World Aviation in 1971

31 January – 9 February
Apollo 14 makes the third successful United States Moon landing.

2 March
A change in policy means that female United States Air Force (USAF) officers can take 12 months leave from the service if they become pregnant.

24 March
The United States Government cancels funding for a Supersonic Transport Aircraft and the programme is officially terminated in May.

6 April
Dutch airline KLM inaugurates a trans-Siberian service with aircraft leased from the Russian state airline, Aeroflot.

17 April
A new air freight service is founded – Federal Express guarantees overnight delivery anywhere in the USA.

19 April
The Soviet Salyut Space-Station is launched.

26 July – 7 August
Apollo 15 makes the fourth successful United States Moon landing and makes first use of the Lunar Roving Vehicle, driven by Apollo 15 commander David R. Scott.

11 September
Israel shoots down an Egyptian Sukhoi Su7 fighter bomber.

16 September
Three United States Air Force (USAF) aircraft complete the transport of food, medical supplies and fuel to victims of Hurricane Edith in Nicaragua.

18 September
An Israeli Stratocruiser transport aircraft is shot down by an Egyptian anti-aircraft missile.

6 November
Two high-flying Egyptian Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG25 reconnaissance planes fly over the Sinai peninsula, controlled by Israel. The aircraft fly at 70,000 feet, above the Israeli air defences.

11 November
The USSR and West Germany sign an agreement for the establishment of direct air services between their two countries.

3 December
The Pakistan Air Force launches air attacks on all major Indian Air Force bases, sparking a war between India and Pakistan.

17 December
A cease-fire in the Indian-Pakistan war is called and accepted by both sides.

19 December
Ladislaw Bezak, a Czechoslovakian Airlines pilot defects to the west with his family. Bezak, flying a small Zlin aircraft, avoids Czech fighter patrols to land safely in Germany.