Aviation in 1986
United States space shuttle Challenger explodes 75 seconds
after take off. The crew of seven are killed, including
Christa McAuliffe, a schoolteacher and first person to fly
under the 'citizen in space' programme.
A permanently manned space station, the Soviet Union's
'Mir' (Peace), is launched.
Lufthansa flies its restored pre-Second World War Junkers
Ju52/3m transport and the aircraft receives
passenger-carrying certification on 6 June.
United States Navy (USN) aircraft, supported by General
Dynamics F111F bombers and EF111A electronic warfare
aircraft flying from bases in Great Britain, attack targets
in Libya. The raid comes as retaliation for terrorist
attacks carried out with suspected Libyan support.
Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH is formed in Munich. The
company will oversee the production of the European Fighter
Seven American aircraft companies submit designs for the
Advanced Tactical Fighter programme and of these, the
Lockheed-Burbank YF22A and Northrop YF23A are later chosen
Boeing completes the construction of its 5,000th jet
airliner, a Model 737-300 for KLM.
Henk and Evelyn Brink of the Netherlands make a
record-breaking flight across the Atlantic in a Cameron
combined hot-air/helium balloon. They fly from St Johns in
Newfoundland to near Amsterdam in around 50 hours.
A Boeing 234 Chinook helicopter belonging to British
International Helicopters crashes off the Shetlands killing
45 of the 47 people on board. It is the worst civilian
helicopter accident to date.
Lockheed-Georgia delivers its 1,800th C130 Hercules
The Voyager composite trimaran aircraft begins the first
unrefuelled, non-stop flight around the world. Piloted by
Richard G. Rutan and Jeana Yeager the flight takes 9 days 3
minutes 44 seconds and sets new world distance records for
straight flight and a closed circuit course of 40,212
kilometres (24,986 miles). The aircraft carries five times
its own weight in fuel on the flight, which begins and ends
at Edwards Air Force Base in California.