World Aviation in 1999

5 January
The first engagements between United States and Iraqi aircraft for seven years take place over the southern Iraqi ‘no-fly’ zone. The United States McDonnell Douglas F15s and F14s fire six missiles at the Iraqi Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG25s but all the Iraqi aircraft escape.

29 March
A Ryan RQ4A Global Hawk unmanned reconnaissance aircraft is destroyed in a crash at China Lake Naval Air Station.

21 March
Hot air balloon ‘Breitling Orbiter 3’ completes the first non-stop, round the world balloon flight. This sets a new distance record for any type of aircraft of 40,804 kilometres (25,360 miles).

30 March
The 1,000th McDonnell Douglas AH-64 Apache helicopter is delivered. The Apache has been in service with the United States Army for 15 years.

14 April
In Australia a Boeing 737 is badly damaged by hailstones while taxi-ing.

22 April
A Boeing 727 is damaged beyond repair by a heavy hail storm when landing at Johannesburg.

14 May
The United States Marine Corps (USMC) takes delivery of its first Bell Boeing MV22B Osprey tilt-rotor.

11 June
A new company, Aerospatiale Matra, has been formed in France. It is the second largest aerospace company in Europe and the 5th largest in the world.

18 August
The formation of a Franco-Russian private partnership to build a prototype Mil38 helicopter, weighing 15 tons and capable of carrying 30 passengers, is announced.

26 October
A Learjet 35 crashes in South Dakota killing all five occupants, including the United States golfer Payne Stewart. It is believed that the aircraft’s occupants lost consciousness as the result of a pressurisation failure.

14 December
Boeing unveils the X32A and X32B Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) demonstrator, which will be used to develop conventional take-off and landing and Vertical/Short Take-Off and Landing (V/STOL) versions.

22 December
A Korean Air Boeing 747 freighter crashes after taking-off from Stanstead, killing all four people on board.

24 December
After one passenger is murdered, the Indian Government allows the highjackers of an Indian Airlines Airbus A300 to go free in order to safeguard the lives of the other 150 passengers.