100 Years of Aviation Week

Essential Reading - Then & Now

Aviation Week is approaching its 100th anniversary in 2016.  First published on Aug. 1, 1916 as Aviation and Aeronautical Engineering, the magazine's title has changed over the years to reflect its readership base and the industries it serves. It changed to Aviation, Aviation News, Aviation Week then became Aviation Week Including Space Technology in 1958 before finally changing to its current title, Aviation Week & Space Technology, in 1962. Click here to read about the magazine's origins and the work of its founding publisher, Lester D. Gardner, who became known as one of aviation's elder statesmen.

Today, the Aviation Week group is the largest multimedia information and services provider to the global aviation, aerospace and defense industries. Over 1.2 million professionals look to Aviation Week's unparalleled portfolio of publications, online services, events and custom media solutions for their total information and marketing needs.

Here, we highlight editorial content from the magazine's long and rich history, including viewpoints from the industry's most iconic names and stories that have helped change the shape of the industry.


Publisher's Letter

Lester D. Gardner
Gregory Hamilton

Lester D. Gardner published the first issue of Aviation Week’s predecessor magazine at 120 W. 32nd Street, in New York City - less than a block from where I now publish Aviation Week & Space Technology. Our core mission of being essential to the still-growing aviation, aerospace and defense community hasn’t even moved that far! 

I think Mr. Gardner would be proud that the Aviation Week team has continued to excel at providing “accurate, scientific and unbiased” information that serves as a “great stimulus” to the success of the industry. 

Even as our content is now deployed via print, digital and event channels around the world and into space, we commit to the industry that these values of utility and service will continue to be our guiding light.

- Gregory Hamilton, President/Group Publisher, Aviation Week


From The Archives
Mar 26, 2015

Pilot Report: Aviation Week Flies The Gripen (1999)

In 1999, Aviation Week's then Editor-in-Chief reported on the capabilities of the Saab Gripen. Read his pilot report....More
Mar 11, 2015

Gemini 8: First Docking, First Space Emergency (1966) 1

Like most missions with the two-seat Gemini capsules, Gemini 8 started out to be a first. As it turned out, there were two firsts in the mission depicted on the cover of March 28, 1966....More
Mar 5, 2015

GE’s Failed Play For Honeywell (2001)

Industry consolidation may well be coming, but there will probably not be a repeat of the Darwinian spectacle that occurred between the mid-1990s and the early 2000s....More
Mar 4, 2015

1957: Broken Arrow 39

The most capable interceptor of the 1960s might not have been American or Russian, or even British, French or Swedish....More
Mar 2, 2015

1969: The Concorde's Hopeful First Flight 3

On March 2, 1969, Aviation Week’s Donald Fink was on hand to witness the first flight of the supersonic Anglo-French Concorde in Toulouse, France....More
Feb 27, 2015

Pilot Report: Flying The Embraer 170 (2003)

Former Editor-in-Chief Dave North wrote pilot reports on more than 120 aircraft during his career at Aviation Week. His visits to Embraer began in 1978, long before the Brazilian company’s privatization and emergence as a powerhouse in regional jets. Here, he recalls his Embraer experiences, culminating in a test flight of the E170....More
Feb 25, 2015

Pilot Report: Aviation Week Flies The Lockheed Martin U-2 (1999)

In 1999 Aviation Week's former Editor-in-Chief reached the highest altitude he had ever flown, in a U-2. Read his pilot report....More
Feb 20, 2015

1973: Automating Airline Systems, Ring!

What could airlines do in 1973 to cut maintenance costs? Embrace technology like computers and automated test equipment!...More
Feb 19, 2015

33 Years Ago – Boeing 757 Makes First Flight (1982) 6

The Boeing 757 made its first flight on Feb. 19, 1982, and it was not without its challenges....More
Feb 17, 2015

Southwest Airlines’ “Hot Pants” and “Love Potions.” (1971) 4

Southwest Airlines made the cover of Aviation Week & Space Technology just three months after it began flying between Dallas-Houston and Dallas-San Antonio....More
Feb 13, 2015

Cover-to-Cover: Summer of Apollo 11 (1969)

Aviation Week has covered scores of technological triumphs over its history, but no achievement received as much prominence as the Apollo 11 moon landing....More
Feb 9, 2015

52 Years Ago Today: Boeing 727 Takes Flight (1963) 9

Aviation Week & Space Technology, which had written extensively on the 727’s rollout three months earlier, gave only cursory coverage to the test flight: a single page of three photos in our Feb. 18, 1963 edition....More
Feb 6, 2015

707 Flight Testing – And Not Talking About Rolls (1956) 2

Our 1956 test pilot story goes into great detail about the overall impressive handling capabilities of the Boeing 707....More
Feb 2, 2015

The Long Sordid Path To KC-46 (2011) 23

What should have been a straightforward integration to modify a commercial jet with refueling and cargo systems evolved into the procurement scandal that has scarred –- and some fear defined -– a generation of Air Force procurement experts....More
Jan 29, 2015

Supersonic Scoop (1947) 3

Aviation Week scored one of the biggest aerospace scoops of the 20th century when on December 22, 1947, it revealed that the fabled sound barrier had been broken by U.S. Air Force Capt. Charles ‘Chuck’ Yeager in the Bell XS-1....More
Jan 26, 2015

Boeing 777 -- Unveiling A Design Classic (1990) 4

No matter how you gauge the success of Boeing’s 777, whether in terms of sales, profitability, safety, versatility, longevity or derivatives, few can argue the remarkable impact the twinjet has made on the industry since entering service almost 20 years ago....More
Jan 23, 2015

When Lockheed Martin Won The JSF Award (2001) 18

During its nearly 100 years of coverage, Aviation Week & Space Technology has covered many controversial programs. Perhaps none has been as big in terms of sheer value and global reach as the nine-nation, stealthy F-35 fighter project....More
Jan 16, 2015

Relax On Your Way To LAX (1966)

Some things don’t change. In the 48 years since this article on road congestion at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) was published, traffic around the airport remains a concern, and anxious travelers still fret about how to get from downtown L.A. to LAX....More
Jan 16, 2015

727 And The Birth Of Boeing’s ‘Family’ Plan (1962) 12

The new look of Boeing’s three-engined 727 caused quite a stir when it was unveiled in November 1962, as Aviation Week noted in its extensive coverage in the December 10 edition the following week....More
Jan 14, 2015

Pilot Reports: Mikoyan MiG-29 and Sukhoi Su-27 (1990) 2

In 1990 Aviation Week's former Editor-in-Chief became the first American pilot to fly the Su-27 and the first journalist to fly the MiG-29. Read his pilot reports....More
Jan 13, 2015

Rafale -- Then (1986) And Now 3

The first flight of the Rafale was the start of one of the world's most ambitious weapon programs....More
Jan 8, 2015

Pilot Report: Aviation Week Flies The Northrop Grumman B-2 (1995)

In 1995 Aviation Week's former Editor-in-Chief became the first civilian pilot to take controls of the stealth bomber. Read his pilot report....More
Jan 7, 2015

Cuba: Bob Hotz Goes Nuclear On Pentagon Flack (1962)

Aviation Week's editor was not the only one with a low opinion of Robert McNamara's PR man....More
Jan 2, 2015

2004: Soaring Oil Prices Batter Airlines

What a difference a decade makes. In 2004, oil prices surged about 50%, topping a then unheard of $50 a barrel....More
Dec 9, 2014

Aviation’s Ten Commandments of Flying (1939) 3

These ten commandments were published in the May, 1939 issue of Aviation (which later became Aviation Week & Space Technology). How many are still relevant to pilots today?...More
Nov 28, 2014

1989: Bombardier Launches The Regional Jet Era 1

The CRJ would prove to be a game changer, reinvigorating the regional airline industry and bringing jet travel to passengers in smaller markets that had been relegated to turboprop service....More
Nov 14, 2014

1956: China’s C-130 – And A Look Back At The Lockheed Original 1

Aviation Week published an in-depth look at the original C-130 Hercules nearly 58 years ago....More
Nov 3, 2014

1990: MD-11 Memories 1

KLM will operate three final farewell passenger flights of the MD-11 on Nov 11, an event that marks the end of the Dutch carrier’s 80-year association with Douglas Aircraft and its successor, McDonnell Douglas....More
Oct 28, 2014

1991: Remembering Pan Am, Worrying About Air France 2

It took two decades for Pan Am to slowly decline and fail. It is a lesson worth remembering....More
Oct 24, 2014

2008: Milestone for the MRJ

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ rollout of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet on Oct. 18 may have occurred later than planned, but it marked a major milestone in Japan’s efforts to get back into the commercial airliner business....More
Oct 14, 2014

1958: False Starts For Aviation’s ‘Atomic Age’ 9

Aviation Week has been reporting on and, in one case unwittingly, furthering the cause of nuclear-powered aircraft for more than 60 years. Spurred on by the promise of the ‘Atomic Age’ and the potential strategic benefits of limitless range and endurance, the U.S. Air Force launched the Nuclear Energy for the Propulsion of Aircraft project in 1946....More
Oct 3, 2014

1991: Foxy Woxy Wows Paris 2

Its design dating back to the 1970s, the MiG-31 still held surprises in 1991, and just made its operational comeback appearance off Alaska....More
Oct 2, 2014

2004: Remembering the X-Prize

Ten years ago the world’s first privately built spaceship was flown to sub-orbit high over California, clinching the $10 million Ansari X-Prize and marking the start of the new frontier of affordable space access....More
Sep 29, 2014

1990: YF-22 Lifts Off 13

The prototype of the F-22 Raptor flew 24 years ago today....More
Sep 24, 2014

1987: A320 First Flight Remembered 17

Today’s flight of the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-powered Airbus A320neo is the most significant milestone in the history of the single-aisle twin since the original CFM56-5 powered prototype flew for the first time in February 1987....More
Sep 19, 2014

1961: Higher and Faster in the X-15 3

Fifty five years ago this week test pilot Scott Crossfield flew the North American Aviation X-15 rocket plane on its first powered flight....More
Sep 8, 2014

1965: Boeing’s Baby Jetliner – Five Decades of Growth 5

The high density MAX 8 version is a far cry from the stubby little 82-seat design originally envisioned by Boeing in the mid-1960s for its 737 launch customer Lufthansa....More
Sep 8, 2014

1970: Boeing Cutbacks Batter Seattle

The economic downturn that battered Boeing's Seattle hometown in 1970 was the subject special report in Aviation Week & Space Technology....More
Sep 5, 2014

1971: DC-10 Pilot Report 1

Almost exactly 43 years ago this week, Aviation Week subscribers were settling down to enjoy a pilot’s report on the brand new McDonnell Douglas DC-10....More
Sep 4, 2014

1981: SR-71 Pilot Report

AW&ST's Los Angeles bureau chief (and later managing editor), Robert Ropelewski, wrote the first SR-71 pilot report by an aerospace journalist....More
Sep 3, 2014

2001: Virgin Atlantic's Cruise Ship In The Sky 2

Virgin Atlantic had big plans for its Airbus A380s back in late 2000....More
Sep 1, 2014

Technology Surprise, 1945-Style 1

The forward-swept-wing, four-jet, fixed-landing-gear Junkers Ju287 looks weird today. Think what it looked like in 1945....More
Aug 29, 2014

1999: Lockheed’s Stunning Spy Satellite Loss – And Comeback

In September 1999, the National Reconnaissance Office dumped its incumbent imagery satellite contractor, Lockheed Martin, in favor of a bolder and less costly proposal led by Boeing....More
May 15, 2014

1918: Boeing Aircraft For Sale

Boeing's sales occurred on a much smaller basis in its early days....More
Apr 9, 2014

Boeing 777 -- 20 years on -- a roll out to remember (1994)

April 9 marks the 20th anniversary of the roll out of the first 777....More
Mar 12, 2014

1989: F-117A Stealth Fighter Revelation 1

A fuzzy, low-quality photo marked a milestone event....More
Feb 19, 2014

1969: 747 First Flight - Will it live to 50?

With Jack Wadell and Brian Wygle at the controls, the Boeing 747 took off for its first flight from Everett on Feb. 9, 1969. Read Aviation Week's analysis....More
Feb 18, 2014

2006: Frank Lanza's Final Interview

L-3 Communications’ co-founder Frank Lanza was a colorful CEO....More
Dec 31, 2013

Unmasking the RQ-180

Aviation Week uncovers a highly classified aircraft – the RQ-180 – that has been developed by Northrop Grumman in secret....More
Dec 19, 2013

Meet the SR-72

Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works revealed exclusively to Aviation Week that it is ready to begin development of the SR-72....More

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