Revolution in Flight Timeline

The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a supersonic fighter plane with variable wing geometry. It was the Navy's primary aircraft for more than 30 years. See more pictures of flight.
Lt. Cmdr. Art Legare / U. S. Navy

January 5, 1964 The Short Belfast, a four-turboprop transport, makes its first flight.

February 24, 1964 The Northrop F-5B, a two-seat version of the F-5, makes its first flight.

February 29, 1964 President Lyndon Johnson reveals the existence of the Lockheed A-11 version. The aircraft is later designated the YF-12A.

Flight Pictures 

April 9, 1964 The de Havilland (Canada) DHC-5 Buffalo makes its first flight.

April 17, 1964 Geraldine Mock becomes the first woman to fly around the world solo. She covers 23,103 miles in 29 days.

May 1, 1964 A Lockheed P-3A Orion, piloted by Captain R. P. Ruehrmund, makes an 18-day, 26,550-nautical mile flight around the world.

May 7, 1964 The British Aerospace Super VC-10 makes its first flight.

May 11, 1964 Jacqueline Cochran sets a women's 15/25 kilometer course record at 1,429.2 miles per hour.

May 11, 1964 The North American XB-70 is rolled out.

May 25, 1964 The Ryan XV-5A makes its first flight.

June 4, 1964 Jacqueline Cochran sets two women's speed records: 1,302 miles per hour (100 kilometers) and 1,135 miles per hour (500 kilometers).

No aircraft in history ever had such a tremendous advantage over its contemporaries as the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, which flew for the first time in 1964. The SR-71 still holds many of the records it set.
Warren M. Bodie Collection


July 16, 1964 A Ryan XV-5A research aircraft, which uses a "fan in wing" principle, makes a vertical takeoff, flies conventionally, hovers, and lands vertically. The aircraft will go on to an extensive test program, but no production type aircraft will ensue.

July 28-31, 1964 The Ranger 7 is launched to take photos of the moon. After 68 hours of flight, it crash-lands on the lunar surface.

August 2, 1964 North Vietnamese torpedo boats attack the USS Maddox in the Gulf of Tonkin.

August 5, 1964 U.S. Navy planes from the USS Constellation and USS Ticonderoga attack North Vietnamese torpedo boat bases.

September 21, 1964 The North American XB-70A Valkyrie makes its first flight.

September 27, 1964 The British Aerospace TSR.2, the British equivalent of the F-111, makes its first flight.

September 28, 1964 Polaris A-3, a fleet ballistic missile, becomes operational.

September 29, 1964 The LTV-Hiller-Ryan XC-142 tilt-wing four-engine transport research airplane makes its first flight.

September 30, 1964 A Lockheed C-130 flies from Australia to Williams Field, McMurdo Station -- the first flight over the Pole from Australia.

October 14, 1964 The Sikor­sky CH-53A Sea Stallion makes its first flight.

November 28, 1964 NASA launches the Mariner 4 spacecraft for a Mars flyby (achieved July 14, 1965).

December 21, 1964 The General Dynamics F-111A Aardvark, a low-altitude supersonic bomber, makes its first flight.

December 22, 1964 The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance aircraft makes its first flight.