Aviation in 1972
United States President Richard Nixon announces $5.5 billion
funding to develop the Space Shuttle.
The Soviet Union begins using Cuba as a base for
reconnaissance aircraft, surveying and gathering intelligence
along the American coast.
Apollo 16 successfully lands on the Moon and returns to
Lieutenant Randy Cunningham and Lieutenant (Junior Grade)
William Driscoll of the United States Navy (USN) shoot down
Colonel Toon, the top North Vietnamese ace and two other
MiG17 aircraft and become the first United States aces of the
Vietnam war. Later in the same mission, their aircraft, a
McDonnell Douglas F4 Phantom, is hit by a surface-to-air
missile (SAM), but they successfully return to their aircraft
An Indian Government spokesman in New Delhi says that Indian
security forces have orders to destroy all Pakistani aircraft
violating India's airspace.
The Cessna aircraft company announces the completion of the
company's 100,000th aircraft, the first company in the world
to achieve this figure.
Three Japanese terrorists kill 25 people and injure 72 at Tel
Aviv Airport in Israel when they remove guns and grenades
from their luggage and begin shooting. The terrorists had
just stepped off a flight from Rome.
Captain Richard S. Ritchie shoots down his fifth MiG21 and
becomes the first United States Air Force (USAF) ace of the
Delta Airlines orders fourteen Boeing 727 aircraft, bringing
the total sales of the airliner to a record 1,000.
A Lufthansa Boeing 727, flying from Beirut to Ankara is
hijacked by a terrorist, demanding the release of three
Palestinians held for murdering Israeli athletes at the
Munich Olympic Games.
Apollo 17, the last manned NASA mission to the moon, is
completed successfully by the crew of lunar module pilot
Harrison H. Schmitt, Ronald E. Evans and commander Eugene A.
Curnan, who still holds the distinction of being the last man
to walk on the surface of the Moon.
The great Russian aircraft designer Andrei Nikolayavich
Tupolev dies aged 86.
part of Operation Linebacker II, a concentrated offensive
ordered by President Nixon on December 18th, a force of 117
United States Air Force (USAF) Boeing B52 Stratofortress
bombers attack Hanoi in the largest raid of the Vietnam war
It is revealed at a press conference in Montevideo that the
survivors of a Uruguayan airliner crash in the Andes, which
occurred on October 13, were forced to eat those who died in
the crash in order to stay alive.