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Aviation Feats and Records in 1960

The Collier Trophy for 1960 (covering the year 1959) was awarded jointly to the U.S. Air Force, Convair Division of General Dynamics, and Space Technology Laboratories, Inc., for development, testing, production, and putting into operation the Atlas missile, the first U.S. operational ballistic missile. Credit for the major engineering concepts of the Atlas was given to Karel J. Bossart of Convair.

Edna Gardner Whyte, a veteran pilot, flew a Cessna 120 from Miami, Florida, to San Salvador, El Salvador, a distance of 2,498 miles, in 20 hours 20 minutes 20 seconds to win the 10th Annual All Women's International Air Race, on May 9.

The 14th Annual All Women's Transcontinental Air Race (aka Powder Puff Derby) was flown from Torrance, California, to Wilmington, Delaware, a distance of 2,509.13 statute miles, on July 13. Seventy-three of 80 planes entered crossed the finish line. The winner was Aileen Saunders, who also won the 1959 race. With June Douglas as her xo-pilot, Saunders flew a 145-hp Cessna 172 at an average ground speed of 118.154 mph. Frances Miller, flying a 180-hp Pipe PA-24, came in second, and Lucille Quamby, flying a 145-hp Cessna 172, came in third.

The Women's National Aeronautic Association named Tony Page, editor and publisher of Cross Country News since 1952, as winner of the annual Woman of the Year in Aviation Award for her promotional activities in aviation.

On August 12, an X-15 rocket plane piloted by U.S. Air Force Major Robert White achieved a Record Altitude of 136,500 feet. [see the full story at This Day In Aviation]

The X-15 being "launched" from its "mother ship," a modified B-52 bomber.
X-15 being 'launched' on August 12

Max Conrad, a 57-year-old grandfather and 1959 "Pilot of the Year," flew his Piper Comanche to a new world Class Distance Record over a Closed Circuit, staying aloft 60 hours 6 minutes and flying a total of 6,921.28 miles nonstop.

On September 15, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas H. Miller flew a Navy F4H-1 at an average speed of 1,216.78 mph to set a new record for Speed over a Closed 500-km Circuit. On September 25 the same plane was flown by Commander John F. Davis at an average speed of 1,390.1 to set a new record for Speed over a Closed 100-km Circuit.

In the race for the Liberation Trophy at the International Invitation Contest for Free Balloons held at Rotterdam, Netherlands, the distance was 24.6 kilometers to the fixed target. Fred Dolder came closest, overshooting the target by 0.5 kilometers. Second was Constance Wolf, who went 2.2 kilometers too far. Third place went to Jacques Demenint, who landed 8.2 kilometers short of the target.

New world records for both a Manned Balloon Flight and Parachute Jumping were set by Air Force Captain Joseph W. Kittinger, Jr., on August 16. Leaping from an open balloon gondola at 102,800 feet, he fell freely for about 4-1/2 minutes and then opened his chute at 17,500 feet. The total leap of almost 19 miles took 13 minutes 8 seconds to complete.

Captain Kittinger, wearing a pressure suit, stands beside the balloon gondola from which he parachuted 102,800 feet.
Joseph Kittinger, Jr.

James Arender took first place in the style-jumping event at the World Parachuting Championships held in Sofia, Bulgaria, in August. He scored the winning 449.5 points by leaping from 2,000 meters and performing a series of complex figures in the 30 seconds before he opened his chute.

See Also

In the Year 1960
Collier Trophy

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The Robinson Library >> Aeronautics >> General

This page was last updated on 09/13/2018.