On This Day in Aviation History

January 2, 2010

On This Day in Aviation History: January 2nd

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Red Wings Airlines Tupolev Tu-204-100, reg RA-64020, on a training flight at Tunoshna Airport in western Russia. Photo by Sergey Riabsev

Red Wings Airlines Tupolev Tu-204-100, reg RA-64020, on a training flight at Tunoshna Airport in western Russia. (Photo by Sergey Riabsev, published under a Creative Commons license)

2004 – British Airways cancels several flights flights from London Heathrow Airport to Washington D.C. and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia due to security fears.

1989 – Tupolev’s first fly-by-wire jet, the Tu-204, makes its maiden flight.

1967 – The National Supersonic Transport program, formed by President John F. Kennedy for the purpose of subsidizing the design of a Concorde-fighting supersonic airliner, awards a contract to Boeing for its 2707 SST design. Despite 115 orders from 25 different airlines, the program would lose its funding in 1971, forcing Boeing to lay off 60,000 workers.

1965 – UK Secretary of Defence Denis Healey decides the nation ought not to build military aircraft anymore, and instead should order U.S.-built F-4 Phantoms and C-130 Hercules.

1959 – USSR launches Luna 1, which would become the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the Moon and to orbit the Sun.

1953 – Royal Air Force takes delivery of its first supersonic jet, the North American Aviation F-86 Sabre.

1918 – The UK forms its air ministry, appointing Lord Rothermere as Secretary of State for Air, and Major-General Sir Hugh Trenchard as Chief of the Air Staff.

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