Aviation in 1989
Two United States Navy (USN) Grumman F14A Tomcat fighters
shoot-down two Libyan Mikoyan MiG23s over international
waters. Libya claims that the aircraft were on unarmed
reconnaissance duty, while the United States claims that
the aircraft were potentially hostile.
The Soviet Union announces that it will begin the
destruction of its chemical weapons stockpile. Estimates of
the Soviets arsenal range from 50,000 tons to ten times
that. The United States is thought to possess 30,000-42,000
The Pentagon lifts a ban on the use of pin-ups to decorate
United States Air Force aircraft fuselages. Feminist groups
protest against the decision.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) orders Boeing to
inspect the plumbing and wiring on the 1,755 airliners they
have built since 1980 following concerns that the 1988
crash of a British Midland airlines.
American Airlines becomes the 19th operator to be connected
to the 'Amadeus' computerised reservation system.
The crowd at the Paris air show is stunned when the Soviet
Sukhoi Su27 performs its 'Cobra' manoeuvre. The Cobra sees
the aircraft transfer from level flight to a vertical
attitude and back to level flight with negligible changes
One person is killed when a Soviet Air Force Mikoyan MiG23
crashes near Courtrai in Belgium. The pilot had ejected
over Polish airspace due to technical problems with the
aircraft. The MiG23 was then escorted by two United States
Air Force (USAF) McDonnell Douglas F15s under orders not to
attack unless the aircraft was about to come down on a
French air-traffic controllers go on strike, causing delays
and frustration for thousands of holiday makers.
The Northrop B2, the most expensive aircraft in history, at
a cost of $516 million, makes its first flight.
Qantas Boeing 747-400 'Spirit of Australia' flies from
London Heathrow to Sydney non-stop in 19 hours 10 minutes.
The Soviet aircraft designer Alexander Yakovlev dies aged
The world's first human-powered helicopter, constructed
from carbon-fibre and balsa wood, flies for the first time
at California Polytechnic State university. The flight,
powered by Greg McNeil, lasts for a total of 2 seconds.