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The FIRST FLIGHT -  AROUND THE WORLD
According to the Army Air Service
Originated at Sand Point on Lake Washington, WA

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The pilots consider NAS Coronado, CA as the Navy START - STOP - Point, but
they received their full travel supplies at Seattle. Listen to Audio Report.

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DISTANCE FLOWN:  26,345 MILES      ELAPSES TIME: 175 DAYS      FLYING TIME:  363 HR. 7 MIN.

AVERAGE SPEED: 72.5 MPH     LEAVE SAND POINT: APRIL 6, 1924     RETURN SAND POINT: SEPT. 28, 1924
LONGEST HOP: 830 MILES - ICELAND TO GREENLAND    SCHEDULED STOPS: 69
CHARLES LINDBURG FLIGHT WAS THREE YEARS LATER

Audio Report of Flight
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The first circumnavigation of the world by air was conducted in 1924 by a team of aviators of the Army Air Service, the precursor of the United States Air Force. The trip took 175 days, covering about 27,000 miles.

After looking at the existing pool of military planes it was decided that none of them was satisfactory. The War Department instructed the Air Service to look at both the Fokker F-5 Transport and the Davis-Douglas Cloudster to see if either one would qualify and to acquire one of these planes for a test.

Donald Douglas submitted data on a modified DT-2, the torpedo bomber Douglas had built for the U.S. Navy in 1921 and 1922.

This plane had proved to be a sturdy aircraft that could accommodate interchangeable wheeled and pontoon landing gear. Douglas stated that the new fleet of planes, which he named the Douglas World Cruiser, could be delivered within 45 days after a contract was awarded. Modifications involved its fuel capacity. All the internal bomb-carrying structures were removed and additional fuel tanks were added to various parts of the plane. The total fuel capacity went from 115 gallons to 644 gallons.

The last of four planes was delivered on March 11, 1924. The spare parts included 15 extra Liberty engines, 14 extra sets of pontoons, and enough replacement airframe parts for two more planes. These were sent around the world along the route the crews would follow.

The four planes were named the Seattle, Chicago, Boston, and New Orleans. They left Santa Monica, California, on March 17, 1924, for Seattle, Washington, the official start point of the flight. On April 6, they left Seattle for Alaska. One plane, the Seattle, needed repairs and remained behind. When it was repaired the crew attempted to catch up with the other three planes, but on April 30, Seattle crashed in dense fog on a mountainside near Port Moller on the Alaska Peninsula. The crew survived and were picked up on May 10, but the plane was destroyed.

The three remaining planes continued on their voyage. Avoiding the Soviet Union, which had not given permission for the planes to cross, they followed the course as displayed on the map above. Along the way, they changed from pontoons to wheeled landing gear back to pontoons.

The Boston was forced to come down while flying across the Atlantic, and capsized while being towed by the cruiser that had picked up the crew. The two remaining planes crossed the Atlantic via Iceland and Greenland and reached Canada. The original test plane, now named the Boston II, met them in Canada and the three planes went on to Washington, D.C. After a hero's welcome, the three planes flew to the West Coast, stopping briefly in Santa Monica and finally landing in Seattle on September 28, 1924.

The trip had taken 175 days. The Douglas Aircraft Company adopted the motto, "First Around the World – First the World Around". The other national efforts had all failed. The American team had greatly increased their chances of success by using several planes and prepositioning support along the route. From: Wikipedia

Other Links:
RECREATION OF FLIGHT;    ITINERY OF FLIGHT;   ICY TICKLE PHOTO;  
ITINERY VERSION II OF FLIGHT

Go to Sand Point


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