Aerospace engineering/Timelines

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A timeline (or several) relating to Aerospace engineering.

This is a List of Aerospace Engineering Historical Events.


  • 1783: First flight of a human being, in a hot air balloon built by the Montgofier brothers in Paris.
  • 1901: Alberto Santos-Dumont wins the Deutsch Prize flying his Airship #6 around a course over Paris.
  • 1903: On December 17th, the first powered heavier-than-air flight, by the Wright brothers, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
  • 1919: On June 15th, Alcock and Brown completed the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean in a modified Vickers Vimy bomber.
  • 1937: In April, the first turbo-jet engine, developed by Francis Whittle, in the UK, achieved sustained operation in ground testing.
  • 1939: On August 27, the first flight of a true turbine-equipped jetplane, the Heinkel He 178 (Germany), piloted by Erich Warsitz.
  • 1942: On October 3 the first successful test launch of the German V-2 ballistic missile, at Peenemunde in Germany. This was probably the first self propelled vehicle to break the sound barrier.
  • 1944:
    • Early in the year (date uncertain) a V-2 test rocket, launched from Peenemunde in Germany reached 189 kilometres altitude, the first artificial object to reach outer space.
    • On September 8th, the world's first successful ballistic missile (V-2, launched by Germany) hits its target for the first time, Chiswick in London, UK. Three civilians were killed and seventeen injured, a massive crater was left. By September 1944, the V-2s routinely achieved Mach-4 during terminal descent.
  • 1947: On October 14th, American test pilot Chuck Yeager breaks the sound barrier in an X-1 rocket aircraft over California in the United States of America.
  • 1952: On 2 May G-ALYP, a DeHavilland Comet, operated by BOAC, took off from London, UK on the world's first all-jet flight with fare-paying passengers, beginning scheduled service to Johannesburg.
  • 1957: On October 4th, the USSR launches the world's first artificial satellite called Sputnik-1 using an R-7 launcher from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
  • 1969:
    • On February 21st, the USSRN-1 rocket lunar test flight failed to reach orbit. As of September 2007, this was the heaviest flying object ever launched, but it did not reach space.
    • On July 20th, the United States spacecraft Apollo 11, achieves first landing of humans on the moon. Armstrong and Aldrin touched down on the moon at 4:18 p.m. EDT July 20. Upon landing Armstrong reported, "Houston, Tranquillity Base here - the Eagle has landed."
  • 1975: On 26 December the first civilian supersonic transport, the Tupolev Tu-144S went into service, flying mail and freight between Moscow and Alma-Ata in preparation for passenger services, which commenced in November 1977. Operated by Aeroflot.