London's Hangar 6 will be closed 21 September while we update this exhibition.

World Aviation in 1957

18 January
Three Boeing B52 Stratofortresses make the world’s first round the world, non-stop flight by turbojet-powered aircraft. The flight is completed in 45 hours 19 minutes, with an average speed of 859kph (534mph).

19 February
The Bell X14 makes its first hovering flight.

15 March
A United States Navy (USN) ZPG2 airship establishes a new unrefuelled endurance record of 264 hours 12 minutes.

12 April
The United States announces that the Ryan X13 Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft has completed a full transition.

24 May
The Canadian airline Nordair begins scheduled operations.

30 May
The United States Air Force (USAF) discloses the development of the Hughes Falcon air-to-air guided missile armed with a nuclear warhead.

31 July
The North American Distance Early Warning (DEW) line early warning system is reported as fully operational.

19-20 August
Major David G. Simons of the United States Air Force (USAF), sets a balloon world altitude record of 30,942 metres (101,516 feet), ascending from Crosby, Minnesota.

28 August
A new world altitude record of 21,430 metres (70,308 feet) is set by M. Randrup flying an English Electric Canberra.

4 October
The Soviet Union puts the world’s first artificial satellite, named Sputnik 1 (Fellow Traveller), into Earth orbit.

16 October
The United States Air Force (USAF) achieves its first successful experiment to boost a man-made object to a velocity at which it can escape the Earth’s gravitational pull. A special Aerobee rocket accomplishes this.

3 November
Sputnik 2 is launched, carrying the dog Laika.

12 December
Major Adrian Drew sets a new world speed record of 1,943kph (1,207mph), flying a McDonnell F101A Voodoo.