British Civil Aviation in 1979

24 January
Pilatus Aircraft of Switzerland finalises the take-over of the British company Britten-Norman and the resulting subsidiary becomes known as Pilatus Britten-Norman Ltd.

2 March
British Airways places an order for nineteen Boeing 757 airliners.

12 June
‘Gossamer Albatross’ becomes the first human-powered aircraft to cross the English Channel, when it is pedalled a distance of 23 miles from Folkestone in England to Cap Gris Nez in France. The aircraft flies at 2.5 feet and is piloted by American racing cyclist Bryan Allen. The flight won the £100,000 Kremer prize.

20-23 July
The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry announces the government’s plans to sell off shares in British Airways and British Aerospace.

16 December
A British Airways Concorde flies from New York to London in 2 hours 58 minutes, at an average speed of 1,172mph.