April 8 in aviation: launch of Space Shuttle Discovery STS-56, launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-110.

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On April 8, 1920, the first flight of the aircraft de Havilland DH.18 took place. The DH.18 was designed and built in 1919 by Airco as their first special aircraft for commercial works, earlier aircraft such as the DH.16 being modified military types. The DH.18 was a single-engine Napier Lion biplane with two-compartment wooden wings, wire, and a fuselage before it was plywood. It could accommodate eight passengers in a closed cabin, with the pilot in another open cabin. The cockpit is located behind the passenger cabin.

de-Havilland-DH-18
Photo source: Wikipedia

Other aviation events on April 8.

The aircraft operating South African Airways Flight 201 disintegrated in the air.

On April 8, 1954, South African Airways Flight 201, a de Havilland Comet flying from Rome to Cairo to Johannesburg, disintegrated in the air, killing all 14 passengers and 7 crew members on board the aircraft. As in BOAC 781, the cause of the accident was metal wear on the corners of the windows.

The first flight of the Beagle Pup.

On April 8, 1967, the first flight of the Beagle Pup aircraft took place. Beagle B.121 Pup was a British training and passenger aircraft with 2-4 seats in the 1960s, built by Beagle Aircraft Limited at Shoreham Airport and Rearsby Airfield.

Beagle-B121-Pup
Photo source: Wikipedia

Flight BOAC 712 landed urgently after one of the engines caught fire.

On April 8, 1968, BOAC Flight 712, a Boeing 707, returned to Heathrow London Airport immediately after takeoff after one of the engines caught fire. The plane landed urgently, but five of the 127 passengers on board the aircraft died in the resulting fire.

Pacific Southwest Airlines has stopped operations.

On April 8, 1988, Pacific Southwest Airlines ceased operations and was integrated into USAir (now US Airways).

Launch of Space Shuttle Discovery STS-56.

On April 8, 1993, the Space Shuttle Discovery STS-56 was launched at 5:29:00 UTC. The main mission of the expedition was the ATLAS-2 scientific platform.

Launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-110.

On April 8, 2002, the Atlantis STS-110 Space Shuttle Launch took place at 20:44:19 UTC. The main mission of the expedition was the assembly flight of ISS 8A: farm S0.

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