Boeing 747 with Space Shuttle at the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget
= March 27, 1977 =
A KLM 747 hits a taxiing Pan Am 747 on takeoff from Tenerife. This accident, with two widebody aircraft involved, is still the biggest air disaster in civil aviation. A total of 583 passengers die, 335 in the Pan Am Jumbo and 248 in the KLM aircraft.
= May 28, 1977 =
Lockheed delivers the first L-1011-200 to Saudia.
= August 1977 =
Eastern Airlines signs a contract with Airbus Industrie to try out four A300s for a very reduced price. If the A300's performance satisfied the airline, it would buy a large number.
= December 19, 1977 =
The United States Air Force chooses the McDonnell Douglasí KC-10A Extender proposal for a new tanker/cargo aircraft over the Boeing 747.
= April 1978 =
PanAm orders 12 short-body TriStar-500 aircraft and takes 14 options.
= April 6, 1978 =
Eastern Airlines orders 19 A300B4s and takes options on nine more. It also buys the four aircraft it had on trial from Airbus Industrie. Eastern also takes options on 25 A310 aircraft.
= July 1978 =
Airbus Industrie launches the A310.
= July 14, 1978 =
United Airlines places a $1.2 billion order for 30 767 and becomes launch customer of this new Boeing model.
= October 12, 1978 =
Lockheed rolls out the first L-1011-500 at Palmdale on October 12.
= October 16, 1978 =
The Lockheed L-1011-500 performs its first flight.
= October 27, 1978 =
France, Germany and Britain agree Britain's full risk-sharing membership of Airbus. British Aerospace became a 20 per cent partner from January 1, 1979.
= November 15, 1978 =
American Airlines and Delta Air Lines announce total firm orders for 50 Boeing 767s. American orders 30 and Delta 20.
= November 20, 1978 =
The United States Air Force orders two KC-10A aircraft, the go-ahead for the tanker/transport programme based on the DC-10.
= January 1, 1979 =
British Aerospace formally becomes a member of the Airbus Industrie consortium.
= March 14, 1979 =
Swissair is the first airline to sign a firm order for the Airbus A310. The airline orders 10 and takes options on 10 more.
= April 2, 1979 =
Lufthansa signs an order for 25 Airbus A310 aircraft plus 25 options. Airbus Industrie now formally launches the A310. The next day KLM ordered 10 A310s and took 10 options.
= April 30, 1979 =
The first Lockheed L-1011-500 is delivered to launch customer British Airways.
= May, 1979 =
British Airways introduces the Lockheed L-1011-500 in service.
= May 25, 1979 =
The engine of an American Airlines DC-10 separates during take-off from Chicago on a flight to Los Angeles. Within a minute the aircraft explodes after hitting the ground. All people on board and two on the ground died, a total of 273 fatalities.
= June 6, 1979 =
The FAA grounds the worldwide DC-10 fleet after inspectors find cracks in the wing pylons of two other DC-10-10s after the 25 May crash. The grounding includes the DC-10-30 and DC-10-40, although no aircraft of these versions show cracks.
= July 13, 1979 =
The FAA lifts the DC-10 grounding. It is founded that the cracks were the result of maintenance methods not complying with the manuals. American and Continental Airlines use forklifts to remove and attach the engines for maintenance.
= July 12, 1980 =
First flight of the McDonnell Douglas KC-10A tanker/transport takes place.
= November 19, 1980 =
Boeing rolls out line the 500th 747 from the factory, a 747-200 Combi for Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS).
= December 1980 =
Aeroflot introduces the Ilyushin Il-86 in revenue service.