Aviation in 1951
An advance party of No.421 Squadron, No.1 Fighter Wing of the
Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) arrives at London airport.
A Military aid agreement
between the United States and Portugal is reached.
Six consolidated Vultee B36D bombers of the United States Air
Force (USAF) land at Lakenheath, Suffolk on a training flight
from their base at Carswell Fort Worth Texas.
United States Air Force (USAF) Republic Thunderjet fighters
shoot down four Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG15s.
Captain Charles Blair flies a Mustang piston engine fighter
non-stop from New York to London covering 3,500 miles in 7
hours 48 minutes.
The USA and Canada announce their intention to set up a
Distance Early Warning (DEW) system for North America.
The United States Air Force (USAF) announces that it lost 223
aircraft in Korea, mostly through accidents, up to January
1951. The United States Navy (USN) and Marine aircraft losses
The United States Air Force (USAF) approves licence
production of the English Electric Canberra by the Glenn L.
Martin Company, under the designation 'B57'. It is the first
operational aircraft of non-United States design to be
accepted into service with the USAF since the 2nd World War.
Qantas Consolidated Catalina 'Frigate Bird II' (VH-ASA)
begins a survey flight from Sydney to Chile via Ester Island
and makes the airline's first flight across the South
The Boeing B47 jet bomber is successfully refuelled in flight
by a Boeing KC-97A piston engined tanker.
The conclusion of a Franco-American civil aviation agreement
The Federal Bureau of Statistics in Bonn announces figures
relating to German casualties at home and on the battle
fronts in the Second World War. These total over 5 million
(3,200,000 in action or missing, 500,000 civilians during
bombing raids and 200,000 disabled war veterans) but they
state that the exact numbers will never be known and the
figures are probably higher.
United States Air Force (USAF) Boeing Superfortresses bomb
bridges and carrier-borne aircraft attack enemy
communications in North Korea.
United States Air Force (USAF) Superfortresses bomb Pyongyang
and three Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG15s are shot down by North
American F86 Sabres.
It is announced that production of RB45 Tornado four-engined
jet bombers by North American Aviation Inc is to cease.
An Aerobee research rocket carrying a monkey in a special
capsule for a space biology experiment is launched from
Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.
Captain James Jabara of the 4th Fighter-Interceptor Wing of
the United States Air Force (USAF) in Korea, an F86 Sabre
pilot, becomes the first jet pilot to score five unconfirmed
victories over jet aircraft, by destroying two
The first solo trans-Polar flight is made by American C.
Blair, flying a North American P51 Mustang from Bardufoss in
Norway to Fairbanks in Alaska. He covers 3,375 miles in 10
hours 29 minutes.
Captain Charles F. Blair lands at Idlewild Airport in New
York after flying non-stop in a Mustang from Fairbanks in
Alaska, covering 3,450 miles in 9 hours 31minutes. This is
the first solo flight across the North Pole in a single
The 16th Independent Parachute Brigade Group arrive in Cyprus
using the aircraft carriers Warrior and Triumph.
15 June - 1 July
The 19th International Air Exhibition is held in Paris.
United States Air Force (USAF) Superfortresses bomb Pyongyang
and Sariwon airfields. Air fighting between USAF North
American Sabre jet fighters and Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG15s
results in one enemy aircraft being shot down.
An agreement is signed between the United States and Saudi
Arabia giving the United States special rights to use Dharan
airfield on the Persian Gulf for the next 5 years.
In air fighting over Korea
between Sabre and Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG15 aircraft, five North
Korean aircraft are destroyed.
North Korea loses ten planes, including four Mikoyan-Gurevich
MiG15s, in air fighting over North West Korea.
Four United States RF80As are refuelled by a KB29 tanker over
North Korea. This is the first in-flight refuelling under
An American and Canadian agreement, leading to the
development and construction of an early warning system, is
Japan Air Lines is formed.
The United States Navy's 'Viking' single-stage rocket reaches
a height of 135 miles at 4,100mph after launching at White
Sands in New Mexico. Major William Bridgeman, test pilot for
Douglas flies the United States Navy's Douglas D-558-2
Skyrocket research aircraft reaching 1,238mph.
Major William Bridgeman, test pilot for Douglas, flies the
United States Navy's Douglas D558-2 Skyrocket research
aircraft to a height of 79,494 feet. This is the greatest
height reached to date by a human being.
A world record of 635mph, over a 100 kilometre closed course,
is achieved by Colonel Fred J. Ascani in a North American
F86E Sabre jet fighter during the National Air Races at Wayne
Major Airport in Detroit.
It is announced that the Australian Commonwealth Government
has approved money to be spent on improving the airfield on
Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean and providing facilities
for Qantas Empire Airways passenger service Perth to
Johannesburg via Cocos Island and Mauritius.
The first Congressional Medal of Honour to be given to a
United States Air Force member during the Korean War is
posthumously awarded to Major Louis J. Sebille, who was
killed on 5 August 1951.
The first United States Air Force (USAF) Sabre jet F86 to be
sent to Britain arrives at Shepherd's Grove.
A Belfast to Gander point to point record is set by Wing
Commander R.P. Beaumont flying an English Electric Canberra
jet from Aldergrove in Northern Ireland and covering 2,072
miles in 4 hours 18 minutes.
The United States Air Force (USAF) places an order with the
Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation to build an airframe
for an atomic powered aircraft.
Japan signed a peace treaty with the United States and 47
other countries at the War Memorial Opera House in San
impending formation of the United States Air Force's first
guided-missile squadron is announced. The squadron will be
equipped with Matador B61s, a surface-to-surface jet powered
The first helicopter troop transport operation takes place
when United States Marines of 1st Division are flown into
Inje Punch Bowl battle zone in Korea.
Greece and Turkey become members of the North Atlantic Treaty
The United States Air Force (USAF)
make a successful recovery of animals launched into space.
The monkey and 11 mice are recovered with apparently no
Squadron HS1, the United States Navy's first Anti-Submarine
Warfare (ASW) helicopter squadron is commissioned at Key West
in the Florida Keys.
The explosion of a 2nd atomic
bomb in the Soviet Union is announced by President Truman.
Advance parties of a Canadian air division disembark at
Liverpool and Southampton. It includes three squadrons of
North American F86 Sabre jet fighters.
A 3rd atomic explosion in the Soviet Union is announced by
the White House.
A proclamation is signed, terminating the state of war
between the United States and Germany.
The first space flight by a living creature takes place when
four monkeys, code-named Albert 1, 2, 3, & 4 are launched 85
miles into the stratosphere from White Sands in New Mexico.
The mission is known as Operation Albert and all four monkeys
return safely to earth.
It is announced that eleven airlines have agreed to introduce
a Tourist Class service on the North Atlantic route.
Air France and British European Airways (BEA) state their
intention to introduce Tourist Class services on the
The United States Air Force (USAF) claims that its 4th
Fighter-Interceptor Wing in Korea has destroyed 130
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG15s over the last 12 months, with the
loss of only fourteen Sabres.