Venera 5, USSR’s first probe to make a successful planet landing, is launched. It would later enter Venus’ atmosphere on May 16.
Launch of Venera 6 atmospheric probe to Venus. Venera 6 arrived at Venus on May 17, 1969. Along with Venera 5, atmospheric data was returned indicating an atmosphere composed of 93-97% carbon dioxide, 2-5% nitrogen, and less than 4% oxygen. The probe returned data down to within 11 kilometers of surface and was then lost - crushed by the pressure on Venus.
Soviet Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5 perform 1st transfer of crew in space.
Orbiting Solar Observatory 5 launched into earth orbit.
SAS’ first McDonnell Douglas DC-9-20 enters service.
First flight of the Boeing 747 "Jumbo Jet" airliner takes place in Seattle, Washington. The wide-bodied, long-range transport is capable of carrying 347 passengers, and is the largest aircraft in commercial airline service in the world.
Hawthorne Nevada Airlines Flight 708 crashes into Mount Whitney, killing all 35 on-board. The pilots of the DC-3 (N17750) were straying from their filed VFR flight plan when they struck. Weather and challenging terrain prevented rescue crews to come upon the wreckage until the following August.
Terrorists attack an El Al 707 on the runway at Zurich, killing a pilot and three passengers.
1st launching of heavy N-1 rocket at Baikonur Kazachstan (explodes).
Mariner 6 - USA Mars Flyby launched. Mariner 6 and 7 took measurements of the surface and atmospheric temperature, surface molecular composition, and pressure of the atmosphere. In addition, over 200 pictures were taken. Mariner 6 is now in a solar orbit.
After a lengthy succession of taxi and runway tests, the first prototype Concorde 001 (F-WTSS) makes its first flight, with Andre Turcat at the controls. The flight lasts 29 minutes.
Apollo 9, the second manned launch of a Saturn V rocket, launches to spend 10 days in lower Earth orbit to test the lunar module’s behavior in space.
Apollo 9 ends after a 10-day test of the Lunar Module in Earth’s lower orbit.
The first scheduled jet air service inside the Arctic Circle begins as Nordair inaugurates a weekly return service between Montreal, Canada and Resolution Bay, Cornwallis Island, Canada.
Soviet weather satellite Meteor 1 launched.
Mariner 7, one of two robotic probes sent to inspect Mars’ atmosphere and ice caps, launches.
Air Jamaica commences operations.
Apollo 9 launched for 151 Earth orbits (10 days).
The first U.K.-assembled supersonic transport, Concorde 002, makes a successful first flight in England.
The Royal Norwegian Air Force is the first European air service to take delivery of the Lockheed P-3B Orion.
SR-71 (954) was lost at Edwards AFB due to a wheel/tire failure on takeoff. It was being tested to determine problems associated with maximum gross weight takeoffs when a tire and wheel exploded, rupturing the left wing fuel tank causing a massive fire. Pilot Bill Skliar and RSO Noel Warner survived.
The first woman airline pilot in the West, Turi Widerose of Norway, makes her first scheduled flight as a first officer for Scandinavian Airlines.
Aviogenex commences operations.
Venera 5, USSR Venus Atmosphere Probe, (launched January 5, 1969) arrived at Venus. Along with Venera 6, atmospheric data was returned indicating an atmosphere composed of 93-97 carbon dioxide, 2-5 nitrogen, and less than 4 oxygen. The probe returned data down to within 26 kilometers of surface and was then lost - crushed by the pressure on Venus.
Venera 6, USSR Venus Atmosphere Probe, (launched January 10, 1969) arrived at Venus. Along with Venera 5, atmospheric data was returned indicating an atmosphere composed of 93-97 carbon dioxide, 2-5 nitrogen, and less than 4 oxygen. The probe returned data down to within 11 kilometers of surface and was then lost - crushed by the pressure on Venus.
Apollo 10, USA Lunar Manned Orbiter, (May 18-26, 1969) launched. Crew: Thomas Stafford, Eugene A. Cernan, John W. Young. Manned lunar fly-around and Earth return. Stafford and Cernan tested the Lunar Module, separating it from the Command and Service Module and descended to within 50,000 feet of the lunar surface. The astronauts acquired a large number of excellent 70-mm photographs.
Apollo 10, USA Lunar Manned Orbiter, (May 18-26, 1969) Crew: Thomas Stafford, Eugene A. Cernan, John W. Young. Manned lunar fly-around and Earth return. Stafford and Cernan tested the Lunar Module, separating it from the Command and Service Module and descended to within 50,000 feet of the lunar surface. The astronauts acquired a large number of excellent 70-mm photographs.
The U.S. Army cancels the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne attack helicopter program, worth $US 900 million.
The USAF Thunderbirds perform their first show with the Mc-Donnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom II.
The Tupolev Tu-144 supersonic airliner becomes the first aircraft of its class to fly through the sound barrier when it exceeds Mach 1 at a height of 36,000 ft.
The Air Force agreed to allow NASA to use two YF-12s in a NASA program. (Q)
The Apollo 11 Saturn V rocket blasts off from the Florida Space Center in route to the first moon landing.
Neil Armstrong lands the lunar module Eagle on the surface of the moon. His immortal first words are, “that's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
The biggest helicopter ever built, the Soviet Mil V-12 secures an unbeaten world lifting record for rotary-winged aircraft by carrying 40,205.5 kg (88,636 lb.) to a height of 2,255 m (7,400 ft.). Read more...
A new piston-engine airspeed record is set by Darryl Greenamayer in a heavily modified F8F Bearcat: 478mph.
Embraer is founded by Brazil’s Ministry of Aeronautics.
First flight of the Tupolev Tu-22M.
Former heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Marciano is killed when the Cessna 172 he is on hits a tree two miles short of Newton Municipal Airport in Iowa while attempting to land during bad weather, also killing the pilot and another passenger. The crash is blamed on the pilot’s inexperience in Instrument Meteorological Conditions and night flying.
First flight of the Cessna FanJet500, the prototype which led to the Cessna Citation.
The Hawker-Siddeley Nimrod enters service with the Royal Navy.
Finnair introduces an inertial navigation system on its aircraft, becoming the first airline to dispense with the need for a navigator aboard.
The first legislation to limit aircraft noise levels at airports is introduced in U.S. Federal Air Regulation, Part 36.
An Air France Boeing 707-328B (registration F-BHSZ) operating the Caracas-Point-à-Pitre sector of flight AF212 crashed into the sea shortly after takeoff from Simon Bolivar International Airport with the loss of all 62 on board.
The USAF closes Project Blue Book, its 22-year investigation into sightings of unidentified flying objects, or UFOs.
SR-71 (953) lost near Shoshee CA due to a pitch up accident. Pilot Joe Rogers andRSO Garry Heidlebaugh survived.