World Aviation in 1980

28 March
Gates Learjet announce that they have delivered their 1,000th Learjet.

24 April
Operation Eagle Claw: an attempt to rescue American hostages held in Iran, is abandoned when a Lockheed C130 Hercules and a Sikorsky RH53 Sea Stallion collide at the first desert landing site.

15 May
Lufthansa-Unternehmen inaugurates Lockheed L101 1-500 TriStar services on its Dusseldorf to Los Angeles route.

1 June
The Dutch Fokker company changes its name to Fokker BV with the end of the merged activities of VFW-Fokker.

1 June
Braniff International terminates its agreement to lease Concorde aircraft from British Airways and Air France citing fuel costs, which have almost doubled since the lease began.

5 June
The Soviet Union launch their first manned space capsule to incorporate an automatic docking system, the Soyuz T.

20 June
Beech Aircraft return to the commuter airliner market with the first flight of their C99 aircraft.

17 July
Cathay Pacific become the first airline to operate the Boeing 747 between Hong Kong and London.

1-8 August
The Experimental Aircraft Association’s 28th Convention at Oshkosh in Wisconsin sets a new visitor record with 250,000 people and 6,000 aircraft attending the first day.

7 August
Janice Brown pilots the MacCready Gossamer Penguin on its first solar powered flight.

8 August
The death of Jacqueline Cochran is announced. A successful businesswoman, she was also the first female to fly an aircraft at more than the speed of sound and held over 200 United States aviation records simultaneously.

19 September
Iran and Iraq go to war with one another, with both sides making extensive use of air power.

11-15 October
The Goodyear company’s airship ‘Europa’ is used to monitor pollution in the Bay of Genoa as part of the Mediterranean Pollution Monitoring Programme.

11 October
Cosmonauts Valeri Ryumin and Leonid Popov return to earth in Soyuz 37 after spending 185 days in space aboard the Salyut 6 laboratory.

11 November
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Voyager 1 space probe passes Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, at a distance of 4,400 kilometres, (2,796 miles), before continuing on out of the solar system.

12 November
Boeing receives the largest ever single type airliner order, from Delta Air Lines of Georgia, which orders sixty of the company’s Model 757s.

14 November
Raoul Hafner, a rotary wing aircraft pioneer and developer, dies aged 75.

6 December
The MacCready Solar Challenger flies 29 kilometres (18 miles), and the flight is only cut short by heavy rainfall.

9 December
Boeing complete their 500th 747 airliner – the aircraft will see service with Scandinavian Airlines (SAS).

15 December
After three years of negotiation, Messerscmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB) and Vereinigte Flugtechnische Werke (VFW), reach an agreement on a proposed merger of the two companies.