1956 Flight Timeline
January 23, 1956 The United States Air Force announces that the McDonnell F-101A Voodoo has flown faster than 1,100 miles per hour.
February 10, 1956 Marshal of the RAF Viscount Trenchard, founder of the RFC and RAF, dies at age 83.
March 10, 1956 Peter Twiss sets a world speed record in a Fairey Delta 2, averaging 1,132 miles per hour.
May 21, 1956 The first U.S. air-dropped hydrogen bomb is exploded in the Bikini Islands.
May 27, 1956 Soviets announce that the Tupolev Tu-104 passenger jet has a cruising speed of 500 to 560 miles per hour and a range of 3,000 miles.
June 21, 1956 Orders are announced for 30 Convair 600 Golden Arrow jets. It will be the biggest commercial jet failure in history.
June 30, 1956 A United DC-7 and a TWA Super Connie collide over the Grand Canyon; 128 people are killed.
July 23, 1956 The long-lived French Dassault Etendard IV makes its first flight.
August 9, 1956 The Fiat G.91 prototype--a "Mini-Sabre"--makes its first flight.
August 23-24, 1956 The Hiller H-21 twin-rotor aircraft makes a nonstop transcontinental flight from San Diego to Washington, D.C.
August 31, 1956 The first production Boeing KC-135A tanker makes its first flight.
September 2, 1956 The H-13 helicopter sets an endurance record of 57 hours, 40 minutes.
September 20, 1956 The United States announces that the Bell X-2 has reached 1,900 miles per hour and 126,000 feet altitude.
September 20, 1956 Another order for Lockheed T-33 trainers is announced. Ultimately 5,691 of the trainers will be built by Lockheed; they will remain in service for more than 40 years.
September 27, 1956 Captain Milburn Apt is killed in the crash of a Bell X-2 after setting a Mach 3.196 speed record (2,094 miles per hour).
October 1956 The last of the Connies, the 1649A Starliner, makes its first flight.
November 6, 1956 Morton Lewis and Malcolm Ross set an altitude record of 76,000 feet in a balloon.
November 11, 1956 The Convair XB-58 Hustler supersonic bomber makes its first flight.
November 15, 1956 The North American F-107 reaches Mach 2 in test flights.
November 17, 1956 The Mirage III, a delta-wing fighter, makes its first flight.
November 28, 1956 The Ryan X-13 Vertijet makes its first jet vertical takeoff and transition into level flight.
December 17, 1956 The Short SC-1 VTOL research plane makes its first flight.
December 26, 1956 The Convair F-106 Delta Dart prototype makes its first flight.