NASA AD-1 airplane

The NASA AD-1 offered a unique configuration for supersonic flight: an oblique wing was fixed at conventional position for takeoff but swung to a fore-and-aft position for high-speeds.

Peter M. Bowers Collection

1979 Flight Timeline

January 1, 1979 AWACS goes to duty with the United States Air Force.

January 6, 1979 The USAF accepts the first F-16A.

January 29, 1979 The Northrop RF-5E makes its first flight.

February 25-August 19, 1979 The Soviets set another space endurance record: Soyuz 32 docks with Salyut 6, and cosmonauts spend 175 days, 6 minutes in space.

February 27, 1979 McDonnell Douglas delivers the last A-4 Skyhawk to the Navy.

March 5, 1979 Voyager 1 gathers vast information during a flyby of Jupiter.

March 9, 1979 The Dassault-Breguet Super Mirage 4000 makes its first flight.

March 11, 1979 The U.S. NavStar Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite is used for the first time on a transatlantic flight.

March 22, 1979 The Lockheed CP-140 Aurora makes its first flight for the Canadian Armed Forces.

March 23, 1979 Boeing orders the 757 into production.

March 26, 1979 An AV-8B tests a new ski-ramp technique developed by the British; it cuts takeoff distance from 930 to 230 feet.

April 15, 1979 The Dassault Mirage 50 multimission fighter debuts.

April 17, 1979 The world's second solar-powered aircraft, the Solar Riser, flies.

April 20, 1979 The last Concorde makes its first flight.

April 30, 1979 The first Lockheed L-1011 is delivered to British Airways.

May 11, 1979 The Boeing Vertol YCH-47D makes its first flight.

May 25, 1979 A DC-10 loses its engine and pylon on takeoff at Chicago killing 272 people.

June 1, 1979 The United States agrees to train Egyptian pilots to fly 35 Phantom F-4Es supplied to them.

June 5, 1979 The first production of the Panavia Tornado is rolled out. It will distinguish itself in the Gulf War.

June 6, 1979 All DC-10s are grounded due to the accident in Chicago on May 25.

June 12, 1979 Dr. Paul MacCready's Gossamer Albatross makes the first human-powered flight across the English Channel.

June 20, 1979 Lieutenant Dona Spruill, flying a C-1A trader onto Independence, becomes the first woman qualified in fixed-wing aircraft on carrier landings.

July 9, 1979 Voyager 2 achieves flyby of Jupiter.

July 11, 1979 The American Space Station Skylab reenters the atmosphere and burns up.

July 13, 1979 The FAA lifts the grounding of DC-10s.

July 24, 1979 The Bell XV-15 makes a successful transition from a helicopter to a fixed-wing mode of flight.

August 30, 1979 The prototype Sikorsky SH-60B Seahawk is rolled out at Stratford, Connecticut.

September 1, 1979 Pioneer 1 flies by Saturn and sends photographs to Earth. New outer rings are discovered.

September 15, 1979 The first Navy version of the Beech Super King Air, the UC-12B, arrives at Patuxent Naval Air Station for tests.

September 28, 1979 The last RA-5C Vigilante squadron (RVAH-7) is disbanded.

October 30, 1979 The F/A-18 begins carrier qualification trials.

October 30, 1979 Aircraft designer Sir Barnes Wallis dies at the age of 90.

November 4, 1979 Iranians seize hostages at the American Embassy in Teheran.

November 16, 1979 The Lockheed L-1011-500 Tristar debuts.

November 20, 1979 The RA-5C Vigilante makes its last flight.

December 21, 1979 NASA's AD-1 swing-wing research aircraft makes its first flight.­