World Aviation in 1995

5 January
Ben Rich, the designer of the Lockheed F117 Stealth Fighter, dies in Los Angeles aged 69.

26 January
An explosion during the launch of a communications satellite at the Xichang Space Centre in China destroys both the Long March 2E Booster and Hughes Apstar 2 satellite.

26 April
A Lockheed-Martin SR71A flies for the first time after renovation. Two SR71As are returned to United States Air Force (USAF) service to carry out reconnaissance flights after being in storage since 1990.

26 April
A new world altitude record of 27,460 metres (90,092 feet) for Class C1h aircraft is set by a Russian Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG29.

22 June
The result of the United States’ Joint Primary Aircraft Training System (JPATS) joint service trainer competition is announced and the Beech/British Aerospace (BAe) version of the Pilatus PC9 turboprop is the winner.

5 July
The first Panavia Tornado F3 leased from the Royal Air Force (RAF) enters service with the Italian Air Force.

4 August
A new world altitude record for manned, piston-engined aircraft of 18,545 metres (60,867 feet) is set by a Grob G820 Strato 1c high altitude environmental research aircraft.

16 August
An Air France/British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) Concorde sets a new speed record for a round-the-world flight. The Concorde returns to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York after a journey lasting 31 hours 27 minutes, staging through Toulouse, Dubai, Bangkok, Guam, Honolulu and Acapulco.

1 September
A Luftwaffe Panavia Tornado ECR takes part in operation ‘Deny Flight’ over the former Yugoslavia. This is the first combat mission flown by a Luftwaffe aircraft since the end of the Second World War.

12 September
The first of 72 McDonnell Douglas F15S Eagles, ordered for the Royal Saudi Arabian Air Force, is delivered.

30 September
The Fiat G91 is retired by the Italian Air Force after over 30 years service.