Bob Fowler flies from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, Florida. The west to east coast-to-coast journey has taken four months to complete.
The great aeronautical pioneer Igor Sikorsky sets up the Sikorsky Aero Engineering Corp. in the United States with the financial help of several important leading figures, including Sergey Rachmaninoff. Sikorsky left Russia in 1917 when revolution threatened his work and his life.
Lineas Aereas nacionales is founded. It is known as LAN today.
The Supermarine Spitfire makes its maiden flight. The single-seat fighter would play a major role in World War II, with over 20,300 being built over the following 10 years.
First flight of the Gloster Meteor prototype
Explorer 2 launches, but due to a mechanical failure, does not reach orbit.
A Convair B-58 (serial no. 59-2458) of the Forty-third Bombardment Wing breaks three records during a round trip between New York and Los Angeles in 4 hours 41 minutes 14.98 seconds. The fastest trans-continental crossing between Los Angeles and New York is accomplished in 2 hours 58.71 seconds at an average speed of 1,214.65 mph. The third record notches the fastest time between New York and Los Angeles.
Country music star Patsy Cline and three others are killed in the crash of a Piper Comanche near Camden, Tennessee.
First successful launch of the Tagboard Drone (#503) from M-21 (941). Blackbird pilot BillParks. Takeoff from Groom Lake. Launched Drone over Pacific Ocean at 80,000 feet, Mach 3.2.Successful launch. Drone traveled 150 miles and ran out of fuel. Launch Control Officer was HeithBeswick. (Q)
BOAC Flight 911, a Boeing 707-436 (GAPFE) enroute to Kai Tak International, crashes shortly after departure from Tokyo International Airport, killing all 124 people aboard. The aircraft encounters severe turbulence, resulting in structural failure, beginning with separation of the vertical stabilizer. The crash comes one day after Canadian Pacific Fligth 402 crashed at Tokyo Airport, with the BOAC 707 taxiing past the smoldering wreckage minutes before their own crash. Similarly, the Canadian Pacific aircraft crashed while returning from Kai Tak.
Lake Central Airlines Flight 527, a Convair CV-580 (N73130), crashes in Marseille, Ohio, killing all 37 on-board. The crash is attributed to all 4 blades off of the right propeller separating, the #2 blade piercing through the aircraft.
U.S. launches Solar Explorer 2 to study the Sun.
Shin Meiwa US-1 enters service with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force.
The Landsat 3 launches, third in a series of photo satellites. Its Earth-snapping work would last five years until March of 1983.
Venera 14, a Soviet space probe for intended to explore Venus, arrives at its destination. The aircraft has a twin-ship, Venera 13, which launched and also arrived 5 days prior.
Voyager 1 makes its closest approach to Jupiter at a distance of 172,000 miles.
Earth satellites record gamma rays from remnants of supernova N-49.
Venera 14 landed on Venus.
Palair Macedonian Airlines Flight 301 crashes moments after takeoff on runway 34 in Skopje, Macedonia. The Fokker F-100 (PH-XXL) failed to climb due to the crew’s failure to have the aircraft de-iced, killing 83 of the 97 aboard.
Southwest Airlines Flight 1455, a Boeing 737-300 (N668SW) overruns runway 8 at Burbank-Glendale Pasadena Airport on landing after a flight from Las Vegas McCarran International. The accident is blamed on the pilot’s failure to abort landing after approaching too fast and too high. The pilot was heard on the cockpit voice recorder moments afterward saying “Well, there goes my career.” Thankfully, all 142 occupants survive.
First flight of the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer.
Steve Fossett completes the first non-stop, solo circumnavigation of the world in the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer, completing the trip in 67 hours and 2 minutes.
An Antonov An-148 crashes at Garbuzovo, Alxeevsky Region, Belgorod Oblast, Russia following an in-flight break-up. All six people on board are killed.