American military aviation reached a low point after World War I, lagging behind its European counterparts and facing a peacetime battle for survival. To raise the public profile of aviation, military leaders encouraged their pilots to enter air shows and vie for speed, endurance, and altitude records. As a result, U.S. Army airmen daringly accomplished the first flight around the world in 1924, three years before Charles Lindbergh's famous solo flight.
In Around the World in 175 Days, Carroll V. Glines recounts this adventure from the golden age of aviation. After two years of planning, four Douglas World Cruisers, each carrying a pilot and a mechanic, took off from Seattle in April 1924, flying west to circle the globe; one additional plane was held in reserve. Four of the men and two of the planes completed the flight in September 1924 and, miraculously, all eight men survived, even though one plane had crashed in the Alaskan mountains and another had ditched in the Atlantic. The airmen had triumphed over the weather extremes of Arctic Alaska and the desert Middle East, numerous primitive landing sites in rough terrain, and maintenance and supply problems that persisted despite the coordinated efforts of land- and sea-based support personnel from the Army Air Service, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Coast Guard.
Glines captures the drama of the journey, from the careful behind-the-scenes planning through the airmen's harrowing in-flight experiences to the mission's culmination in triumph. The success charted the future of the Army Air Service's worldwide aircraft deployment and paved the way for long-distance commercial air travel.
|Publisher:||Smithsonian Institution Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.29(w) x 9.27(h) x 0.85(d)|
About the Author
Carroll V. Glines began flying in 1939, joined the Army Air Corps in 1941, and retired from the Air Force as a colonel in 1968. He is currently curator of the Doolittle Military Aviation Library at the University of Texas at Dallas. His previous books include Roscoe Turner: Aviation's Master Showman (1995) and Bernt Balchen: Polar Aviator (1999).
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Foreword Chapter 2 Acknowledgements Chapter 3 Introduction Chapter 4 1. The Challenge Chapter 5 2. The Preparation Chapter 6 3. The Adventure Begins Chapter 7 4. Daring the Aleutians Chapter 8 5. Seattle is Lost Chapter 9 6. First across the Pacific Chapter 10 7. To China and the "Paris of the Orient" Chapter 11 8. On to Calcutta Chapter 12 9. Paris by Bastille Day Chapter 13 10. Preparing for the North Atlantic Chapter 14 11. North America at Last! Chapter 15 12. Mission Accomplished Chapter 16 Epilogue