John Flamsteed appointed 1st Astronomer Royal of England.
President William Howard Taft approves Congressional Gold Medals for the Wright brothers.
The last great passenger-carrying airship, a veritable behemoth in its day, takes to the air for the first time. The German dirigible LZ 129, the Hindenburg, is powered by four 1,320-hp Daimler-Benz DB 602 diesel engines. The Hindenburg makes its first Atlantic crossing in the record time of 64 hours 53 minutes on May 6.
American Airlines begins using the Douglas DC-4 cross country on trips that lasted 13-to-14-hours.
The first American civilian to fly at supersonic speeds is Herbert Henry Hoover in Bell X-1 in Muroc, California.
First flight of the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter.
A US Navy airship sets an airborne endurance record of 264 hours and 12 minutes, covering 9,448 miles.
U.S. Pioneer IV misses Moon and becomes 2nd (U.S. 1st) artificial planet.
Caledonian Airways Flight 153, a Douglas DC-7 (G-ARUD) crashes just after takeoff from Douala International Airport in Cameroon. An elevator trim jam causes the plane to plummet into a swamp in the jungle, killing all 111 on-board. Because of the terrain, it would take rescuers 6 hours to reach the wreck.
Canadian Pacific Airlines Flight 402 falls shorts of the runway and strikes a seawall while trying to land at Tokyo International Airport. The pilots of the Douglas DC-8-43 (CF-CPK) are suspected to have had difficulty landing in poor visibility, causing 64 of the 72 people aboard to perish.
Orbiting Geophysical Observatory 5 launched.
Cargolux is founded.
NASA launches Intelsat V.
a Cubana de Aviación Ilyushin Il-62M strays off course and overflies important American buildings two days in a row.
U.S. 65th manned space mission STS 36 (Atlantis 6) returns from space.
Space shuttle STS-62 (Columbia 16), launches into orbit.
Comet Hale-Bopp directly above the Sun (1.04 AU).
Zeya Start-1 launched (Russia).
The second attempt of Ansett Australia ceases operations, and is liquidated afterward.
The final attempt to contact Pioneer 10 results in no response, more than three years after the last contact was made from the spacecraft. It is considered to be the first human-built object to be on a solar system-leaving trajectory.
US Airways and America West combine their reservations computer systems.