World Aviation in 1986

28 January
United States space shuttle Challenger explodes 75 seconds after take off. The crew of seven are killed, including Christa McAuliffe, a schoolteacher and first person to fly under the ‘citizen in space’ programme.

20 February
A permanently manned space station, the Soviet Union’s ‘Mir’ (Peace), is launched.

6 April
Lufthansa flies its restored pre-Second World War Junkers Ju52/3m transport and the aircraft receives passenger-carrying certification on 6 June.

14-15 April
United States Navy (USN) aircraft, supported by General Dynamics F111F bombers and EF111A electronic warfare aircraft flying from bases in Great Britain, attack targets in Libya. The raid comes as retaliation for terrorist attacks carried out with suspected Libyan support.

Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH is formed in Munich. The company will oversee the production of the European Fighter Aircraft programme.

28 July
Seven American aircraft companies submit designs for the Advanced Tactical Fighter programme and of these, the Lockheed-Burbank YF22A and Northrop YF23A are later chosen for development.

17 August
Boeing completes the construction of its 5,000th jet airliner, a Model 737-300 for KLM.

2 September
Henk and Evelyn Brink of the Netherlands make a record-breaking flight across the Atlantic in a Cameron combined hot-air/helium balloon. They fly from St Johns in Newfoundland to near Amsterdam in around 50 hours.

6 November
A Boeing 234 Chinook helicopter belonging to British International Helicopters crashes off the Shetlands killing 45 of the 47 people on board. It is the worst civilian helicopter accident to date.

2 December
Lockheed-Georgia delivers its 1,800th C130 Hercules transport aircraft.

14 December
The Voyager composite trimaran aircraft begins the first unrefuelled, non-stop flight around the world. Piloted by Richard G. Rutan and Jeana Yeager the flight takes 9 days 3 minutes 44 seconds and sets new world distance records for straight flight and a closed circuit course of 40,212 kilometres (24,986 miles). The aircraft carries five times its own weight in fuel on the flight, which begins and ends at Edwards Air Force Base in California.