Jets and Rocket Flight Timeline

1962 Flight Timeline

Twin-engine aircraft like the Cessna Skymaster are generally considered safer than single-engine aircraft--as long as both engines are running. Cessna solved the problem with its "push-pull" centerline thrust.
Twin-engine aircraft like the Cessna Skymaster are generally considered safer than single-engine aircraft--as long as both engines are running. Cessna solved the problem with its "push-pull" centerline thrust.
Peter M. Bowers Collection

January 10-11, 1962 A Boeing B-52H sets a nonstop, unrefueled distance record of 12,532 miles.

January 23, 1962 Eighteen Vought F8U-2N Crusaders make the first transpacific flight by a complete Marine Corps jet squadron.

February 5, 1962 The Sikor-sky HSS-2 Sea King is the first helicopter to officially exceed 200 miles per hour in a time trial, clocking 210.6 miles per hour.

February 14, 1962 Major Walter F. Daniel sets a 12,000-meter time-to-climb record of 1 minute, 35.74 seconds in a T-38 Talon.

February 20, 1962 Marine fighter pilot and future senator John H. Glenn, Jr., makes the first U.S. orbital flight of Earth in Friendship 7, completing three orbits.

February 21, 1962 A McDonnell Phantom II establishes new time-to-climb records to 3,000 and 6,000 meters in 34.52 and 48.78 seconds, respectively.

February 28, 1962 A Convair B-58 ejection capsule is tested at 565 miles per hour at 20,000 feet by Warrant Officer Edward J. Murray, who spends 26 seconds in a free fall and 8 minutes in a parachute.

March 1, 1962 A Phantom II, flown by Lieutenant Colonel W. C. McGraw, USMC, sets time-to-climb records to 9,000 and 12,000 meters in 61.62 and 77.15 seconds.

March 3, 1962 Climbing records continue to fall; a Phantom II piloted by Lieutenant Commander D. W. Nordberg gets to 15,000 meters in 114.54 seconds.

March 31, 1962 Lieutenant Commander F. Taylor Brown flies to 20,000 meters in 178.5 seconds in a Phantom II.

April 3, 1962 Lieutenant Commander John W. Young flies a Phantom II to 25,000 meters in 230.44 seconds.

April 12, 1962 All world time-to-climb records are held by the Phantom II as Lieutenant Commander D. W. Nordberg climbs to 30,000 meters in 371.43 seconds.

April 17, 1962 Major David W. Craw sets a world altitude record in a Boeing C-135B. He climbs to 47,171 feet with a 66,138-pound payload.

April 22, 1962 Jacqueline Cochran takes 49 world records in a 5,120-mile, three-stop flight in a Lockheed JetStar from New Orleans to Hanover, Germany.

May 10, 1962 A Phantom II fires a Sparrow III missile at supersonic speeds in a head-on attack of the Regulus II target missile, also supersonic. This is the first successful head-on attack of an air-launched missile against a surface-launched missile.

May 24, 1962 Scott Carpenter completes a three-orbit flight in Aurora 7.

June 1, 1962 Captain William Stevenson sets a closed-course distance record of 11,336.92 miles in a Boeing B-52H.

June 13, 1962 Captain Richard H. Coan sets a world-class closed-course distance record for type in a Kaman H-43B Huskie, 655.64 miles.

June 27, 1962 Joe Walker reaches 4,159 miles per hour in a North American X-15, an unofficial speed record.

July 5, 1962 The Kaman H-43B, piloted by Captain Chester R. Radcliffe, Jr., breaks its own distance record with a flight of 888.4 miles.

July 7, 1962 The Lockheed XV-4A VTOL research aircraft makes its first flight.

July 10, 1962 NASA launches Telstar 1, the first privately financed satellite.

August 11-15, 1962 Soviet Major Andrian Nikolayev, in Vostok 3, completes 64 revolutions and communicates via television with Earth, a space first.

August 27, 1962 NASA launches Mariner 2 spacecraft for a Venus flyby, to take place in December.

August 31, 1962 A Navy airship flies for the last time at Lakehurst, New Jersey. It is the end of an era; airships had been used by the Navy since 1917.

September 12, 1962 A Grumman Albatross UF-2G sets a world altitude record for amphibians with a 1,000-kilogram load at 29,640 feet.

September 14, 1962 Fitz Fulton sets a world altitude record for payloads of 4,409 and 11,023 pounds in a Convair B-58 at 85,360.8 feet.

September 15, 1962 A Grumman Albatros UF-2G sets a 5,000-kilometer speed record for amphibians with a 1,000-kilogram load at an average speed of 151.4 miles per hour.

September 19, 1962 The Pregnant Guppy, a converted Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, makes its first flight. It was designed by Aero Spacelines to carry missile and aircraft components.

October 17, 1962 A flight of 16 Douglas A4-C Skyhawks complete a two-way crossing of the Atlantic, refueling from Marine KC-130F Hercules tankers.

October 22, 1962 The Cuban Missile Crisis begins.

October 29, 1962 The Douglas DC-8F Trader all-cargo jet makes its first flight.

November 2, 1962 The Lockheed XH-51A rigid-rotor helicopter makes its first flight.

December 8, 1962 The Bell OH-4A light observation helicopter prototype debuts.

December 13-14, 1962 Project Stargazer balloon, piloted by Joe Kittinger, takes a civilian astronomer to 82,000 feet for the clearest celestial view ever experienced by an astronomer.

December 24, 1962 The Nord 262 pressurized light transport makes its first flight. It will have a troubled service history for years until reengined.