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Engineering

1889 – The Eiffel Tower is officially opened

31 March

The Eiffel Tower is a wrought iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Constructed in 1889 as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair, it was initially criticized by some of France’s leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but has become a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognisable structures in the world. The tower is the tallest structure in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world: 6.98 million people ascended it in 2011. The tower received its 250 millionth visitor in 2010.

Continue reading “1889 – The Eiffel Tower is officially opened”

1947 – First flight of the B-45 Tornado strategic bomber

17 March

The North American B-45 Tornado was the United States Air Force’s (USAF) first operational jet bomber, and the first multi-jet engined bomber in the world to be refuelled in mid-air. The B-45 was an important part of the United States’s nuclear deterrent for several years in the early 1950s, but was soon superseded by the Boeing B-47 Stratojet. B-45s and RB-45s served in the United States Air Force’s Strategic Air Command from 1950 until 1959. It was also the first jet bomber of the NATO Alliance, which was formed in 1949. Continue reading “1947 – First flight of the B-45 Tornado strategic bomber”

1942 – The first V-2 rocket test launch

16 March

The V-2 (Vergeltungswaffe 2, “Retribution Weapon 2”), technical name Aggregat-4 (A-4), was the world’s first long-range guided ballistic missile. The missile with a liquid-propellant rocket engine was developed during the Second World War in Germany as a “vengeance weapon,” designed to attack Allied cities as retaliation for the Allied bombings against German cities. The V-2 rocket also became the first artificial object to cross the boundary of space with the vertical launch of V-177 on 20 June 1944. Continue reading “1942 – The first V-2 rocket test launch”

1906 – The Courrières mine disaster

10 March

The Courrières mine disaster, Europe’s worst mining accident, caused the death of 1,099 miners (including many children) in Northern France on this day in 1906. Continue reading “1906 – The Courrières mine disaster”

1893 – The USS Indiana is launched

28 February

USS Indiana (BB-1) was the lead ship of her class and the first battleship in the United States Navy comparable to foreign battleships of the time. Authorized in 1890 and commissioned five years later, she was a small battleship, though with heavy armour and ordnance. The ship also pioneered the use of an intermediate battery. She was designed for coastal defence and as a result her decks were not safe from high waves on the open ocean. Continue reading “1893 – The USS Indiana is launched”

1966 – Apollo program: Launch of AS-201, the first flight of the Saturn IB rocket

26 February

The Saturn IB (pronounced “one B”, also known as the Uprated Saturn I) was an American launch vehicle commissioned by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for the Apollo program. It replaced the S-IV second stage of the Saturn I with the much more powerful S-IVB, able to launch a partially fueled Apollo Command/Service Module (CSM) or a fully fueled Lunar Module (LM) into low Earth orbit for early flight tests before the larger Saturn V needed for lunar flight was ready. Continue reading “1966 – Apollo program: Launch of AS-201, the first flight of the Saturn IB rocket”

2008 – Namdaemun, a 550-year-old gate in South Korea, was toppled by fire

11 February

Namdaemun, Gate of Exalted Ceremonies, is one of the Eight Gates in the Fortress Wall of Seoul, South Korea, which surrounded the city in the Joseon dynasty. The gate is located in Jung-gu between Seoul Station and Seoul Plaza, with the historic 24-hour Namdaemun market next to the gate. Continue reading “2008 – Namdaemun, a 550-year-old gate in South Korea, was toppled by fire”

1906 – HMS Dreadnought, the first of a revolutionary new breed of battleships is christened and launched by King Edward VII

10 February

HMS Dreadnought was a battleship of the Royal Navy that revolutionised naval power. Her entry into service in 1906 represented such a paradigm shift in naval technology that her name came to be associated with an entire generation of battleships, the “dreadnoughts”, as well as the class of ships named after her. The generation of ships she made obsolete became known as “pre-dreadnoughts”. She was the sixth ship of that name in the Royal Navy. Continue reading “1906 – HMS Dreadnought, the first of a revolutionary new breed of battleships is christened and launched by King Edward VII”

1961 – Goldsboro B-52 crash

24 January

The 1961 Goldsboro B-52 crash was an accident that occurred in Goldsboro, North Carolina, on this day in 1961. A B-52 Stratofortress carrying two Mark 39 nuclear bombs broke up in mid-air, dropping its nuclear payload in the process. Continue reading “1961 – Goldsboro B-52 crash”

1984 – The first Apple Macintosh goes on sale

24 January

The Macintosh (branded as Mac since 1997) is a series of personal computers (PCs) designed, developed, and marketed by Apple Inc. Steve Jobs introduced the original Macintosh computer on this day in 1984. Continue reading “1984 – The first Apple Macintosh goes on sale”

1911 – The first Monte Carlo Rally takes place

21 January

The Monte Carlo Rally, officially Rallye Automobile Monte Carlo, is a rallying event organised each year by the Automobile Club de Monaco which also organises the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix and the Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique. Continue reading “1911 – The first Monte Carlo Rally takes place”

1899 – Opel manufactures its first automobile

21 January

Adam Opel AG is a German automobile manufacturer headquartered in Rüsselsheim, Hesse, Germany, and a subsidiary of General Motors Company. Continue reading “1899 – Opel manufactures its first automobile”

1862 – Hartley Colliery Disaster

16 January

The Hartley Colliery disaster was a coal mining accident in Northumberland, England that occurred on this day in 1862 and resulted in the deaths of 204 men. The beam of the pit’s pumping engine broke and fell down the shaft, trapping the men below. The disaster prompted a change in UK law that henceforth required all collieries to have at least two independent means of escape.

1950 – The first prototype of the MiG-17 makes its maiden flight

14 January

The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 is a high-subsonic fighter aircraft produced in the USSR from 1952 and operated by numerous air forces in many variants. It is an advanced development of the very similar appearing MiG-15 of the Korean War. Continue reading “1950 – The first prototype of the MiG-17 makes its maiden flight”

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