World Aviation in 1953

6 January
The German airline Luftag is formed.

12 January
The United States Navy (USN) begins operational flight tests from the first angled-deck aircraft carrier, the USS Antietam.

14 January
Eight Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG15 jets are shot down during air fighting over North Korea.

22 January
Four Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG15 jet fighters are shot down during air fighting over North Korea.

31 January
Wonsan in North Korea is bombed by American carrier-borne aircraft.

16 February
Two Republic F-84 Thunderjets flown by Japanese Defence Force pilots intercept two Russian piston-engined fighters over north Japan.

18-19 February
United States aircraft make heavy attacks on Communist forces in North Korea.

5 March
A Polish Air Force pilot lands a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 jet and seeks political asylum on the Danish island of Bornholm.

10 March
Two Czechoslovakian Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 jets attack two United States Air Force (USAF) Republic F-84 Thunderjets near Bavaria.

13 March
Six Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 jet fighters are shot down during air fighting over North Korea.

27 March
The Royal Netherlands Air Force is established as an independent service.

30 April
A civil aviation agreement is signed between Denmark and South Africa.

30 April
A Polish pilot who landed on Bornholm Island leaves Britain for the United States.

14 May
India’s air transport companies are nationalised, with the formation of Air India International Ltd for long distance flights and Indian Air Lines for internal routes and services to nearby countries.

15 May
Central British Columbia Airways adopts the name Pacific Western airlines.

18 May
American airwoman Jacqueline Cochran becomes the first woman to fly faster than the speed of sound, piloting a Canadian built version of the North American F86E Sabre at a speed of Mach 1.01 (652mph).

20 May
Another Polish pilot lands a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 jet on Bornholm Island.

26 May
Twelve Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 jet fighters are shot down over North Korea.

8 June
Communist aircraft bomb Seoul.

11-14 June
A Chinese offensive in Korea.

14 June
Communist aircraft bomb Kimpo and Inchon near Seoul.

18 June
The world’s first air disaster involving more than 100 deaths occurs when a United States Air Force C-124 Globemaster II crashes after take-off in Japan.

1 July
Civil air traffic control in West Germany is handed over to the Federal German Government.

7 July
A Sikorsky S.55 makes the first international helicopter flight into central London.

16 July
Lieutenant Colonel WF Barnes of the United States Air Force (USAF), flying a North American F-86D Sabre, sets the world’s first speed record over 700mph. The record of 1,151km/h (715mph) is ratified by the FI.

27 July
The Korean war ends.

14 August
Flight Lieutenant Bentleigh of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) breaks the sound barrier for the first time over Australia, flying the first Australian built Sabre fighter.

23 August
The Martin licence-built B-57 Canberra completes its final tests before entering service with the United States Air Force (USAF).

25 August
Following successful tests, the United States Air Force (USAF) announces that the Convair B-36 bomber in a GRB-36F configuration is able to launch and retrieve Republic GRF-84F Thunderflash reconnaissance aircraft from an under-fuselage trapeze. Twelve of these bombers are converted, enabling them to launch and control missiles in support of development programmes.

31 August
An altitude of 83,235 feet is achieved by Lieutenant Colonel Marion E. Carl of the United States Marine Corps (USMC), flying a Douglas D558-2 Skyrocket research aircraft and launching from a Boeing B-29 Superfortress at 34,000 feet.

1 September
Belgian airline Sabena inaugurates the first scheduled international helicopter services from Brussels linking with Maastricht, Rotterdam and Lille.

2 September
A world record speed of 690mph over a 100 kilometre closed course is set by Brigadier General J Stanley Holtoner of the United States Air Force (USAF), flying a North American F-86D Sabre fighter at Ohio.

5-7 September
The National Aircraft Exhibition is held at Dayton in Ohio.

11 September
The United States Air Force (USAF) announces that the Sidewinder air-to-air missile (AAM) has made its first completely successful interception, destroying a Grumman F6F Hellcat drone.

27 September
Three defence agreements are signed by the United States and Spain.

1 October
A defence treaty is signed by the United States and South Korea.

3 October
Lieutenant Commander JB Vardin sets a new world speed record, flying a Douglas F4D-1 Skyray, averaging 1,211kph (752mph) in four runs over a 3 kilometre course.

4 October
A de Havilland Comet IA of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) flies non-stop from Goose Bay in Labrador to London covering the 2,460 miles in 5 hours 56 minutes.

12 October
The United States signs an agreement in Athens allowing their armed forces to use Greek air and naval bases.

16 October
A world speed record of 728mph over a 100 kilometre closed course is set by Robert O Rahn flying a Douglas XF4D Skyray.

29 October
A world record of 754mph over a 15 kilometre course is set by Lieutenant Colonel FK Everest flying a North American F-100 Super Sabre fighter.

20 November
A speed of 1,327mph is achieved by Scott Crossfield in a Douglas D558-2 Skyrocket aircraft, dropped from a Boeing B-29 Superfortress at 32,000 feet.

29 November
The Douglas DC-7 enters scheduled airline service with American Airlines.

12 December
Captain Charles Yeager flies the air-launched Bell X1A rocket-powered high-speed research aircraft at Mach 2.44 or 2,655kph (1,650mph) at an altitude of 21,340 metres (70,000 feet).