World Aviation in 1996

9 February
The German Second World War fighter ace General Adolf Galland dies aged 83.

16 March
The Dutch aircraft company Fokker is declared bankrupt and ceases aircraft manufacturing after 77 years.

19 March
The McDonnell Douglas X36 $14 million, unmanned, advanced research vehicle is unveiled.

9 April
The EMD Lockheed Martin/Boeing F22 Raptor is rolled out.

2 June
The Raytheon Beech T6A Texan II is rolled out.

29 June
The original ‘Air Force One’, the Boeing VC137 used as the official aircraft of United States Presidents since 1959, is taken out of service.

15 August
Rockwell International Space & Defence operations are acquired by Boeing.

28 August
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) awards a $50 million contract to Orbital Sciences for the X34 Reusable Launch Vehicle.

7 November
The Mars Global Surveyor is launched from Cape Canaveral to look for evidence of water on Mars.

16 November
Contracts are awarded for Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) prototypes to Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Both companies will produce two aircraft, one with conventional take-off and landing characteristics and another capable of vertical take-off and landing.

27 November
A hundred British Aerospace (BAe) Hawks are ordered by the Australian Government as the next Lead-In Fighter Trainer.

4 December
The Mars Pathfinder probe is launched from Cape Canaveral.

15 December
A merger between the United States aerospace giants Boeing and McDonnell Douglas is agreed and the new company will be known as Boeing.

29 December
Two United States Air Force (USAF) Joint Surveillance and Target Attack System (JSTARS) modified Boeing 707s are deployed to assist NATO ground forces in Bosnia.