A Pan Am Boeing 747, on a proving flight from New York, is the first wide-bodied airliner to make a landing at Heathrow Airport in London.
Sukhoi T-6-2IG (prototype of Sukhoi Su-24 'Fencer').
The Boeing 747 enters service with TWA.
Australia's 1st amateur radio satellite (Oscar 5) launched (Calif).
U.S. launches 2nd generation weather satellite, ITOS 1.
Japan becomes 4th nation to put a satellite, Osumi, in orbit.
First flight of the Canadair CL-84 CX8401.
U.S.S.R. launches Sputnik 52 and Molniya 1-13 communications satellite.
Swissair Flight 330, a Convair CV-990 Coronado (HB-ICD) crashes when a bomb explodes nine minutes after departure from Zurich. The attempt to return the damaged aircraft to the airfield fails, and all 47 on-board are killed when the plane crashes into a wooded area.
HMS Ark Royal is recommissioned after a £UK 30 million refit.
TWA becomes the first airline to fly a “Jumbo Jet” within the US, when it inaugurates a Boeing 747 service between Los Angeles and New York.
Hawker Siddeley begins buying back surplus Hawker Hunters from the Royal Air Force to remanufacture for new customers.
BEA opens its charter service, BEA Airtours.
Apollo 13 - USA Lunar Flyby (April 11-17, 1970) launched. Crew: James A. Lovell, Jr., Fred W. Haise, Jr., John L. Swigert, Jr. The Apollo 13 mission became one of survival for the astronauts on board. During the translunar coast an explosion destroyed both power and propulsion systems of the Command Service Module. The Lunar Module was used as a lifeboat for the astronauts. Read more...
A Sikorsky CH-53D helicopter flies between London and Paris to demonstrate that modern helicopters can provide reliable inter-city services.
The crippled Apollo 13 spacecraft and its four astronauts returns to earth safely after suffering an explosion enroute to the moon.
China launches its first space satellite, Dong Fang Hong I using a Long March I rocket. The satellite’s weight exceeds that of the first four satellites launched by Russia, the United States, France and Japan combined
An Overseas National Airways DC-9-30, wet leased to ALM, ditches en-route from JFK to SXM after three missed approaches to Princess Juliana International Airport. Forty passengers survived, 23 perished.
SR-71 (969) was lost due to a pitch up accident due to an improper center of gravity problem near Bangkok Thailand. Pilot Willie Lawson and RSO Gil Martinez survived. (Q)
National Airlines ends a 108-day strike by offering ground crews a 33% pay increase.
The prototype Tupolev Tu-144 supersonic airliner reaches a speed of 1,335mph, becoming the first commercial transport in the world to exceed Mach 2.
SR-71 (970) was lost due to a pitch up accident during refueling resulting in a collision with the KC-135 tanker near El Paso TX. The pilot Buddy Brown and the RSO Mortimer Jarvis both ejected safely. The tanker made an emergency landing at Briggs Army Air Field near El Paso TX.
Melbourne opens its new international airport.
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport commences passenger screening to help prevent hijackings; the first airport to do so.
LANSA Flight 502, a Lockheed L-188A Electra, crashes shortly after takeoff from Cusco, Peru, killing all but one of the 100 on board, including 49 students from upstate New York. Two farmers on the ground also perish. Investigators find that an engine failure combined with improper engine-out procedures carried out by the crew, as well as inadequate loading procedures, led to the accident.
First flight of the Sikorsky S-67 Blackhawk.
Two Sikorsky HH-53C helicopters complete a non-stop transpacific flight of 9,000 miles (14,484 km) using in-flight refuelling.
Two USAF Sikorsky HH-53C helicopters complete a non-stop trans-Pacific crossing from Eglin AFB, Florida to Da Nang, South Vietnam, aided by refueling encounters with Lockheed C-130 tankers.
First flight of the McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10.
Air France places the first orders for the Airbus A300.
A Martin 4-0-4 (registered N464M), carrying the Wichita State University football team, crashes into a mountain near Silver Plume, Colorado, killing 31 of the 40 on-board. The crash was attributed to poor pre-flight planning after the co-pilot chose a more scenic route without considering terrain limitations.
Hindustan Aeronautics completes its first license-built MiG-21.
A chartered Convair 240 carrying 26 people including members of the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd runs out of fuel and crashes in a forest at Gillsburg, Mississippi. Among the six dead are three band members and a manager, and the rest of the band members are injured.
The British government agrees to fund development of the Rolls-Royce RB211 turbofan, rescuing the project from Rolls-Royce's bankruptcy.
Southern Airways Flight 932 crashes near Ceredo,West Virginia, killing all 75 on board. The dead are 37 members of the Marshall University football team, eight of its coaches, 25 team boosters, and the crew of five.
In Operation Ivory Coast, the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army assault North Vietnam's Son Tay prison camp to free prisoners-of-war thought to be there, but none are found. Large air raids are conducted to divert North Vietnamese attention from the assault.
Artem Mikoyan, the designer of many MiG aircraft, dies at the age of 65.
Artem Mikoyan, founder of the dynasty of MiG fighters, dies.
Airbus Industrie is formally established to develop the Airbus A300; it is comprised of Aérospatiale, Deutsche Airbus, Fokker and Hawker Siddeley.
With pre-tax losses of $US 130 million, the year ends as the worst ever for US airlines.