Plans Non-Stop World Flight (Mar, 1936)

How is it “non-stop” if he has five “refueling contacts”? I’m guessing they didn’t refuel in midair…

The first airborne circumnavigation without refueling didn’t happen until the Rutan Voyager in 1986.

Plans Non-Stop World Flight

A GIANT airplane that may make a nonstop trip around the world and large enough to carry 14 passengers has been built recently for Clyde Pangborn, noted aviator. The fuselage is so designed that its lifting ability is developed to the utmost, being actually part of the wing. Power is supplied by two Pratt and Whitney “hornet” engines.

In this plane Clyde Pangborn, famous aviator, hopes to make a non-stop trip around the world making five refueling contacts in various parts of the world. The plane’s fuselage is so constructed that it is part of the wing surface.

  1. Toronto says: November 13, 20127:52 am

    I’m guessing the aircraft is the Burnelli 1935 UB-14.

    Pangborn was an interesting person, and not entirely insane (or sane for that matter.) He did cross the Pacific non-stop, but kept running into problems in various countries due to lack of documentation. On the Pacific flight, he cut the landing gear off after take-off to reduce drag, and eventually belly-landed it safely.

  2. Mike Brown says: November 14, 20126:36 am

    > I’m guessing they didn’t refuel in midair…

    I don’t see any reason why he couldn’t have planned on doing just that. The first experiments in mid-air refueling were done in 1923, more than ten years before this article, and by 1935, the year before, an airplane stayed in the air for 27 days through mid-air refueling.

    I’m not saying he could have actually accomplished the task – it would have been quite a feat to arrange for the five refueling craft around the world (as opposed to orbiting around an airport, as the record flights had done) – but it wouldn’t have been technologically impossible in 1936.

  3. Toronto says: November 14, 201211:23 am

    This guy didn’t even have visa for several of the countries he landed in, and seemed to approach planning in a rather loose manner in that era. (He later, er, straightened out and flew right, as my dad would say.)

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