World Aviation in 1954

1 January
An Air Weapons School is established in Florida by the United States Navy (USN).

2 January
A new coast to coast record in the United States is set by Colonel Willard W. Milliken of the Air National Guard, flying a North American F86 Sabre jet and covering 2,530 miles from Los Angeles to New York in 4 hours 8 minutes.

1 March
A ban on the production of military aircraft in Japan is lifted. An agreement between the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation and the Kawasaki Aircraft company gives Kawasaki the right to manufacture Lockheed F94C Starfire jets and T33A jets.

1 March
United States hydrogen bombs are exploded on marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean.

8 March
The United States and Japan sign a mutual defence agreement.

29 April
The Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation becomes the Convair Division of the General Dynamics Corporations.

1 May
The first United States Air Force (USAF) airborne Early Warning and Control Division is formed and equipped with Lockheed R121 Constellation aircraft for radar surveillance.

7 May
Britain, France and the United States reject a Russian application to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

15 May
Qantas Empire Airways takes over the Australia to United States and Canada service, previously operated by British Commonwealth Pacific Airlines, which then cease to exist as a separate company.

25 May
United States Navy (USN) ZPG2 airship, flown by Commander M.H. Eppes and crew, lands at Key West Florida after being airborne for just over 200 hours.

2 June
A Douglas DC3 freighter belonging to Sabena, the Belgian airline is attacked by Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG15 jet.

3 June
Capital airlines announces the purchase of three Vickers Viscount propeller-turbine airliners.

7 June
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) begins international operations using Lockheed L1049C Super Constellations.

1 July
Japanese National Defence Forces are officially constituted.

23 July
A Douglas DC4 airliner of Cathay Pacific Airways is shot down by Communist Chinese fighters.

26 July
Two United States Navy (USN) carrier-borne Douglas Skyraiders shoot down two Chinese fighters who attack them whilst searching for the Cathay Pacific airliner.

27 July
An Anglo-Egyptian agreement on the evacuation of British forces from the Suez Canal zone is initiated

3 August
The 2nd prototype of Convair XF2Y1 Sea Dart exceeds Mach 1 in a shallow dive, becoming the first water-based aircraft in the world to exceed the speed of sound.

11 August
Captial Airlines announces an order for a further 37 Vickers Viscount propeller turbine airliners.

13 August
An agreement is signed for the United States Army Garrison (USAG) fighter squadron to be stationed at Soesterberg in Holland.

26 August
A height of 90,000 feet (17 miles), the greatest height attained to date by a human being, is reached by Major Arthur Murray of the United States Air Force (USAF) in a Bell XIA rocket propelled research aircraft. The aircraft was launched at 30,000 feet from a Boeing B29 Superfortress.

1 September
The United States Air Force (USAF) Continental Air Defence Command is established. Finnair inaugurates a Helsinki to London service operating Convair CV340s.

4 September
A United States Navy (USN) Lockheed Neptune is shot down by Russian Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG15 jets.

28 September
There is an announcement that China has tested its first home built plane on 26 July 1954. It is claimed as the successful start of China’s aircraft industry.

14 October
Queen Elizabeth II approves the re-designation of the Southern Rhodesia Air Force as the Royal Rhodesian Air Force.

17 October
A Sikorsky XH39 helicopter sets a new world altitude record for rotary wing aircraft of 7,468 metres (24,500 feet)

23 October
Western nations agree to end the occupation of West Germany and to fully incorporate the German Federal Republic into the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

1 November
The last Boeing B29 Superfortress is withdrawn from service.

2 November
The Convair XFY1 accomplishes its first transitions from vertical to horizontal flight and vice-versa.

7 November
The United States Air Force (USAF) announces it will build a research laboratory for atomic aircraft engines.

7 November
A photographic reconnaissance version of the Boeing B29 is shot down by Russian MiG fighters.

7 November
A solo non-stop flight from new York to Toussus-le-Noble airport near Paris is completed by Maximilien A. Conrad in a twin-engined Piper Apache.

15 November
A Scandinavian Airlines System service from Copenhagen to Los Angeles is opened by two Douglas DC6B airliners.

23 November
It is announced that thirteen Americans have been sentenced to imprisonment for spying in China.

25 November
Malev is established as the Hungarian state airline.

6 December
The Curtiss-Wright Corporation announces the development of a new rocket engine.

11 December
The United States Navy’s aircraft carrier Forrestal is launched.

13 December
The first of 22 Vickers Viscount propeller-turbine airliners, ordered by Trans-Canada Air Lines, are delivered.