This is today’s Planelopnik History Speed Round, getting you caught up on milestones and important historical events in aviation from March 21 to March 24.

March 21, 1971First flight of the Westland Lynx helicopter, a British-built multi-purpose military helicopter. The Lynx was adopted by the armed forces of over a dozen nations, and primarily serves in the battlefield utility, anti-armor, search and rescue and anti-submarine warfare roles.

March 21, 1958Maiden flight of the Avro CF-105 Arrow. Less than a month later, the Arrow broke the sound barrier, flying at Mach 1.5 at an altitude of 50,000 ft. However, the Canadian government, in a move that is controversial to this day, canceled the project before before the Arrow entered production.

Advertisement

March 21, 1946A major reorganization of the United States Army Air Forces created the Strategic Air Command, the Air Defense Command, and the Tactical Air Command.

March 22, 1989An Antonov An-225, carrying the Buran orbiter, sets a total of 106 world and class records during a 3 hour, 30 minute flight. Its total weight at take-off was 1,120,400 pounds.

Advertisement

March 22, 1979The first flight of the Lockheed CP-140 Aurora. The Aurora is based on the P-3 Orion, and was originally built with the electronics suite from the Lockheed S-3 Viking. It is Canada’s only strategic Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft.

Advertisement

March 22, 1919 – Lignes Aériennes Farman (Farman Airlines) opens the first regular international commercial route between Paris and Brussels, operating a Farman F.60 Goliath. Farman operated until 1933 when its assets were incorporated into the newly created Air France airline.

March 23, 1948First flight of the Douglas F3D Skyknight, a carrier-based all-weather night fighter built for the United States Navy and Marine Corps. It served in Korea, claiming several Soviet-built MiG-15s during nighttime engagements.

Advertisement

March 24, 1944Flight Sergeant Nicholas Alkemade, an RAF tail gunner serving in an Avro Lancaster B Mk. II, jumped out of his burning aircraft without a parachute during a raid on Germany. Alkemade fell 18,000 feet into a forest, where tree branches slowed his fall, before coming to rest in deep snowdrift. Alkemade survived the fall with severe bruising and a sprained leg. He was captured, and finished the war as a POW in Stalag Luft III. Alkemade died in 1987.