1959 Master Index 1961

1960 Chronology of Aviation History
Major Aviation Events

1960 Events

  • Summer — The United States Navy antisubmarine aircraft carrier USS Wasp (CVS-18) is stationed off the west coast of Africa to cover the evacuation of American nationals from Congo (Kinshasa). [1]

January 1960

  • January 1 — Fiji Airways is reconstituted, becoming equally owned by BOAC, Qantas, and Tasman Empire Airways. [1]

  • January 6 — A dynamite bomb explodes aboard National Airlines Flight 2511, a Douglas DC-6B, in mid-air over Bolivia, North Carolina, and the aircraft crashes. All 34 people on board die, including retired United States Navy Vice Admiral and Medal of Honor recipient Edward Orrick McDonnell. An investigation into who planted the bomb is inconclusive. [1]

  • January 18 — Capital Airlines Flight 20, a Vickers 745D Viscount, suffers the loss of all four engines due to icing and crashes into a farm near Holdcroft, Virginia, killing all 50 people on board. [1]

  • January 19 — The Scandinavian Airlines System Sud Aviation Caravelle Orm Viking (OY-KRB), operating as Flight 871, crashes on approach to Esenboga International Airport outside Ankara, Turkey, killing all 42 people on board. It is the first fatal crash of a Caravelle. [1]

  • January 21 — Avianca Flight 671, a Lockheed L-1049E Super Constellation, crashes and burns on landing at Montego Bay, Jamaica, killing 37 of the 46 people on board. Among the dead is Thomas C. Capeheart, the son of United States Senator Homer E. Capehart. It is the deadliest aviation accident in Jamaican history. [1]

February 1960

  • February 9 — The United States Air Force opens its National Space Surveillance Control Center at Bedford, Massachusetts. [1]

  • February 13 — France detonates its first nuclear weapon. [1]

  • February 25 — A United States Navy Douglas R6D-1 carrying members of the United States Navy Band to Brazil to perform at a diplomatic reception attended by President of the United States Dwight D. Eisenhower and a Real Transportes Aéreos Douglas DC-3 collide in mid-air 1,600 meters (5,249 feet) over Guanabara Bay close to the Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The accident kills 35 of the 38 people aboard the R6D and all 26 people on board the Douglas DC-3. [1]

March 1960

  • March — The Vertol Aircraft Corporation is renamed Boeing Vertol. [1]

  • March 10 — The last flight by a United States Air Force-operated North American B-25 Mitchell takes place, when North American TB-25J-25-NC Mitchell (AF 44-30854), the last Mitchell in the U.S. Air Force inventory, lands at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, for preservation. [1]

  • March 17 — Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 710, a Lockheed L-188 Electra, disintegrates in mid-air near Cannelton, Indiana, killing all 63 people on board, after metal fatigue causes its right wing to separate at an altitude of 18,000 feet (5,486 m) . Among the dead is Central Intelligence Agency training commander Chiyoki Ikeda. [1]

  • March 18 — A Northwest Orient Airlines Boeing 377 Stratocruiser makes a 300-foot (91-meter) emergency dive to avoid colliding with two Air National Guard jets over Lansing, Michigan. Among the passengers is Morris Chalfen, producer of the Holiday on Ice skating shows, whose wife and three children had died the previous day on Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 710. [1]

April 1960

  • April 6 — The British Short SC.1 VTOL research aircraft makes its first transition from vertical to horizontal flight and Back, flying from Belfast Harbour Airport. [1]

  • April 10 — BOAC resumes scheduled air service from London to Cairo (Egypt), suspended in October 1956 at the time of the Suez Crisis. [1]

  • April 13 — The United Kingdom terminates ballistic missile research, preferring to simply purchase the U.S.-developed GAM-87 Skybolt missile. [1]

  • April 14 — A Thai Douglas C-54 Skymaster crashes into Mount Wu Tse after takeoff from Taipei, Taiwan. Eighteen people die, including the chief of the Air Force of Thailand, Air Marshal Chalermkiat Watanangura, and his wife. [1]

May 1960

  • May 1 — The Soviet Union shoots down a Central Intelligence Agency Lockheed U-2 near Sverdlovsk and captures its pilot, Gary Powers. [1]

  • May 12 — A U.S. Air Force Lockheed C-130 Hercules drops a record 35,000 lb (15,876 kg) by parachute. [1]

June 1960

  • June — A Sud-Aviation Alouette III helicopter carrying seven people makes take-offs and landings on Mont Blanc in the French Alps at an altitude of 4,810 meters (15,780 feet), an unprecedented altitude for such activities by a helicopter. [1]

  • June — The first Fouga Magister aircraft assembled in Israel roll off the assembly line of a former glider manufacturing company, which simultaneously renames itself Israel Aircraft Industries. [1]

  • June 1 — Trans-Canada Air Lines begins transatlantic jet airliner service, operating Douglas DC-8 aircraft between Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and London, England. [1]

  • June 10 — Trans Australia Airlines suffers the first passenger fatalities in its 14-year history when its Flight 538, a Fokker F-27 Friendship 100, crashes into the sea while on final approach at night in fog to Mackay, Queensland, Australia, killing all 29 people on board. It remains tied with the 1950 Australian National Airways Douglas DC-4 crash as the deadliest civil aviation accident and second-deadliest aviation accident in Australian history. [1]

July 1960

  • July — Fidel Castro dissolves Cuba's naval air arm. [1]

  • July 1 — British United Airways is formed. [1]

  • July 1 — A Soviet Air Defense Forces MiG-19 (NATO reporting name "Farmer") shoots down a U.S. Air Force Boeing RB-47H Stratojet (AF 53-4281) reconnaissance aircraft in international airspace with four of the crew killed and two captured by the Soviets. [1]

  • July 1 — The U.S. Navy commissions Fleet Tactical Support Squadron 40 (VRC-40) as its first carrier onboard delivery squadron. [1]

  • July 2 — Textron Inc. purchases Bell Aerosystems. [1]

  • July 5 — Bell Aerosystems becomes Bell Aerospace Corporation. [1]

  • July 9 — Sabena begins airlifting Belgian nationals out of Congo. Over the next three weeks, 25,711 will fly home. [1]

  • July 15 — Ethiopian Airlines Flight 372, a Douglas C-47 Skytrain, crashes into a mountainside near Jimma, Ethiopia, killing one pilot and injuring the other 10 people on board. The aircraft is destroyed. [1]

August 1960

  • August 16 — U.S. Air Force Captain Joseph Kittinger sets a world record for the highest parachute jump (102,200 ft or 31,150 m) and longest parachute freefall (84,700 ft or 25,815 m) while testing high-altitude parachute escape systems in Project Excelsior. The record will stand until October 14, 2012. [1]

  • August 18 — A Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar recovers a data capsule from the Discoverer 14 satellite in mid-air. [1]

September 1960

  • September 5 — A United States Navy McDonnell F4H-1 Phantom II sets a world speed record over a 500-km (310.5-mi) closed-circuit course, averaging 1,216.78 mph (1,958.16 km/hr). [1]

  • September 10 — NORAD carries out Operation Skyshield, testing American and Canadian radar systems. [1]

  • September 15 — Tasman Empire Airways retires its last flying boat from service. [1]

  • September 17 — East African Airways commences jet service with the DeHavilland Comet 4 between London, England, and Nairobi, Kenya. [1]

  • September 25 — A U.S. Navy F4H-1 Phantom II sets a world speed record over a 100-km (62.1-mi) closed-circuit course, averaging 1,390.21 mph (2,237.26 km/hr). [1]

October 1960

  • October 4 — Eastern Air Lines Flight 375, a Lockheed L-188 Electra, crashes on takeoff from Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, killing 62 of the 72 people on board and seriously injuring nine of the 10 survivors. [1]

  • October 29 — A Curtiss C-46 Commando operated by Arctic Pacific on a charter flight carrying the California Polytechnic State University football team crashes on takeoff from Toledo Express Airport in Toledo, Ohio, killing 22 people, including 16 players, the team's student manager, and a team booster. QuarterBack and future college head football coach Ted Tollner is among the survivors. [1]

  • October 31 — British European Airways retires the DC-3, its last piston-engine airliner serving out of London-Heathrow, from scheduled passenger service. [1]

November 1960

  • November — The same Sud-Aviation Alouette III helicopter that took off and landed at record altitudes on Mont Blanc in June sets new records for such activities by a helicopter, making take-offs and landings in the Himalayas at an altitude of 6,004 meters (19,698 feet) with a crew of two and a payload of 250 kg (551 lbs). [1]

  • November 15 — Scott Crossfield reaches Mach 2.97 in North American X-15 (AF 56-6671). [1]

December 1960

  • December — The Royal Navy retires it last piston-engine fixed-wing aircraft, the Douglas Skyraider, from front-line service. [1]

  • December 6 — Brazil commissions its first aircraft carrier, Minas Gerais. She is the second Latin American aircraft carrier to enter service. [1]

  • December 16 — The United Airlines Douglas DC-8 Mainliner Will Rogers, operating as Flight 826, and the Trans World Airlines Lockheed L-1049 Constellation Star of Sicily, operating as Flight 266, collide over New York City. The DC-8 crashes in Park Slope, Brooklyn, killing all 84 people on board, and the Constellation on Staten Island, killing all 44 people on board; six people on the ground also die. [1]

  • December 17 — A U.S. Air Force Convair C-131D Samaritan crashes due to fuel contamination shortly after takeoff from Munich-Riem Airport in Munich, West Germany. It crashes in the Ludwigsvorstadt borough of downtown Munich, striking a crowded two-section Munich streetcar. All 20 people on the plane and 32 people on the ground die. [1]

  • December 17 — The visitor's center at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, is dedicated on 57th anniversary of the Wright Flyer's first flight in 1903. [1]

  • December 20 — After delivering the last Martin P5M-2 Marlin flying boat to the U.S. Navy, the Glenn L. Martin Company ceases the production of manned aircraft. [1]

1960 First Flights

  • January 10 — Auster D.5. [1]

  • January 14 — Piper Cherokee. [1]

  • January 19 — Convair CV-580 Super Convair. [1]

  • February 5 — PZL TS-11 Iskra. [1]

  • February 12 — Auster D.4 G-25-8. [1]

  • February 29 — Beechcraft Baron Model 56. [1]

  • February 29 — Antonov An-24 (NATO reporting name "Coke"). [1]

  • April 19 — Grumman A2F-1, A-6 Intruder prototype. [1]

  • May 9 — Auster D.6 G-25-10. [1]

  • May 31 — Aeritalia G91T. [1]

  • June 24 — Avro 748. [1]

  • June — Beriev Be-12 Tchaika (NATO reporting name "Mail"). [1]

  • June — Dassault Mirage IIIC (production model). [1]

  • October 21 — Hawker P.1127 (tethered flight). [1]

  • October 21 — Grumman W2F-1 Hawkeye. [1]

  • October 25 — Boeing Vertol Model 107, predecessor to the CH-46 Sea Knight. [1]

  • November 16 — Canadair CL-44. [1]

  • November 16 — Procaer Cobra. [1]

  • December — Agusta A.104 (I-AGUM). [1]

  • December 4 — Enstrom F-28. [1]

  • December 6 — Sikorsky S-61L. [1]

  • December 9 — DINFIA IA.38. [1]

1960 Aircraft Entering Service

  • May 15 — Convair 880 with Delta Airlines. [1]

  • June 29 — English Electric Lightning with the Royal Air Force's No. 74 Squadron at RAF Coltishall. [1]

Works Cited

  1. Timeline and History: Wikipedia, 1960 in aviation.

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