February 1 - The Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates, killing all seven occupants.
February 5 - 9 - Aero-India show is held at Bangalore
Fina Air begins services.
May 25 - Boeing 727 tail number N844AA mysteriously disappears in Angola, along with Ben Charles Padilla.
May 30 - The final flight of an Air France Concorde takes place.
July 26-August 3 - the 13th FAI World Rally Flying Championship in Rustenburg, South Africa. Individual winners: 1. Nigel Hopkins & Dale de Klerk (South Africa), 2. Janusz Darocha & Zbigniew Chrząszcz (Poland), 3. Nathalie Strube / P. Sicard (France); team winners: 1. South Africa, 2. France, 3. Poland.
August 11, The Spirit of Butts Farm becomes the first flight across the Atlantic by a computer-controlled model aircraft.
September 14 - USAF Thunderbirds #6 solo crashes into the tarmac at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, while attempting its initial maneuver at the Gunfighter Skies 2003 air show. The pilot safely ejected just moments before impact. Pilot error (insufficient altitude) is determined as the cause and the pilot is reassigned to the Pentagon. Although the desert terrain is similar, the ground elevation at Mountain Home AFB is over 1000 feet higher than the Thunderbirds' home base at Nellis AFB.
Skip Holm, flying the modified P-51D 'Dago Red', sets a new closed-course piston-engine speed record of 507 mph at the Reno Air Races.
October 15 - Yang Liwei becomes the People's Republic of China's first man in space.
October 24, the Concorde makes its last scheduled commercial flight.
November 22, the DHL shootdown incident in Baghdad.
November 26, the last "retirement" Concorde flight.
December 17, on the anniversary of the Wright Flyer's achievement, SpaceShipOne is the first privately built, manned aircraft to fly faster than the speed of sound,
December 25, United Transit 141 crashes in Benin, spreading rumors that it is the Boeing 727 that disappeared earlier during the year.
December: The 100th birthday of aviation has begun.
March 6 - Bell/Agusta BA609
March 7 - HAL HJT-36.
May 20 - SpaceShipOne (first captive flight, unmanned)
July 28 - Adam A700 AdamJet
July 29 - SpaceShipOne (first manned captive flight)
August 1 - First successful supersonic flight of the HAL Light Combat Aircraft's (LCA's) first technology demonstrator, TD-1.
August 7 - SpaceShipOne (first free-flight)
December 17 - SpaceShipOne (first powered flight)