The 82nd Airborne (All American) paratroop division is formed.
The world’s first and only successful rocket-powered warplane, Germany’s Messerschmidt Me 163, is used against enemy bombers for the first time.
The first flight of the Junkers Ju 287 takes place in Germany. The forward-swept winged, four-engined aircraft was a testbed for jet bomber technology, built mostly of parts salvaged from other aircraft. Before the second aircraft is completed, the Junkers factory is overrun by the Red Army. The Soviets would take the prototypes back to Russia for further development and create a derivative known as the OKB-1 EF 140, but the design is abandoned soon after.
First flight of the Northrop Northrop XF-89 Scorpion.
The prototype Bristol Type 175 Britannia (G-ALBO) makes its first flight from Filton, Bristol, England.
Captain Joe Kittinger jumps from a gondola, suspended from a balloon, 102,800 feet to the ground using a parachute. He breaks the records for greatest altitude from which a parachute descent had been made and the longest delayed parachute jump.
United Airlines Flight 389, a new Boeing 727–100, crashed into Lake Michigan 30 miles east northeast of Chicago's O'Hare Airport. The crew were told to descend and maintain 6,000 feet, which was the last radio communication with the flight. The NTSB was not able to determine why the airliner continued its descent into the water.
A new piston-engine airspeed record is set by Darryl Greenamayer in a heavily modified F8F Bearcat: 478mph.
First flight of the ATR 42.
Northwest Airlines Flight 255, an MD-82 (N312RC) crashes on takeoff from Detroit (DTW), killing all but one of the 155 people on board, as well as two people on the ground. The lone survivor is a four year old girl. The crash would be blamed on the crew’s failure to set the flaps for takeoff, and an electrical failure that prevented an alarm from sounding that would have warned the crew that the plane was not configured properly for takeoff.
A Concorde sets a new speed record for a round-the-world flight. It returns to JFK International Airport in New York after a journey lasting 31 hours 27 minutes, passing through Toulouse, Dubai, Bangkok, Guam, Honolulu and Acapulco.
West Caribbean Airways Flight 708 was a West Caribbean Airways charter flight which crashed in a mountainous region in northwest Venezuela on the morning of Tuesday, 16 August 2005, killing all 152 passengers and eight crew.
AIRES Flight 8250, operated by Boeing 737-73V HK-4682, crashes short of the runway at Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport, San Andrés, Colombia and breaks into three sections. One passenger dies from a heart attack following the accident. The other 124 passengers and six crew survive.