World Aviation in 1969

14 & 15 January
Launch dates for the Soviet Soyuz 4 and 5 spacecraft, which complete the first docking of two manned spacecraft in Earth orbit and the first crew exchange to be carried out in space.

9 February
The first flight of the Boeing 747 prototype.

12 February
Mil Mi12, the world’s largest helicopter, establishes a number of load-to-height records.

2 March
The Sud Aviation/British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) Concorde 001 Super Sonic Transport (SST) prototype makes its first flight at Toulouse, piloted by André Turcat, Sud’s chief test pilot.

28 March
Panavia GmgH, a new aerospace company, is created by the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC), Fiat, Fokker and Messerschmitt-Bölkow, to develop and manufacture the Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA).

29 May
Following the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Airbus programme, France and Germany sign an agreement to initiate joint development of the A300B.

5 June
United States Air Force (USAF) bombers renew attacks on North Vietnam.

4 July
The modern hang glider is developed in United States by Australian Bill Moyes, while working for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The first flight is made by fellow Australian Bill Bennett who takes off on water skis near Staten Island in New York and then flies over the Statue of Liberty.

16-24 July
NASA’s Apollo 11, crewed by Neil A. Armstrong, Edwin E.A. ‘Buzz’ Aldrin and Michael Collins, is launched to the Moon and on 21 July Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to set foot on the Moon.

16 August
United States test pilot Darryl Greenamyer, flying a modified Grumman F8F2 Bearcat sets a new world speed record for piston engined aircraft of 769kph (477mph).

13 October
A joint contract for the development of the RB199 engine is signed by Fiat, MTU and Rolls-Royce.

3 November
The United States Air Force (USAF) issues Requests for Proposals for a bomber aircraft, under the designation B1.

14-24 November
A second Moon landing is made by Apollo 12, which is crewed by Charles Conrad, Richard F. Gordon and Alan L. Bean, who are all United States Navy (USN) personnel.

17 November
The United States/Soviet Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) begin in Helsinki, Finland.

1 December
The United States Federal Air Regulation Pt36 is issued. It is the first piece of legislation aimed at limiting aircraft noise at airports.

17 December
The first Lockheed C5A Galaxy is handed over to the United States Air Force at Marietta in Georgia.