British Civil Aviation in 1949

17 January
The Avro Tudor aircraft is relegated to freighter operations, following the loss of Avro Tudor 4 Star Ariel (G-AGRE) on a passenger flight from Bermuda to Jamaica.

14 February
British European Airways (BEA) begins experimental helicopter airmail flights during the night.

13 May
The English Electric Canberra makes its first flight.

30 May
Test pilot J.O. Lancaster makes the first emergency aircraft ejection in the United Kingdom, when he successfully escapes from the experimental Armstrong Whitworth AW52. The ejection takes place at 4,000 feet over Coventry.

27 July
The world’s first jet airliner, the de Havilland DH106 Comet (G-ALVG), makes its first flight.

30 July
British South American Airways Corporation is merged into British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC)

1 August
The Society of British Aerospace Companies Challenge Cup, which is open to all the nation’s jet aircraft, is won by Squadron Leader T.S. Wade flying Hawker P1040 (VP401) at an average speed of 821kph (510mph).

4 September
The Avro 707 delta-winged aircraft makes its first flight. Unfortunately, the first prototype crashes on 30 September due to loss of control at low speed.