Revolution in Flight Timeline

1965-1966 Flight Timeline
The LTV-Hiller-Ryan XC-142 tilt-wing aircraft transitions from vertical takeoff to horizontal flight in this photo montage.
The LTV-Hiller-Ryan XC-142 tilt-wing aircraft transitions from vertical takeoff to horizontal flight in this photo montage.
Peter M. Bowers Collection

January 11, 1965 The LTV-Hiller-Ryan XC-142 makes successful transitions from vertical to forward flight and back.

February 16, 1965 The Saturn launch vehicle with payload debuts.

February 25, 1965 The Douglas DC-9 makes its first flight.

March 23, 1965 The two-person Gemini 3 spacecraft makes its first flight. Virgil "Gus" Grissom and John Young make three orbits in the first flight mission that moves from one orbit to another.

April 6, 1965 The first commercial communications satellite Early Bird is launched into a 22,300-mile synchronous orbit.

May 1, 1965 Colonel Robert L. Stephens pilots a Lockheed YF-12A to establish a world speed record of 2,062 miles per hour at Edwards Air Force Base.

June 3-7, 1965 James A. McDivitt and Edward White complete 62 orbits in Gemini 4; White is the first American to walk in space.

June 13, 1965 The unusual-looking Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander makes its first flight.

September 7, 1965 The Bell Model 209, which will become the Huey Cobra, makes its first flight.

September 27, 1965 The LTV A-7A Corsair attack aircraft makes its first flight.

November 15, 1965 A Flying Tiger Boeing 707 becomes the first to fly around the world across the poles.

December 4-18, 1965 Frank Borman and James Lovell complete 206 orbits in Gemini 7 and rendezvous with Gemini 6.

The General Dynamics F-111A was one of the most controversial warplanes in history, made to meet the demand for commonality in United States Air Force and Navy fighters.
Peter M. Bowers Collection

January 10, 1966 The Bell Model 206A Jet Ranger helicopter makes its first flight.

January 31, 1966 Luna 9 is launched to the moon.

February 8, 1966 Freddie Laker announces the formation of Laker Airways.

March 16, 1966 Gemini 8 achieves the first space docking.

March 17, 1966 The Bell X-22A makes its first flight.

April 3, 1966 Luna 10 becomes the first artificial moon satellite.

May 18, 1966 The LTV XC-142A triservice V/STOL transport makes carrier takeoffs and landings on the USS Bennington.

May 18-June 20, 1966 Englishwoman Shelia Scott completes a record solo round-the-world flight for women in a Piper Comanche, flying 29,005 miles.

June 16, 1966 Navy A-4s make the first carrier strike since 1964 against North Vietnam, hitting oil storage facilities at Thanh Hoa.

July 12, 1966 The Northrop M2-F2 lifting body, predecessor to the Space Shuttle, flies. It has a wingless design, using its fuselage to generate lift.

August 10, 1966 Lunar Orbiter 1 is launched by NASA to photograph the moon and survey Apollo landing sites.

August 31, 1966 The Hawker Siddeley AV-8A VTOL development aircraft makes its first hovering flight.

September 8, 1966 The Phoenix missile, to be the heart of the F-14 weapon system, undergoes a successful full-function test launch from an A-3A Skywarrior.

September 15, 1966 Reinhold Platz, Fokker's top designer in World War I, dies at age 80.

October 21, 1966 The Yakovlev Yak-40 trijet makes its first flight.

November 11, 1966 The last Gemini mission is flown by Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and James Lovell. They complete 59 orbits, and Aldrin spends 51/2-hours in extravehicular activity (EVA).

December 6, 1966 The Luftwaffe grounds the Lockheed F-104 fleet after the 65th accident.

December 23, 1966 The Dassault Mirage F1 makes its first flight.