Aviation in 1988
The Soviet Air Force forms its first operational Tupolev
Blackjack strategic bomber regiment after eleven aircraft
It is announced that the Air Industries Division of the
Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps in Iran has produced an
in-house two-seat light aircraft.
India first launches the indigenously developed Prithvi
Airbus Industrie begins deliveries of A320s to Air France.
A converted Tupolev Tu154 airliner, renamed the 155,
becomes the first aeroplane to fly with liquid hydrogen
The Soviet Union begins to withdraw its armed forces from
The first Bell/Boeing V22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft is
The McDonnell Douglas F4 Phantom celebrates 30 years of
flying and is still operational with twelve air forces.
Personal television sets for airline passengers are
introduced by Northwest Airlines on the Detroit to Tokyo
Per Lindstrand establishes a new balloon altitude record,
reaching an altitude of 19,810 metres (65,000 feet) over
Texas. His balloon has a capacity of 17,000 cubic metres
(6,000,000 cubic feet).
An Airbus Industrie A320 airliner crashes into trees at low
speed after making a low-level display pass at the
Mulhourse air show, killing 3 people out of 130 on board.
A proposal for a cease-fire in the Iran-Iraq war is
CAAC, the Chinese state airline, changes its name to become
An Iranian Air Airbus 300 is shot down by the United States
Navy (USN) guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes, after
mistaking it for an Iranian Grumman F14 Tomcat, killing all
286 people on board.
The Soviet Union begins the destruction of its SS20
missiles in accordance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear
President Zia of Pakistan is killed when the Pakistan Air
Force Lockheed C130 Hercules in which he is travelling
crashes soon after take-off from Bakawalpur.
Three Italian Air Force pilots and 39 spectators are killed
at the Ramstein Air base when three Aermacchi MB339PANs of
the Italian Air Force's Frecce Tricolori display team
collide in mid-air.
Israel launches its first satellite, the Offeq 1, using a
Shavit booster rocket.
The United States Air Force (USAF) receives its first
Hughes Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile, (AMRAAM).
Antonov displays the An225 Mriya transport aircraft.
Powered by six Lotarev D18T turbofans and weighing 600
tonnes, the aircraft is nearly half as heavy again as the
previous world's heaviest aircraft.
The United States Air Force (USAF) grounds all Rockwell
International B1B bombers after a second aircraft is lost
in a crash. The first crash occurred on 28 September 1987.
Soviet Cosmonauts Musa Manarov and Vladimir Titov set a new
space endurance record of 326 days.
The Soviet Union launch their space shuttle Buran from the
Baikonur Cosmodrome at the third attempt. The unmanned
flight lasts for 3 hours 25 minutes.
Mikhail Gorbachev announces the reduction of Soviet
conventional forces over a 2 year period. The reductions
include the removal of 800 combat aircraft from Soviet
Pan American World Airways (Pan-Am) Boeing 747 'Maid of the
Seas' is destroyed in mid-air by a terrorist bomb over the
Scottish town of Lockerbie. 243 passengers, 16 crew and 11
people on the ground are killed.