World Aviation in 1968

21 January
A United States Air Force (USAF) Boeing B52 Stratofortress, carrying four nuclear weapons, crashes on sea ice on its approach to Thule Air Force Base in Greenland.

17 March
General Dynamics F111A aircraft are used operationally for the first time in Vietnam and two are lost by the end of the month.

28 March
Colonel Yuri Gagarin, first man in space, is killed when his Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG15 UTI crashes near Kirzhatsk, north of Moscow.

5 May
A Grumman Gulfstream II lands at London Gatwick after completing a 5,633 kilometre (3,500 mile) flight from Teterboro in New Jersey, becoming the first executive jet to make a non-stop transatlantic flight.

30 June
The Lockheed C5A Galaxy makes its first flight from Dobbins Air Force Base in Georgia.

24 August
France detonates a two-megaton thermonuclear device in the atmosphere over Mururoa Atoll.

5 September
The 3,000th production McDonnell Douglas F4 Phantom II is delivered to the United States Navy (USN).

30 September
The New York City Police celebrate 20 years of helicopter use in law enforcement.

11-22 October
Apollo 7 is launched with astronauts Walter Schirra, Don Eisele and Walter Cunningham.

13 October
A live transmission from space: Apollo 7 crew Walter Schirra, Donn Eisele and Walt Cunningham hold up cards reading “Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks”.

31 October
In an effort to help peace talks President Johnson orders a cessation of all air and naval bombardment of North Vietnam.

21-27 December
Apollo 8 is launched, carrying astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders on a 6 day 3 hour 1 minute mission which includes a flight around the Moon.

31 December
A prototype Tupolev Tu144 Super Sonic Transport (SST) makes its first flight and the Soviets become the first nation to fly a supersonic transport aircraft.