICK image for larger view and look below for information and links.
I wasn’t going to complete a post on this but coupled with the other major events of May 20th in the history of flight I determined that a short blog is in order to commemorate its events.
May 20, 1927: Charles Lindbergh in his custom built “Spirit of St Louis” leaves Roosevelt Field, Long Island, embarking on a 33 hour transatlantic journey to Le Bourget Field, Paris becoming the first to cross the span of the Atlantic by air.
May 20, 1932: 5 years later to the day, Amelia Earhart in her Lockheed Vega 5B leaves Harbour Grace, Newfoundland on her 15hr transatlantic journey to Ireland where she became the 1st woman to do so. That feat also made her the 1st person to fly solo across both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans.
May 20, 1969: The rollout of Apollo 11 from the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) in preparation of the 1st Moon landing in the history of the human race.
May 20, 1977: PanAm 747, tail number N536PA is christened by Anne Morrow Lindbergh as “Clipper Lindbergh” on the 50th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s 1st transatlantic flight.
This aircraft would later be bought by NASA, re-numbered N747NA and it’s still in service today and known as the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy or; SOFIA. SOFIA was re-christened “Clipper Lindbergh” on May 21, 2007 by Charles Grandson, Erik Lindbergh on the 80th anniversary of when Charles Lindbergh landed in France after his 33hr transatlantic journey.
May 20, 2003: The first time that SpaceShipOne (SS1) took to the skies under WhiteKnightOne (WK1) in flight designated “01C.” It was an unmanned captive carry flight. SpaceShipOne would later go on to be the 1st private ship to break the Karman line and reach space. And YES, the names of these aircraft are all done as “one word” lettering.
So you can see, May 20th through history has many monumental days in the history of flight…..Remembering that the Apollo 11 rollout was the rollout and not the actual launch, which of these events is most important to you?