Aviation in 1949
United States Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) authorises the
use of Ground-Controlled Approach (GCA) radar as a primary
landing aid in bad weather.
Termination of the Arab-Israeli war is confirmed by an
Armistice signed on Rhodes.
26 February - 2 March
The first non-stop round the world flight is made by the
United States Air Force (USAF) B50 'Lucky Lady II', piloted
by Captain James Gallagher. The aircraft is refuelled in
flight four times during its 94 hour 1 minute flight and
covers a distance of 37,742 kilometres (23,452 miles).
A Bill in the USA authorises the establishment of a permanent
radar defence network.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is established,
following the signature of twelve nations at Washington DC.
It becomes effective on 24 August 1949.
The peak day of the Berlin Airlift - 1,398 sorties carry
12,940 tons of supplies in a 24 hour period.
A flight-refuelled world endurance record is completed in the
United States, when Bill Barris and Dick Reidel, flying an
Aeronca Chief lightplane 'Sunkist Lady', stay airborne for
1,008 hours 1 minute (one minute over six weeks). Fuel and
food is hauled up daily from a Jeep speeding below.
The Air Arm, Hong Kong Defence Force is established with
Royal Air Force (RAF) assistance. Its adopts the title Royal
Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force in 1970.
The Soviet Union ends the blockade of Berlin, but the Allied
airlift continues until 30 September 1949 to build up stocks
in the city.
The first New York helicopter station is established at Pier
41 East River.
A Sikorsky S52 helicopter establishes a new helicopter
altitude record of 6,468 metres (21,220 feet) over Stratford
The first anniversary of the Berlin Airlift - 1.8 million
tons of supplies has been airlifted in.
The first use in the United States of an ejection seat for an
emergency escape from an aircraft. Lieutenant J.L. Fruin of
the United States Navy (USN) ejects from a McDonnell F2H-1
Banshee flying in excess of 925kph (575mph) near Walterboro
in South Carolina.
The first jet airliner air mail is flown in a Canadian Avro
Jetliner from Toronto to New York.
The Soviet Union detonates its first atomic bomb and ends the
United States nuclear monopoly.
The Allied Berlin Airlift ends. During 15 months of
operation, 2.25 million tons of supplies and equipment has
been flown into Berlin.
A C74 Globemaster I of the United States Air Force (USAF)
Military Air Transport Service (MATS) lands at Marham in
Norfolk after a non-stop flight from the United States. It
carries a total of 103 passengers and crew, which is a record
at the time for people crossing the North Atlantic in a