The first atomic clock was built. It was based on earlier theoretical work by Isidor Rabi and used ammonia as its pendulum.
Garuda Indonesia is founded (as Garuda Indonesian Airways).
Pan Am receives the first Boeing Model 377 Stratocruiser to be delivered.
200" (5.08-m) Hale telescope 1st used.
In the US, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) gives authorization for the full use of ground control approach (GCA) landing aids. These will be used only in conditions of poor visibility caused by fog or bad weather and comprise a ground radar system.
An Eastern Air Lines Lockheed Constellation lands at LaGuardia, New York, at the end of a flight of 6 hours 18 minutes from Los Angeles, a coast-to-coast record for transport aircraft.
British Midland International begins operations as Derby Aviation Limited.
V-2/WAC-Corporal 1st rocket to outer space, White Sands, NM, 400 km.
A Boeing B-50 makes first nonstop refueled flight around world. American Capt. James Gallagher and Luck Lady II crew cover 23,452 miles (37,742 km) in 94 hours 1 minute and are refueled in flight four times.
Commanded by Capt. James G. Gallagher, the crew of 14 aboard the Strategic Air Command B-5A Lucky Lady II of the Forty-third Bombardment Group, USAF, completes the first nonstop round-the-world flight of 94 hours 1 minute. Flying a distance of 23,452 miles the B-50A is refueled four times by KB-29 tankers before landing back at Carswell AFB, Texas.
Nonstop flight of 56 hours and 2 minutes has put captain William Odom in the record books. Leaving Honolulu, Hawaii, he covers a distance of 4,957.25 miles before landing at Teterboro, New Jersey to gain the world record in Class C-1-c for light aircraft.
First flight of the Avro Shackleton prototype VW126.
The Boeing Stratocruiser enters service with Pan Am.
A Sikorsky S-51 completes a record helicopter flight of 3,750 miles from Elizabeth, New Jersey to Port Angeles, Washington.
Dick Reider and Bill Barris set a world endurance record for a flight-refueled aircraft in the U.S. They flew continuously in their Aeronca Chief light aircraft for 1,008 hours, one minute (over six weeks). They received food and fuel handed up from a speeding vehicle four times a day.
The Canadian Blue Devils aerobatic team is formed. Their fleet of RCAF de Havilland Vampire jets would grow to 6 before being disbanded after just over one year when the aircraft type was retired and the team disbanded, although they did perform one more time in August of 1951.
The “Superga Air Disaster”, a crash of a Fiat G212CP (I-ELCE) carrying the Torino A.C. football (soccer) after a game in Lisbon, takes place. Low clouds force them to descend to fly visually and collide with a hill near Turin, Italy. All 31 occupants perish. Read more...
Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) operates its first flight with a leased Douglas DC-3 with weekly service between San Diego and Oakland with a stop in Burbank, California. They would later be absorbed by USAir in May of 1987.
The USSR ends its blockade of Berlin, Germany; the Western airlift continues to build up supplies in the city.
Aerolineas Argentinas is founded.
The city’s first heliport, built on Pier 41 by the Hudson River, opens in New York City.
The U.S. Navy flying boat Marshall Mars lands after flying from Alameda, near San Francisco, with a record 301 passengers.
The first use of a Martin-Baker ejection seat in a genuine emergency occurs when pilot J. O. Lancaster ejects himself from the Armstrong Whitworth “flying wing” jet airplane. The seat worked perfectly well.
A survey conducted by a firm of New York aviation consultants shows that for the first time in history air travel volume is greater than first class rail travel. Revenue passengers-miles for domestic airlines totals 603 million compared to 582 million for Pullman trains.
The de Havilland 106 Comet becomes the world’s first jet airliner to be used in commercial travel.
US Navy Lt. J. L. Fruin loses control of his F2H-1 Banshee and ejects, becoming the first American pilot to use an ejector seat during an actual in-flight emergency.
BOAC commences its first services to the Far East to be flown entirely by landplanes.
First flight of the Fairey Gannet prototype VR546.---In1969…First flight of the Mil Mi-24, the most widely exported helicopter gunship.
First flight of the North American XT-28A Trojan.
Berlin Airlift officially ends, with 2,325 tons (2,362 tons) of food and supplies having been flown into the city. The final flight is made a week later.
Charles Moore makes the 1st manned flight in a polyethylene balloon over Minneapolis, Minnesota.
A Douglas C-74 Loadmaster carries 103 passengers and crew over the North Atlantic, the largest number to have made the crossing in a single flight.
First flight of the Douglas C-124 Globemaster II.
Muroc Army Airfield is renamed Edwards Air Force Base in honor of test pilot Glen Edwards.
US carriers American Airlines and TWA begin coast-to coast coach-class flights with 60-passenger DC-4s, charging US $110 one-way.