1956 Master Index 1958

1957 Chronology of Aviation History
Major Aviation Events

1957 Events

  • 1957 — The Douglas AIR-2 “Genie” (“Ding-Dong”) unguided air-to-air missile enters service with the United States Air Force. It mounts a 1.5-kiloton nuclear warhead and has a lethal radius of 1,000 feet (305 m). [1]

  • 1957 — The United Kingdom's Minister of Defence, Duncan Sandys, states that the manned fighter has become obsolete and will be replaced by missiles. His 1957 Defence White Paper proposes ending the use of fighters by the Royal Air Force and concentrating on missile technology. [1]

  • Summer 1957 — For the first time, as many passengers cross the North Atlantic Ocean by airliner as by ocean liner. [1]

January 1957

  • January — The Avro “Vulcan” strategic bomber enters service with the Royal Air Force. It begins to enter squadron service during the summer of 1957. [1]

  • January 4 — The Brooklyn Dodgers become the first professional baseball team to purchase its own airplane, buying a Convair CV-440. To reduce the CV-440's price to US$775,000, the team purchases it as part of a larger Eastern Airlines order. [1]

  • January 18 — Three United States Air Force Boeing B-52 “Stratofortress” bombers make the world's first round-the-world, non-stop flight by turbojet-powered aircraft. They complete the flight in 45 hours 19 minutes, at an average speed of 534 mph (859 km/h). [1]

  • January 31 — A Douglas DC-7B being operated by the Douglas Aircraft Company on a test flight with a crew of four prior to delivery to Continental Airlines collides in mid-air over California's San Fernando Valley with a USAF Northrop F-89J “Scorpion” on a test flight with a crew of two to check its radar equipment. The Northrop F-89J “Scorpion” crashes in La Tuna Canyon in the Verdugo Mountains, killing its pilot and injuring the other crew member, who ejects to a parachute landing in Burbank, California. The DC-7B remains airborne for several minutes, dropping debris into neighborhoods below, before crashing into the grounds of a church and the athletic field of Pacoima Junior High School in the Pacoima district of Los Angeles, California, where 220 boys are gathered; the crash kills all four people on the plane and three boys on the ground, and injures an estimated 74 students. [1]

February 1957

  • February 1 — Northeast Airlines Flight 823, a Douglas DC-6A, crashes in Queens, New York, shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport in New York City, killing 20 of the 101 people on board and injuring 78 of the 81 survivors. [1]

March 1957

  • March — All 11 of the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm's Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve squadrons are disbanded due to a reduction in British defence expenditures. [1]

  • March 1 — SNCASE (or Sud-Est) and SNCASO (or Sud-Ouest) merge to form Sud Aviation. [1]

  • March 4-15 — A United States Navy blimp sets a duration record for a non-rigid airship, traveling 9,448 miles (15,205 km) in 264 hours 12 minutes. [1]

  • March 5 — A Blackburn “Beverley C.Mk.I” heavy transport aircraft of No. 53 Squadron, Royal Air Force, crashes in the village of Sutton Wick, then in Berkshire, England, killing 18 of the 22 people on board and two people on the ground. [1]

  • March 11 — A Flying Tiger Line Lockheed “Super Constellation” sets a new payload record for a commercial aircraft, carrying 41,749 lb (18,937 kg) on a flight between Newark, New Jersey, and Burbank, California. [1]

  • March 14 — The Vickers “Viscount” (G-ALWE), operating as British European Airways Flight 411, crashes into a house in Wythenshawe, England, while on approach to Manchester Airport. All 20 people on board die, as do two people in the house. [1]

  • March 17 — The Philippine Air Force Douglas C-47 “Skytrain Mt. Pinatubo” crashes on the slopes of Mount Manunggal on Cebu in the Philippines, killing 25 of the 26 people on board. Among the dead are President of the Philippines Ramon Magsaysay, other high-ranking Philippine government officials, and former Philippine Senator Tomas Cabili; the only survivor is Philippine Herald newspaper correspondent Nestor Mata. [1]

April 1957

  • April 6 — Olympic Airways is created by the shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis from the ashes of bankrupt Greek state airline T.A.E. [1]

  • April 11 — North American Aviation is issued a preliminary contract to build prototypes of the XF-108 long-range interceptor aircraft for the USAF. [1]

  • April 25 — The attack aircraft carriers USS Forrestal (CVA-59) and USS Lake Champlain (CVA-39) are among elements of the United States Sixth Fleet which make a high-speed dash to the eastern Mediterranean Sea to demonstrate support for the government of King Hussein of Jordan against Arab nationalist opposition which the United States believes supports the spread of communism. [1]

  • April 28 — The German World War II ace Heinz Bär dies in the crash of an LF-1 Zaunkönig at Braunschweig-Waggum, West Germany. He had finished World War II in May 1945 as its top jet ace with 16 kills in the Messerschmitt Me.262, the eighth-ranking German ace with 220 total victories, and second only to Hans-Joachim Marseille in the number of British and American aircraft shot down. [1]

May 1957

  • May 1 — An Eagle Aviation Vickers VC.1 “Viking” crashes into trees near Blackbushe Airport in Yateley, Hampshire, England, killing 34 of the 35 people on board. [1]

  • May 15 — A Royal Air Force Vickers the “Valiant” drops the first British hydrogen bomb, over Kiritimati. [1]

June 1957

  • June 2 — USAF Captain Joseph Kittinger sets a new balloon altitude record of 96,000 ft (29,250 m). [1]

July 1957

  • July — During an emergency evacuation rehearsal, Dwight D. Eisenhower becomes the first President of the United States to fly in a helicopter. The aircraft is piloted from the White House in Washington, D.C. to Camp David in Maryland by a USAF officer. [1]

  • July 16 — The Lockheed 1049E the “Super Constellation Neutron” (PH-LKT), operating as KLM Flight 844, crashes into Cenderawasih Bay off the Biak Islands in Netherlands New Guinea, just after takeoff from Biak-Mokmer Airport while turning at low altitude to make a low-level pass over the airport. Fifty-eight of the 68 people on board die. [1]

  • July 16 — Flying a Vought F8U-1P “Crusader” photographic reconnaissance aircraft, United States Marine Corps Major John H. Glenn sets a North American transcontinental speed record, flying from Los Alamitos, California, to Floyd Bennett Field in New York City nonstop in 3 hours, 28 minutes, 50 seconds, at an average speed of 723.517 mph (1,165.084 km/hr) with three aerial refuelings. [1]

  • July 19 — A USAF Northrop F-89J “Scorpion” launches a live AIR-2 “Genie” (“Ding Dong”) unguided nuclear air-to-air missile. It is the only detonation of a Genie. [1]

  • July 31 — The Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line, a chain of radar stations designed to warn the United States and Canada of Soviet bombers approaching North America, begins operations. [1]

August 1957

  • August — An experimental Fleet Air Arm flight of Supermarine “Scimitars” forms at Royal Naval Air Station Ford, the first unit to be equipped with the aircraft. The “Scimitar” is the Royal Navy's first transonic swept-wing aircraft as well as its first aircraft capable of carrying a nuclear weapon. [1]

  • August 1 — The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is formed to co-ordinate U.S. and Canadian air defense. [1]

  • August 19-20 — Major David Simons sets a new balloon altitude record of 101,516 ft (30,942 m). [1]

  • August 21 — The USAF formally cancels the XF-103 Mach 3 interceptor aircraft program. [1]

  • August 28 — A rocket-boosted Royal Air Force English Electric “Canberra” sets a new world altitude record of 70,308 ft (21,430 m). [1]

September 1957

  • September 7 — A United States Marine Corps helicopter transports a President of the United States for the first time, when the commanding officer of Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1), Virgil D. Olson, flies Dwight D. Eisenhower from Newport, Rhode Island to the White House in Washington, D.C. The flight begins the Marine Corps's association with presidential helicopter transportation, which it shares with the United States Army until 1976 before taking exclusive responsibility. [1]

  • September 30 — Austrian Airlines is formed from the merger of Air Austria and Austrian Airways. [1]

October 1957

  • October 4 — The Soviet Union's “Sputnik 1”, the world's first artificial satellite, is launched into orbit. [1]

  • October 4 — The Avro CF-105 “Arrow” rolls out from the Malton plant in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. [1]

  • October 23 — The British European Airways Vickers “Viscount 802” (G-AOJA) crashes while landing in rain and low clouds at Nutts Corner Airport in Belfast, Northern Ireland, killing all seven people on board. [1]

  • October 27 — Pioneering Italian aircraft designer Giovanni Caproni dies. [1]

November 1957

  • November — Delivery of the Handley Page “Victor” strategic bomber to the Royal Air Force begins. [1]

  • November 6 — A prototype of the Bristol “Britannia” crashes in Downend, England, during a test flight, killing all 15 people on board and injuring one person on the ground. [1]

  • November 8 — The Pan American World Airways Boeing 377 “Stratocruiser 10-29 Clipper Romance of the Skies”, operating as Flight 7, crashes in the Pacific Ocean during a flight from San Francisco, California, to Honolulu in the Territory of Hawaii, killing all 44 people on board. [1]

  • November 15 — After taking off from England's Southampton Water, an Aquila Airways Short “Solent” flying boat develops engine trouble and crashes on the Isle of Wight while attempting to return. Forty-five of the 58 people on board die in what at the time is the second-deadliest aviation accident to have taken place in the United Kingdom. [1]

December 1957

  • December 12 — In “Operation Firewall”, USAF Major Adrian Drew sets a new world speed record, in a modified McDonnell F-101A “Voodoo”, of 1,207 mph (1,942 km/h) over Edwards Air Force Base, California. [1]

  • December 21 — The first aircraft carrier designed as such to be launched in France, Clemenceau, is launched by the Brest Arsenal at Brest. [1]

1957 First Flights

  • January 23 — Nord 1500-02 “Griffon II”. [1]

  • February 17 — Bell X-14. [1]

  • March 28 — Canadair “Argus”. [1]

  • April 4 — English Electric P.1B, first fully developed prototype of the English Electric “Lightning”. [1]

  • April 17 — Nord N.3202. [1]

  • May 16 — Saunders-Roe SR.53. [1]

  • July 4 — Ilyushin Il-18. [1]

  • July 9 — Aviation Traders “Accountant”. [1]

  • July 16 — Aerotécnica AC-14. [1]

  • September — Cessna 150. [1]

  • November 6 — Fairey “Rotodyne”. [1]

  • November 15 — Tupolev Tu-114. [1]

  • December 10 — Aermacchi MB-326. [1]

1957 Aircraft Entering Service

  • February 1 — Bristol “Britannia” with BOAC. [1]

  • March 8 — Grumman F11F “Tiger”, the world's first carrier-based supersonic fighter, with United States Navy Attack Squadron 156 (VA-156). [1]

  • March 25 — Vought F8U “Crusader” with VF-32 “Swordsmen”. [1]

  • May — McDonnell F-101A “Voodoo” with USAF. [1]

  • June 28 — Boeing KC-135 “Stratotanker“ with 93d Air Refueling Squadron. [1]

  • November 19 — Fokker “Friendship” with Aer Lingus. [1]

1957 Aircraft Retiring from Service

  • 1957 — North American FJ-2 “Fury” by the United States Marine Corps. [1]

  • 1957 — Vought F7U “Cutlass” by the United States Navy. [1]

Works Cited

  1. Timeline and History: Wikipedia. 1957 in aviation

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