British Civil Aviation in 1978

1 January
British Aircraft Corporation, Hawker Siddeley Aviation, Hawker Siddeley Dynamics and Scottish Aviation are merged to form British Aerospace (BAe). The company was officially formed on 29 April of the previous year, but the individual companies continued to trade under their separate names until this date.

18 April
The Vickers Viscount becomes the first turbine-engined airliner to complete 25 years of regular commercial service

9 May
David Cook makes the first crossing the English Channel in a powered hang-glider.

9 June
British Caledonian and British Airways Helicopters open a helicopter service linking Heathrow and Gatwick airports.

11 July
The government announces development of the HS146 four-jet regional airliner, later called the British Aerospace (BAe) 146.

10 August
British Airways carries the 100,000th Concorde passenger.

31 August
The government announces that it has acquired a 20% interest in the Airbus Industries A310 and a voting seat on the Airbus board.

19 December
Britons David Williams and Fred To fly ‘Solar One’, the world’s first solar powered aircraft.