World Aviation in 1987

21 January
American Lois McCallin, in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Michelob Light Eagle human powered aircraft, sets straight-line and closed circuit world distance records and the world duration record for women at 6.83 kilometres (4.25 miles), 15.44 kilometres (9.59 miles) and 37 minutes 38 seconds respectively.

22 January
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Michelob Light Eagle, piloted by Glenn Tremml, sets a world closed circuit distance record for human-powered aircraft of 58 kilometres (36 miles).

9 March
USAir makes public its buy-out of Piedmont Airlines for $1.59 billion.

23 March
Japan Air Lines announces that it is going to install automatic course guidance alarms on its aircraft. An alarm will sound should the aircraft deviate from the correct flight path.

31 March
The French Armee de l’Air begins testing a Mirage III with verbal command recognition software. The system will allow the pilot to control the aircraft using spoken commands.

17 May
An Iraqi Exocet missile hits the USS Stark, killing 37 people.

29 May
19 year old West German Mathias Rust lands a light plane in Moscow’s Red Square.

2-3 July
Per Lindstrand and Richard Branson complete the first transatlantic balloon flight in ‘Virgin Atlantic’, the largest hot-air balloon the world had ever seen, with a capacity of 60,314 cubic metres (2,130,000 cubic feet). Virgin Atlantic covers 3,075 miles from Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine to Eglinton in County Londonderry in 31 hours 41 minutes.

30 August
The Israeli Government votes twelve to eleven to terminate the indigenous IAI Lavi fighter programme.

28 September
Three of the six crew of a United States Air Force (USAF) Rockwell B1B bomber are killed when their aircraft collides with a bird, probably a large Pelican.

23 November
It is revealed that of the 128 new airlines certified after the 1978 industry deregulation in the United States, only 37 are still operating.

8 December
The United States of America and the Soviet Union sign an Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty.

29 December
Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Romanenko lands in Soyuz TM3 after spending 326 consecutive days in space.