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Post-World War II Flight Timeline

1948-1949 Flight Timeline

July 13, 1948 The first MX-774 is launched. It is the predecessor of the Atlas ICBM.

July 16, 1948 Two USAF B-29 groups go to England for temporary duty as an implied­ threat to the Soviet Union.


July 16, 1948 The Vickers Viscount, the world's first turboprop airliner, makes its first flight.

July 20, 1948 Sixteen Lockheed F-80s fly the Atlantic.

August 16, 1948 The Northrop XF-89 Scorpion makes its first flight.

September 1, 1948 The Saab J-29 Flying Barrel, the first European swept-wing jet fighter, debuts.

September 5, 1948 The Martin Caroline Mars lifts 68,282 pounds, the heaviest load ever lifted by an aircraft.

September 6, 1948 A de Havilland D.H.108 breaks the sound barrier in a dive.

September 15, 1948 Major R. L. Johnson sets a world speed record of 670.98 miles per hour in a F-86A that is fully equipped with guns and ammunition.

September 18, 1948 The Convair XF-92 delta-wing prototype debuts.

October 20, 1948 The McDonnell XF 88A Voodoo flies for the first time.

November 22, 1948 England announces the sale of ten Rolls-Royce Nene engines to the Soviet Union; 55 engines are supplied in all. The engine becomes the basis for one used in the MiG-15.

November 30, 1948 Curtiss-Wright demonstrates new reversible-pitch propellers on a C-54.

December 15, 1948 A new airlift base is opened at Celle, Germany.

December 16, 1948 The Northrop X-4 tailless research plane makes its first flight.

January 3, 1949 USAF SAC bombers begin 90-day rotational training in England.

January 7, 1949 The Israeli Air Force attacks RAF reconnaissance planes, shooting down four Spitfires and one Tempest.

February 8, 1949 Russ Schleeh flies an XB-47 from Moses Lake, Washington, to Bolling Air Field, Washington, D.C., in 3 hours and 46 minutes at 607 miles per hour.

February 25, 1949 A two-stage V-2/WAC Corporal missile is launched from White Sands, New Mexico, setting a 244-mile altitude record.

February 26-March 2,1949 The USAF Boeing B-50A Lucky Lady II completes the first nonstop round-the-world flight in 94 hours and 1 minute, with four in-flight refuelings.

March 7-8, 1949 Captain Bill Odom flies a Beech Bonanza nonstop from Hawaii to Teterboro, New Jersey: 4,957 miles.

March 25, 1949 A Bell XH-12 claims a speed record for helicopters: 133.9 miles per hour.

April 21, 1949 The French fly the Leduc ram-jet powered research aircraft for the first time.

April 26, 1949 Sunkist Lady, an Aeronca lightplane, sets an endurance record of 1,008 hours; it is refueled by gasoline passed by hand from a jeep.

May 12, 1949 The Berlin blockade is rescinded by the Soviets; the airlift wins.

May 13, 1949 English Electric Canberra, a British jet bomber, makes its first flight.

June 2, 1949 H. H. Arnold is given the permanent five-star rank of General of the Air Force.

July 27, 1949 The de Havilland Comet prototype makes its first flight. It is powered by four de Havilland Ghost engines.

August 9, 1949 The first American emergency use of an ejection seat is carried out by J. L. Fruin after he loses control of a U.S. Navy Banshee aircraft.

September 4, 1949 The giant eight-engine Bristol Brabazon makes its first flight.

­September 30, 1949 Allies formally end the Berlin Airlift.