The historic first flight around the world in 1924

Just over 96 years ago, in September of 1924, U.S. Army Air Service pilots completed the first flight around the world. They traveled nearly 28,000 miles in 175 days.

Lieutenants Lowell Smith, Leslie Arnold, Erik Nelson, and John Harding Jr. began their journey in four “Douglas World Cruisers” from Seattle, Washington. By the end, they made 74 stops in nearly every continent while crossing both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

The planes, built by The Douglas Aircraft Company, were specifically developed for the “World Flight” initiative, a program created to showcase the aerospace industry in America and foster international relations with foreign countries.

These planes not only performed well, they made history. The World Flight initiative paved the way for future aerospace innovation in the United States.

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