January 17 - BOAC begins to replace its Boeing B-314 flying boat with the Lockheed Constellation on the Baltimore (USA)--Bermuda route
January 30 - British South American Airways Avro Tudor IV Star Tiger (G-AHNP) en-route from Santa Maria (Azores) to Bermuda disappeared without trace. At last contact, the plane was estimated to be just under 2 hours away from Bermuda.
January 30 - Orville Wright, co-inventor of the world's first practical fixed-wing aircraft, dies in Dayton, Ohio at the age of 76.
the Israeli Air Force is formed, with the new state of Israel
March 10 - VF-5 becomes the first US Navy carrier squadron to be equipped with jets.
March 19 - The British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) extends its Hong Kong service to Japan
March 23 - Group Captain John Cunningham sets a new world altitude record of 59,446 ft (18,119 m) in a de Havilland Vampire.
March 28 - United States Air Force B-29 Superfortresses undergo aerial refueling tests, demonstrating the viability of this technique to extend the range of strategic bombers.
two specially modified Gloster Meteors begin carrier trials aboard HMS Implacable.
April 3 - Alitalia launches its first post-WWII service from Italy Rome-Ciampino to the UK London-Northolt
April 25 - a North American YP-86 becomes the first jet-powered aircraft to exceed Mach 1.
April 28-29, Leonardo Bonzi and Maner Lualdi set a light plane distance record of 4,170 km (2,591 miles) flying from Campoformido (Ital) to Massawa (Eritrea in) an Ambrosini S.1001
May 15 - Tel Aviv is attacked by the Egyptian Air Force. The Israeli Air Force retaliates by striking Arab troops near Samakh.
June 1 - British European Airways (BEA) commences the first helicopter air mail service in the UK
June 8 - Air-India commences a regular Bombay-London service by Lockheed Constellation.
July 17 - Catalina seaplane "Miss Macao" (VR-HDT), operated by a Cathay Pacific subsidiary, with 23 passengers and 3 crew on board flying from Macau to Hong Kong was hijacked mid-way over the Pearl River Delta by a group of 4 hijackers attempting to rob the passengers on board. The pilot was attacked and the aircraft lost control during the ensuing struggle in the cockpit. The subsequent crash killed all on board except one passenger, who was later identified to be the lead hijacker. This is the first known case of airliner hijack.
June 17 - United Airlines Flight 624 DC-6 (NC37506) crashed near Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania.
June 26 - the Berlin Airlift begins, with USAF, Royal Air Force, and British civil transport aircraft carrying supplies into West Berlin
June 28 - Sdn Ldr Basil Arkel sets a new helicopter speed record of 124 mph (200 km/h) in a Fairey Gyrodyne.
July 6 - the US Navy's first two carrier-based AEW squadrons are formed, VAW-1 and VAW-2.
July 14 - Vampire F3s of No. 54 Squadron RAF became the first jet aircraft to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. The six aircraft, commanded by Wg Cdr D S Wilson-MacDonald, DSO, DFC, go via Stornoway, Iceland and Labrador to Montreal on the first leg of a goodwill tour of Canada and the US where they gave several formation aerobatic displays.
July 14 - Silver City Airways makes the first car-carrying flight between England and France.
September 5 - a US Navy Martin JRM Mars sets a new cargo record of 62,262 lb (28,242 kg)
September 6 - a de Havilland DH.108 breaks the sound barrier, the first British aircraft to do so.
October 2, Bukken Bruse disaster. Flying boat crashes upon landing in Trondheim. Bertrand Russell is among the survivors.
October 20 – KLM Constellation air disaster (Prestwick, Scotland)
January 8 - Lavochkin La-174, prototype of the La-15
February 4 - Douglas Skyrocket
February 22 - LWD Junak
March 5 - XF-87 Blackhawk
March 9 - Gloster E.1/44
March 22 - Lockheed T-33
May 7 - Tupolev Tu-78
June 23 - Arsenal VG 70
July 3 - Douglas XAJ-1
July 8 - Ilyushin Il-28
July 16 - Vickers Viscount
August 16 - Northrop XF-89
August 23 - XF-85 Goblin
September 1 - Saab J-29, Sweden's first jet
September 18 - Convair XF-92
September 29 - F7U Cutlass
October 26 - Gloster Meteor T7
December 16 - X-4 Bantam
December 29 - Supermarine Type 510
March 10 - FJ Fury with VF-1 aboard USS Boxer
May 5 - FH Phantom with VF-17 aboard USS Saipan
June 1 - Convair 240 with American Airlines
June 2 - B-36 Peacemaker with United States Air Force (7th Bomb Wing (Heavy))
B-45 Tornado with the 47th Bombardment Wing