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This week in history (26 Feb-4 Mar)

Supermarine Spitfire Airwoldfhound/Wikipedia
Supermarine Spitfire

26th February, 1935

Adolf Hitler publicly ordered the reformation of the Luftwaffe, violating the 1919 Treaty of Versailles that banned Germany from having an air force. This was the precursor to the Second World War, which would last for six years and contain numerous turning points, including the Dunkirk evacuations and D-Day, before Germany was forced to surrender, and the Luftwaffe was disbanded once more.

The Supermarine Spitfire was instrumental in the victory over the Luftwaffe, and you can read all about this icon of the skies here.

Pontiac Firebird

26th February, 1970

General Motors revealed the second-generation Pontiac Firebird, which had been delayed because of parts and tooling problems. It first appeared with a flat rear window; it had been designed with a wraparound rear window, but problems with sealing meant this wouldn’t appear until the redesign of 1975. The car was generally accepted to be ‘a bit of a looker’ and as such had a notable small-screen presence in TV shows such as The Rockford Files, and was the undoubted star of the second-biggest film of 1977, Smokey and the Bandit.

It has become one of the iconic muscle car models, and if you want to know how to fix it, then we have the manual for you.

Pontiac Firebird
Apollo 13

1st March, 1954

Noted actor and director Ron Howard was born. Following an acting career in which he made regular appearances in the sitcom Happy Days, he became a successful firm director. One of his most famous films was Apollo 13, which detailed the frantic efforts made to rescue three NASA astronauts after their spacecraft suffered a huge failure on the way to the Moon.

Want to know the full story? Check out the Haynes Apollo 13 manual.

Apollo 13 capsule

2nd March, 1969

Supersonic airliner Concorde made its first test flight. The aircraft was a joint exercise between the British Aircraft Corporation and the French company Sud Aviation, which would later become Aerospatiale. It was capable of reaching Mach 2 (1,347mph) at an altitude of 60,000 feet.

It flew until July 2000, when a crash caused flight operations to be suspended while safety improvements were identified and made. It was then reinstated in November 2001 and flew until November 2003, when all aircraft were retired.

Seat Altea

4th March, 2004

Spanish car maker Seat launched its new Altea model at the Geneva Motor show. The car was one of the later compact MPV vehicles to go on sale at the time, but nevertheless its funky looks and good driving characteristics made it popular with families. And if you happen to own an Altea or its larger sister car, the Altea XL, then you can save loads of money on garage repair bills by fixing it yourself with the help of Haynes Altea Autofix. Buy once, and use it whenever you need.

Seat Altea