Squadron No. 588 of the Soviet Air Force, an all-woman night-bombing unit equipped with Polikarpov Po-2 biplanes, is formed in the USSR.
Malayan Airways (predecessor to Singapore Airlines) is founded.
Trans World Airways (TWA), British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) and Air France launch the world’s first scheduled tourist-class flights on their transatlantic routes from New York, London and Paris.
The Myasishchev M-4, the first Soviet bomber designed to reach the United States and return to the Soviet Union, is displayed to the public for the first time.
A Lockheed U-2 reconnaissance aircraft, piloted by U.S. Air Force Col. Francis Gary Powers, is shot down over the Soviet Union by a surface-to-air missile (SAM).
Thai Airways International (TG) is founded.
Jacqueline Cochran takes off from Edwards Air Force Base, California, to set a 100-km (62-mile) closed-circuit world speed record for women of 1,203.7mph in a Lockheed Starfighter.
Luna 5, USSR Lunar Soft Lander, launched. The lunar soft-lander failed and impacted the moon.
A Royal Air Force Avro Vulcan bomber based on Ascension Island attacks the airfield at Port Stanley on East Falkland Island. It is the first strike of Operation Black Buck, a series of five very-long-range missions to strike Argentinian positions in the Falkland (Malvinas) Islands. Each mission requires a 16-hour round trip of almost 8,000 nautical miles (9,200 statute miles; 15,000 km); they are the longest bombing missions in world history up to that time, and are not exceeded in distance and duration until the 1991 Gulf War.
BAE Sea Harriers attack Falklands targets for the first time and shoot down two Argentine Mirage III fighters. They are the first air-to-air kills of the Falklands War.
American Airlines launches AAdvantage, the first frequent flyer program in history. United Airlines launches its own program, Mileage Plus, only a week later.
First flight of the McDonnell Douglas MD 520N.
Song (airline) turned down all operations to Delta Air Lines.