World Aviation in 1955

10 January
Civil airlines in Pakistan is nationalised and the Pakistan International Airlines Corporation is established.

14 January
Woomera rocket range, research establishments and laboratories are amalgamated under the title ‘Weapon Research Establishment’.

20 January
An agreement is reached between France, USA and South Vietnam to reorganise the military forces of South Vietnam.

25 January
The state of war between the Soviet Union and Germany is terminated.

3 February
The official termination of war between Czechoslovakia and Germany is announced.

26 February
George F. Smith becomes the first man in the world to live after an ejection from a North American F100 Super Sabre travelling at supersonic speed (Mach 1.05) after his controls jammed.

1 March
A second United States Air Force (USAF) Early Warning and Control Wing becomes operational, flying Lockheed RC121s.

2 March
The Boeing Airplane Company receives its first major production contract for the KC135 Strato-tanker.

11 March
Pakistan International Airlines absorbs the fleet and routes of Orient Airways.

15 March
The United States Air Force (USAF) announces that aircraft stationed in the Arctic and approaches to the North American Continent will shortly be armed with Falcon air-to-air guided missiles.

23 March
Two Saab 29C photographic reconnaissance jet aircraft of the Royal Swedish Air Force, flying in formation, set a new record of 560mph over a closed course of 621 miles. They claim it to be the first speed record made in formation.

1 April
The first domestic service from Hamburg is flown by Lufthansa, the re-established German airline.

4 April
The Vickers Viscount is introduced onto Trans-Canada’s Toronoto-New York route.

11 April
An Indian Constellation airliner is brought down by a bomb on board with the loss of fifteen lives.

15 April
A Convair CV340, flown by Lufthansa on its Hamburg to London flight, becomes the first German operated civil airliner to land in the United Kingdom after the war.

20 April
McDonnell XV1 experimental convertiplane makes its first transition from vertical to horizontal flight.

16 May
Lufthansa begins its European international operations.

31 May
Jacqueline Auriol flies the Dassault Mystere IVN to a speed of 715mph to obtain the women’s world speed record.

3-4 June
Canadian Pacific Air Lines inaugurates a polar route, flown by Douglas DC06B ‘Empress of Amsterdam’.

6 June
French pilot Jean Moine lands a Bell 47G2 helicopter on the summit of Mont Blanc at an altitude of 15,772 feet

7 June
The Douglas Aircraft Company announces plans to build a new civil transport, the company’s DC8 will become the first turbojet-powered airliner.

9 June
Plans for the production of the Electra, a propeller-turbine airliner, are announced by the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation.

10-19 June
The 21st Salon International de l’Aéronautique is held at Le Bourget airport near Paris.

23 June
United States Navy (USN) aircraft are attacked by Russian planes near the Bering Strait.

29 June
The Boeing B52 Stratofortress enters service with the United States Air Force (USAF).

29 July
The United States announces its intention to launch a small earth-satellite during the International Geophysical Year from July 1957.

1 August
The United States begins its first zero-gravity research experiments using Lockheed T33 trainers to study the effects of weightlessness.

20 August
Colonel H.A. Hanes sets a new world speed record of 1,323kph (822mph) flying a North American F100C Super Sabre.

4 September
A new cease-fire agreement for the Gaza area is accepted by Egypt and Israel, subject to the countries having the right to defend themselves if attacked.

6 October
The United States Department of Defense announces that the Glenn L. Martin Company has been selected to design and build a launch vehicle to place a satellite into Earth orbit.

8 October
The United States Navy’s aircraft carrier USS Saratoga is launched.

15 October
Lieutenant Gordon Gray of United States Navy (USN) flies a Douglas A4D Skyhawk, setting a new world record of 695mph over a 500 kilometre course.

16 October
Boeing Model 367-80 (the prototype the Boeing 707) flies non-stop from Seattle to Washington DC in 3 hours 58 minutes and back in 6 hours 8 minutes, averaging speeds of 957kph (592mph) and 907kph (567mph) respectively.

1 November
United Air Lines DC6MB explodes over Colorado killing all 44 passengers. The explosion is caused by a bomb.

The first guided missile cruiser, the USS Boston, is commissioned.

Jordan announces its intention to re-equip its forces with heavy modern weapons and form an efficient air force.

6 November
It is announced that the United Kingdom will supply the Jordan Air Force with ten de Havilland Vampire jet planes.

16 November
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines becomes the first European airline to buy American jet transport planes with its order of eight Douglas DC8s.

26 November
It is announced in Moscow that tests of new types of nuclear thermonuclear weapons have recently been made.

27 November
A state of emergency is declared in Cyprus.

2 December
Vickers Viscount airliners go into regular service in the Caribbean area with British West Indian Airways.

15 December
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) approves a co-ordinated air defence and radar system for Western Europe.

19 December
An agreement is reached between Aeroflot and British European Airways (BEA), covering the mutual operation of air services between the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom.

28 December
Air France announces its order for 24 nationally built Caravelles and ten Boeing 707s.

The de Havilland Comet III arrives at London airport after completing a round-the-world flight. Group Captain John Cunningham flies the last 3,350 miles from Montreal to London in 6 hours 8 minutes, averaging 548mph.