Aviation in 1978
An Air India Boeing 747 airliner explodes in mid-air, killing
The first mail delivery in space: the Soviet Union's Soyuz 27
launches, to dock with Salyut 6/Soyuz 26 in Earth orbit,
carrying mail and supplies to the cosmonauts.
Captain Sandra M. Scott becomes the first woman to fly an
alert duty in Strategic Air Command, when she is assigned to
the 904th Air Refuelling Squadron, which flies KC135 tankers.
Pan American World Airways (Pan-Am) place an order for
Lockheed L-1011 TriStars worth $500 million.
Eastern Airlines orders 25 Airbus A300B4 airliners.
A Korean Airlines Boeing 707 crash lands after being strafed
by a Soviet fighter jet. A Japanese and a South Korean are
killed in the attack when the airliner strays off course,
ending up over Soviet territory.
McDonnell Douglas delivers its 5,000th McDonnell Douglas F4
Phantom aircraft, twenty years after the first flight of the
Tokyo's new Narita International Airport becomes operational
4 years late, largely due to protest action.
Development of the Airbus A310 is announced.
12- 17 August
A balloon duration record of 137 hours 5 minutes 50 seconds,
a record distance of 5,001 kilometres (3,107 miles) and the
first transatlantic crossing by a gas balloon is recorded by
Double Eagle II, crewed by Ben L. Abruzzo, Maxie L. Anderson
and Larry M. Newman.
Professor Willy Messerschmitt, designer of the famous
Messerschmitt Bf109 fighter and other aircraft, dies.
A mid-air collision between a Boeing 727 and a Cessna light
aircraft results in the deaths of 144 people. All the
airliner's passengers and crew, the two occupants of the
Cessna and six people struck by falling wreckage, die in the
The United States airline industry is deregulated.