British Civil Aviation in 1946

1 January
Heathrow, later the site of the new London airport, is handed over to the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

1 January
Avro Lancastrian (G-AGWG) Starbright of British South American Airways leaves Heathrow for a proving flight to South America, piloted by Captain D.C.T. Bennett.

1 January
British European Airways (BEA) is established to take over the European services of British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC).

1 January
All flight restrictions that were imposed during the war are lifted.

31 January
British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) restarts its flying boat services to the Far East.

10 February
A Consolidated Liberator AM920 completes the British Overseas Airways Corporation’s (BOAC) 2,000th transatlantic crossing.

4 March
British European Airways (BEA) begin operations, but its crews are still wearing British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) uniform.

10 March
British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) withdraws is Boeing 314s from transatlantic operations.

31 May
London’s Heathrow airport is officially opened, although facilities are still limited, with only one runway and most of the passenger handling facilities in tents.

1 July
British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) begins a London to New York service with Lockheed Constellation aircraft.

24 July
Bernard Lynch makes the first British ejection from an aircraft when he leaves a Gloster Meteor from the ground, using a Martin Baker ejection seat.

1 September
British European Airways (BEA) puts the Vickers Viking into service.

4 September
The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Supply places an order for two de Havilland DH106 Comet airliners.

12 September
The first post-war Society of British Aerospace Companies show is held at Radlett in Hertfordshire.

27 September
A de Havilland DH108 experimental swept wing aircraft breaks up in mid-air over the Thames Estuary, killing the pilot Geoffrey de Havilland Jr.

18 November
British European Airways (BEA) introduces ex-Luftwaffe Junkers Ju52/3m on internal United Kingdom flights and raises a storm in Channel Islands when the first aircraft lands.