Conquering Air and Space Timeline

In modern times aircraft had longer lives than companies: what began as the Hawker Siddeley Hawk in 1974 became a British Aerospace Hawk and then a McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) T-45A Goshawk. This plane is still used for training and as attack aircraft. See more pictures of flight.
Peter M. Bowers Collection

February 2, 1974 The General Dynamics YF-16 makes its first "official" flight.

February 18, 1974 Tom Gatch takes off to cross the Atlantic in an unusual balloon/capsule system; he is lost at sea.


February 22, 1974 Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Barbara Ann Allen becomes the first female Navy Aviator.

March 1, 1974 The Sikorsky YCH-53 turboshaft transport makes its first flight.

Flight Pictures 

March 3, 1974 A Turkish Douglas DC-10 crashes after takeoff from Orly, France; 346 are killed.

April 2, 1974 The last Douglas C-54 Skymaster is retired.

May 20, 1974 The ATS-6 satellite is launched.

June 4, 1974 Second Lieutenant Sally D. Woolfolk becomes the first female Army aviator.

June 9, 1974 The Northrop YF-17 prototype makes its first flight.

August 3, 1974 The world's largest (volume of 50.3 million cubic feet) unpiloted balloon is launched from Fort Churchill in Manitoba, Canada; it rises to 155,000 feet.

August 9, 1974 The first EC-130 Hercules TACAMO aircraft is accepted by the U.S. Navy.

Despite the company's relatively small size, Dassault came up with an amazing variety of aircraft, including the Etendard. The Dassault Super Etendard first flew in 1974.
Peter M. Bowers Collection

August 21, 1974 The Hawker Siddeley P.1182 Hawk makes its first flight.

August 22, 1974 The Short SD3-30 makes its first flight.

August 25, 1974 Charles Lindbergh dies at age 72.

September 11, 1974 The Bell Model 206L Long Ranger makes its first flight.

September 25, 1974 The Northrop F-5F makes its first flight.

October 17, 1974 The Sikorsky YUH-60A helicopter makes its first flight.

October 28, 1974 The Dassault Super Etendard carrier-based fighter makes its first flight.

November 20, 1974 The first crash of a Boeing 747 "Jumbo Jet" occurs; 59 people die.

December 23, 1974 The Rockwell International B-1A prototype makes its first flight.

January 13, 1975 The General Dynamics F-16 wins the lightweight fighter contest over the F-17.

January 16-February 1, 1975 A McDonnell Douglas F-15 "Streak Eagle" sets eight world time-to-climb records.

January 17, 1975 The first production version of the Lockheed P-3C Orion is delivered to the Navy.

March 7, 1975 The Yak 42 trijet transport makes its first flight.

March 27, 1975 The de Havilland DHC-7 Dash 7 transport makes its first flight.

April 4, 1975 More than 100 orphans and adult escorts are killed in the first crash of a Lockheed C-5 Galaxy while evacuating Saigon.

April 29-30, 1975 Naval and Marine Corps helicopters evacuate U.S. citizens and South Vietnamese refugees from Saigon as the North Vietnamese storm the city.

June 3, 1975 The Mitsubishi F-1 supersonic single-seat fighter debuts; it is a development of an earlier T-2 trainer.

June 22, 1975 Svetlana Savitskaya flies a Mikoyan Ye-133 at 1667.42 miles per hour to set a women's speed record.

July 15-24, 1975 U.S. astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts dock their spacecraft during the Apollo/Soyuz Project.

August 20, 1975 The Viking 1 spacecraft is launched to Mars to transmit pictures from the surface. It releases the lander on July 20, 1976, and pictures are transmitted on August 7, 1976.

August 26, 1975 The McDonnell Douglas YC-15 STOL transport makes its first flight.

September 9, 1975 The Viking 2 is launched to Mars and lands on September 3, 1976.

September 30, 1975 The Hughes YAH-64 Apache prototype helicopter debuts.

October 1, 1975 The Bell YAH-63, competitor to the YAH-64, flies for the first time.

October 3, 1975 The first KC-130R Hercules tanker is delivered.

December 26, 1975 A Tu-144 completes the first supersonic airmail service between Moscow and Alma Ata, Kazakhstan.