Aviation in 1997
Balloonists Per Lindstrand and Richard Branson abandon
their non-stop, round-the-flight in Virgin Global
Challenger, when its hydrogen gas buoyancy cell develops
A non-stop, round-the-world balloon flight by Bertrand
Piccard and Vim Verstraeten ends in failure when a fuel
leak forces the balloonists to ditch in the Mediterranean
shortly after take-off.
A new balloon absolute distance record of 16,722
kilometres (10,363 miles) is set by Steve Fossett, during
his unsuccessful non-stop, round the world flight, which
he is forced to abandon in India 6 days after his
departure from the USA.
93 construction workers are rescued by helicopter from a
burning Bangkok skyscraper, which caught fire during
The first production Lockheed Martin/Boeing F22A Raptor
is rolled out.
The first five production V22 Osprey tiltrotors are
delivered by Bell Boeing for use by the United States
The Russian space station Mir and its re-supply craft
collide in orbit forcing the Mir astronauts to shut down
most of the spacecraft's systems.
The Mars Pathfinder lands on the surface of Mars after
its 6 month journey from Earth.
The McDonnell Douglas company is taken-over by Boeing.
Initial flight trials of the first pre-production
Martin/Boeing F22 Raptor commence. The Raptor is to
succeed the United States Air Force's McDonnell Douglas
F15 Eagle in the air dominance fighter role.
The Boeing 777-300 is rolled out. At 73 metres (242 feet)
it is the longest airliner ever built.
A Saturn probe is launched from Cape Canaverel on a
1,499,676 kilometre journey that will take 7 years. The
Cassini-Huygens probe will gather data about Saturn and
its moon Titan.
The United Arab Emirates orders thirty Dassault Breguet
Mirage 2000-9 aircraft to replace the Mirage V, in a deal
worth $2.9 million.
The Eurofighter 2000 receives the go-ahead from Germany,
Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom, with orders for 600