First flight of the McDonnell XF2D-1 Banshee, later redesignated XF2H-1.
Saudi Arabian Airlines begins regular domestic services.
Saudi Arabian Airlines begins regular international services.
The first flight of the North American B-45 Tornado. The aircraft is the United States Air Force’s first jet bomber and the first jet to be refueled in midair. Only 143 were produced after it was replaced fairly quickly by the Boeing B-47 Stratojet.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is officially founded in Montreal, Canada. It is an intergovernmental organization, established to regulate air transportation on a worldwide basis, its authority restricted only by the number of signatory nations.
Largest group of sunspots on record.
Largest recorded sunspot (7,000) observed.
BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) opens its first regular service to Canada; it is a weekly flight by a Constellation from London to Montreal.
Malayan Airways (predecessor to Singapore Airlines) is founded.
First flight of the Sukhoi Su-11 (1947), first aircraft with Soviet-designed jet engines.
First flight of the Douglas Skystreak.
British South American Airways trials non-stop flights from London to Bermuda using aerial refueling over the Azores.
First flight of the Boeing B-50.
First flight of the Boeing 377.
First flight of the Airspeed Ambassador G-AGUA.
Geoffrey Tyson test-pilots the first jet fighter to be modified as a flying boat.
First flight of the Saunders-Roe SR.A/1 TG263.
A Douglas Skystreak hits 640mph, setting a new world airspeed record.
BEA begins the world's first regular cargo-only airline service.
The United States Air Force is established as a separate and equal branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.
The United States Army Air Forces are separated from the United States Army and become an independent armed service, the United States Air Force.
The U.S. Air Force becomes an independent service within the unified U.S. armed forces. This change recognizes the fact that air power is to be the nation's 1st line of defense.
Los Angeles Airways opens the world’s 1st regular airmail service by helicopter, using Sikorsky S-51 machines.
First flight of the North American XP-86A.
Captain Charles “Chuck” Yeager becomes the 1st person to fly faster than sound. Yeager “breaks the sound barrier” in his Bell X-1 airplane, Glamorous Glennis, named after his wife. He was able to reach 670-mph or Mach 1.015 at Muroc Dry Lake, California.
The Avro Tudor 4 enters service with British South American Airways.
First flight of the Hughes H-4 Hercules ("Spruce Goose").
The Convair XC-99 (serial no. 43-52436) makes its first flight, piloted by Russell R. Rogers.
The prototype of the second Mikoyan Type S fighter, an early version of the MiG-15, makes its first flight; it has an imported Rolls-Royce Nene 2 jet engine.