Aviation in 1946
A United States Army Sikorsky R5 sets an unofficial
helicopter height record of 6,400 metres (21,000 feet) at
Stratford in Connecticut.
The United States Army Air Force (USAAF) establishes its
first experimental guided missile group, at Eglin Air Force
Base in Florida.
Colonel William H. Council, piloting a Lockheed P80 Shooting
Star, makes a record breaking flight from Long Beach in Los
Angeles to La Guardia in New York. It is the fastest crossing
of the United States to date - 2,470 miles in 4 hours 13
minutes 26 seconds at an average speed of 584mph. Also the
longest non-stop flight by a jet aircraft.
The Bell Model 47 is granted the first commercial helicopter
certificate to be awarded by the United States Civil Aviation
The United States Army Air Force (USAAF) establishes its Air
Defence Command, Strategic Air Command and Tactical Air
Winged Cargo Inc. begins operations in the USA. This glider
(sailplane) commercial freight service uses Waco gliders,
towed by Douglas DC3s.
Pan American World Airways (Pan-Am) Constellation lands at
London Heathrow on the Airline's first scheduled New York to
Two United States Army Air Force (USAAF) Lockheed P80
Shooting Star fighters carry the first United States airmail
to travel by turbojet powered aircraft, from Shenectady to
Washington DC and Chicago in Illinois.
The United States Army Air Force (USAAF) and United States
Navy (USN) officially adopt the knot and nautical mile as
standard aeronautical units for speed and distance.
Operation Crossroads: a Boeing B29 of the United States Army
Air Force (USAAF) drops an atomic bomb over 73 naval vessels
anchored at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean.
A McDonnell XFD1 Phantom jet takes off from, and lands on, an
aircraft carrier, the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt, while she
lies off Cape Henry in Virginia. The aircraft is piloted by
Lieutenant Commander James J. Davidson.
Just over 10 years after his death, Brigadier General William
'Billy' Mitchell is posthumously awarded the United States
Congressional Medal of Honour.
Sergeant L. Lambert of the United States Army Air Force (USAAF)
becomes the first person in the United States to make a
manned test of an ejection seat. A Northrop P61 Black Widow
flying at 483kph (300mph) at 2,375 metres (7800 feet) is used
as the test aircraft.
The first post war meeting of the Fédération Aéronautique
A United States Navy (USN) Lockheed P2V Neptune crewed by
Commander T. Davis and E.P. Rankin, sets a new non-stop world
distance record of 18,081 kilometres (11,235 miles) flying
from Perth in Australia to Columbus in Ohio.
The Belgian Air Force is re-established.
United States experiments in postal delivery by helicopter
are made in the Chicago suburbs, in a combined operation by
the United States Post Office and the United States Army Air
Force (USAAF), using a Sikorsky helicopter.
The first non-stop flight from Hawaii to Egypt over the North
Pole is made in a Boeing B29 aircraft of the United States
Army Air Force (USAAF), covering a distance of 17,498
kilometres (10,873 miles).
United States Navy non-rigid airship XM1 completes a flight
of 170 hours 3 minutes establishing a world record for a
flight un-sustained by any form of refuelling.
V.J. Schaefer of the General Electric Company created the
first artificial snow. A cloud is seeded with dry-ice pellets
from an aircraft flying over Greylock Mountain in