The unofficial altitude record for a helicopter is made at 21,000ft in a Sikorsky R5.
The US Army's Signal Corps successfully bounces the first radar waves off the Moon.
First flight of the Bell X-1 (unpowered).
Col William Councill sets a new US transcontinental speed record of 4 hours 13 minutes in a Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star.
Pan American inaugurates the first commercial use of Lockheed Model 049 Constellation with the aircraft’s first scheduled service between New York and Bermuda.
TWA begins transatlantic service with the Lockheed Constellation flying the New York-Gander-Shannon-Paris route.
A TWA Lockheed Constellation lands at Orly airport, Paris, from LaGuardia, New York, to complete the airline’s first scheduled international flight.
The United States and United Kingdom sign an agreement in Bermuda setting out the principles by which air rates and frequencies of international services should be set. The Bermuda Agreement becomes a standard upon which air agreements would be based in the future.
Philippine Airlines resumes service after a 5-year hiatus during World War II.
First flight of the Republic XP-84 Thunderjet 45-54975.
American Airlines begins using the Douglas DC-4 cross country on trips that lasted 13-to-14-hours.
The Bell 47 receives the first type certificate awarded to a commercial helicopter.
The Strategic Air Command of the United States Army Air Force is formed.
An air agreement is signed by France and the US giving Air France the right to serve the cities of Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago.
Sears, Roebuck & Company begins a new, regular weekly overnight shipment of women’s clothing from New York to the West Coast by airplane.
Ethiopian Airlines commences flight operations.
First flights of the first Soviet designed and built jet aircrafts, MiG-9 and Yak-15, are made. A member of the company test team for the Yak-15, Olga Yamschikova, is probably the first woman to fly a turbojet-powered aircraft when she flies in 1947.
Winged Cargo Inc. opens an unusual freight service in which goods are carried in a Waco CG-4A glider towed by a DC-3.
Royal Dutch Airlines, KLM, inaugurates a scheduled service to New York. It is the first European airline to open post-war flights to New York.
First flight of the de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk.
London Heathrow Airport is officially opened.
The US Navy's newly formed Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, gives its first public performance at Jacksonville-Craig Field, Florida.
First flight of the Northrop XB-35 flying wing bomber 42-13603.
The U.S. Army Air Force and Navy adopt the “knot” and “nautical mile” as standard aeronautical units for speed and distance. A nautical mile is about 6.080 ft. (1,853 m), and knot is the equivalent of one nautical mile per hour.
a McDonnell XFD-1 Phantom executes the first intentional and controlled landing by a purely jet-powered aircraft aboard a US aircraft carrier, USS Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Bernard Lynch becomes the first person to be “shot” out of an airplane. Lynch was involved in the first airborne test of a British “ejection seat.”
Aloha Airlines commences operations.
British European Airways (BEA) is established under the Civil Aviation Act of 1946, which makes the entire British air transport industry nationalized. Read more...
The Convair B-36 takes its first flight. To this day, the six-engined bomber remains the largest piston-engined aircraft ever mass-produced. Its 230 ft wingspan is also the longest ever on a combat aircraft. Read more...
President Harry Truman signs a bill authorizing an appropriation of $50,000 to establish a National Air Museum in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. The small museum eventually becomes the National Air and Space Museum - the most visited museum in the world.
The first person to be ejected from an airplane by means of its emergency escape equipment is Sergeant Lambert at Wright Field in Ohio.
Royal Air Force Gloster Meteor established a new world absolute air speed record of 615.65 mph (990.79 km/h) flown by Group Captain E.M. Donaldson off the coast of West Sussex, England.
North American XFJ-1, prototype of the FJ Fury, the first jet aircraft to enter service with the US Navy.
Scandinavian Air System (SAS) commences flight operations.
Geoffrey de Havilland Jr is killed when the de Havilland DH.108 breaks up in mid-air.
a United States Navy Lockheed P2V Neptune sets a new distance record of 11,235 miles (18,082 km).
An Avro Lancastrian powered with Rolls-Royce Nene turbojets is credited with the first international passenger jet flight from London to Paris. The flight time was just 41 minutes.
First flight of the Beechcraft T-34 Mentor.
The first powered flight by the Bell X-1 took place.
Today is nicknamed “Black Christmas” as three airlines crash trying to land in bad weather, killing 72 people. It is the worst day so far in the history of Chinese civil aviation.