January 10, 1954 A BOAC Comet breaks up in the air near Elba, Italy; 35 people are killed.
February 25, 1954 The Convair R3Y-1 Tradewind makes its first flight; engine problems keep it from becoming more successful.
February 27, 1954 The Lockheed XF-104 Starfighter makes its first flight.
March 1, 1954 The first hydrogen bomb is exploded in the Marshall Islands.
April 8, 1954 A BOAC Comet breaks up in the air south of Naples, Italy; an investigation shows fatigue cracks around the windows.
June 2, 1954 Soviet MiG-15s attack a Belgian DC-3 carrying a cargo of pigs.
June 22, 1954 The Douglas A-4 Skyhawk makes its first flight.
July 15, 1954 The Boeing 367-80, a 707 prototype, makes its first flight. It will have a profound influence on civil jet designs.
July 23, 1954 A British-owned Douglas DC-4 is shot down by Chinese fighters off Hainan Island.
July 26, 1954 U.S. Skyraiders shoot down two Chinese fighters that attacked them while they searched for DC-4 survivors.
August 1, 1954 James "Skeets" Coleman flies a Convair XFY-1 in vertical takeoff and landing.
August 3, 1954 An XF2Y-1 Sea Dart exceeds the speed of sound in a dive. It is the first water-based plane to do so.
August 4, 1954 The English Electric Lightning flies.
August 23, 1954 The Douglas X-3 Stilleto makes its first flight.
August 26, 1954 Major Arthur "Kit" Murray reaches 90,440 feet in a Bell X-1A rocket plane.
Peter M. Bowers Collection
September 29, 1954 The McDonnell F-101A Voodoo, a development of the XF-88, makes its first flight. It has two J57 engines.
October 6, 1954 The Fairey Delta 2 research aircraft makes its first flight.
October 17, 1954 The Sikorsky XH-39 sets a helicopter altitude record of 24,500 feet. It is piloted by Army Warrant Officer Billy I. Wester.
November 1, 1954 The last B-29 bomber is withdrawn from service.