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On This Day: 1980

Aviation events for 1980

January 7: In San Francisco, a single-engined Mooney 231 sets a nonstop coast-to coast record in 8 hours 4 minutes using only 105 gallons of fuel.
January 8: A Mooney 231 lands in San Francisco, after flying coast to coast non-stop, setting a record by completing the flight in 8 hours and 4 minutes.
January 16: British Island Airways and Air Anglia merge to form Air UK.
January 17: NASA launches Fltsatcom-3.
January 21: An Iran Air Boeing 727-086 (EP-IRD), crashes into a mountain while on approach to Tehran in very snow conditions. There were no survivors among the 128 aboard.
February 14: Japan Air Lines begins commercial operations with the highest-capacity airliner ever put into scheduled service, conducting the inaugural flight of eight Boeing 747SR. The aircraft has seating for 550 passengers, 45 in the upper deck.
February 14: U.S. launches Solar Maximum Mission Observatory to study solar flares.
March 5: Earth satellites record gamma rays from remnants of supernova N-49.
March 12: A pair of B-52 Stratofortress aircraft make an around-the-world nonstop trip in 42.5 hours.
March 14: Two B-52 Stratofortresses make a non-stop round-the-world flight in 42.5 hours.
March 18: Vostok rocket exploded on launch pad while being refueled, killing 50.
March 28: The 1,000th production Learjet is delivered.
April 3: Crash of the prototype Bombardier Challenger 600 in the Mojave desert kills the pilot.
April 9: Soyuz 35 carries 2 cosmonauts to Salyut 6. Read more...
April 18: Air Zimbabwe is formed.
April 24: Operation Eagle Claw, an attempt by the U.S. Navy to rescue the 52 hostages being held in the U.S. Embassy in Teheran, fails miserably. Eight servicemen are killed as one of the eight Sikorsky RH-53Ds used in the operation crashes in a sand cloud, while another crashes into a C-130 Hercules on the ground in Iran.
April 27: Thai Airways Flight 231, a Hawker Siddeley HS-748 (HS-THB), crashes after experiencing windshear on approach to Don Muang Airport (DMK) in Bangkok, killing 40 of the 53 people on board.
June 13: The last produced Concorde (number 16) is delivered to British Airways.
June 23: Sanjay Gandhi, son of Indira Gandhi, dies when his private aerobatic biplane has an accident.
July 12: First flight of the KC-10 Extender, the military in-flight refueler version of the McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30.
July 17: Cathay Pacific begins a Hong Kong-London service.
July 21: The F-16 is officially nicknamed the Fighting Falcon in a ceremony.
July 23: First flight of the Aérospatiale Dauphin II.
August 7: Janice Brown pilots the MacCready Gossamer Penguin on its first solar powered flight.
August 11: First flight of the Learjet Longhorn 50.
August 19: Saudia Flight 163, a Lockheed L-1011-200 TriStar, burns at Riyadh, killing all 301 on board. The plane had actually made a safe emergency landing after the crew received indications of a fire in the cargo compartment, but a delay by the crew in evacuating the plane, combined with the emergency service’s inability to open the doors for a long period of time, caused the passengers and crew to die of burns and smoke inhalation.
September 9: Island Air, a Hawaiian airline, started operations.
September 22: Iraq attacks Iran, various military bases and oil wells affected.
September 28: Iraqi Tupolev Tu-22s land in Riyadh after bombing Iran.
October 2: A Westland Sea King helicopter rescues 22 passengers from the Swedish ship Finneagle in the North Sea.
October 20: First dog fights of the Iran–Iraq War. An Iraqi Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 is shot down by Iranian F-4 Phantoms.
Singapore Airlines Aerospatiale-BAC Concorde 102 (G-BOAD) at  London - Heathrow, United Kingdom
November 1: British Airways terminates Concorde services to Bahrain and Singapore.
November 9: Dan-Air registers the last commercial flight by a de Havilland Comet. The plane flew enthusiasts on a round-trip flight from London.
November 12: Voyager 1 makes its closest approach to Saturn, flying 77,000 miles above its surface and taking photo of its rings.
November 12: Delta Air Lines orders 60 Boeing 757-200s, the largest single order at the time for a single airliner type.
December 7: Pan Am’s Boeing 747 China Clipper arrives in Peking from New York via Tokyo to complete the first official flight between China and USA since shortly before 1949.
December 19: New York Air began airline operations.
December 26: Aeroflot puts the Ilyushin Il-86 into service on its Moscow-Tashkent route.

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