Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
60 years ago today!
Robert Timm and John Cook took off from McCarran Airfield in Las Vegas, Nevada, in a used Cessna 172, registration number N9172B. Sixty-four days, 22 hours, 19 minutes and 5 seconds later, they landed back at McCarran Airfield on February 4, 1959.

The flight was part of a fund-raising effort for the Damon Runyon Cancer Fund. Food and water were transferred by matching speeds with a chase car on a straight stretch of road in the desert, and hoisting the supplies aboard with a rope and bucket. Fuel was taken on by hoisting a hose from a fuel truck up to the aircraft, filling an auxiliary belly tank installed for the flight, pumping that fuel into the aircraft's regular tanks and then filling the belly tank again. The drivers steered while a second person matched speeds with the aircraft with his foot on the vehicle's accelerator pedal. Engine oil was added by means of a tube from the cabin that was fitted to pass through the firewall.

Only the pilot's seat was installed. The remaining space was used for a pad on which the relief pilot slept. The right cabin door was replaced with an easy-opening, accordion-type door to allow supplies and fuel to be hoisted aboard.

Early in the flight, the engine-driven electric generator failed. A Champion wind-driven generator (turned by a small propeller) was hoisted aboard, taped to the wing support strut, and plugged into the cigarette lighter socket; it served as the aircraft's source of electricity for the rest of the flight.

The pilots decided to end the marathon flight because with 1,558 hours of continuously running the engine during the record-setting flight, plus several hundred hours already on the engine beforehand (considerably in excess of its normal overhaul interval), the engine's power output had deteriorated to the point where they were barely able to climb away after refueling.

The aircraft is on display in the passenger terminal at McCarran International Airport. Photos and details of the record flight can be seen in a small museum on the upper level of the baggage claim area.[13]

After the flight, Cook said: “Next time I feel in the mood to fly endurance, I'm going to lock myself in our garbage can with the vacuum cleaner running. That is, until my psychiatrist opens up for business in the morning.”

Holy Kremoly :shock:
CloudHound wrote:60 years ago today!
The aircraft is on display in the passenger terminal at McCarran International Airport. Photos and details of the record flight can be seen in a small museum on the upper level of the baggage claim area.[13]

Holy Kremoly :shock:

For general information, it's in the domestic terminal, not the International one which we might normally go through.

Prior to this, a Taylorcraft held the endurance record. 344 hours, and this was back in 1939! Endurance flying record, 1939...and the brothers later joined the RAF!

Brothers Hunter and Humphrey Moody beat the world record for endurance flying in a light aircraft — nearly 344 hours — in July and August 1939. The brothers, who lived in Dalton City, set the record flying out of Springfield in their 55-horsepower Taylorcraft, the “Miss Springfield.”

The Moodys left the Springfield airport (the field off Chatham Road later known as Southwest Airport) shortly before 3 p.m. Sunday, July 23, 1939, and were forced down by an electrical storm at 10:46 p.m. Aug. 7.

The Moodys’ main headache apparently was refueling, which they accomplished by flying low and dropping a rope to a truck traveling about the same speed (70 mph). A can of gasoline was attached to the rope and then pulled back up to the plane. The flight required 739 refueling passes.

Meals were made by Hunter’s wife, Dorothy, and hoisted to the plane using the same procedure.

“I could always tell when they were hungry, because they would begin circling their plane near the airport,” she told a celebratory Rotary luncheon following the flight. “You know, just like a flock of buzzards circle around.”

The two took turns sleeping on a six-foot by 18-inch mattress in the rear of the plane. At the end of the flight, their legs weakened by two weeks of no excercise, the Moodys had to be helped off the plane to waiting automobiles.

The Moodys’ closest call occurred during a refueling pass.

The flyers also nearly crashed in a cornfield … when the rubber band holding the parachute to a gasoline container snapped as the can was being hoisted to the plane. The parachute filled immediately, flapped back, and became entangled in the tail elevator. The plane was pulled downward. After battling with the controls, the flyers shook off the rope, can and ‘chute and they dropped into a cornfield.

On July 31, in another refueling mishap, the right door of the cabin was torn out of Humphrey’s hand and bounced back to the wing, tearing two holes in the wing fabric.

Because Springfield was their refueling point, the brothers never strayed from central Illinois. Their itinerary had a schedule, taking the Taylorcraft to Jacksonville by way of New Berlin every day about noon and visiting other area cities — in an area generally bounded by Mason City, Litchfield, Taylorville and Jacksonville — on a semi-regular basis.

Short-wave radio broadcasts from the plane were retransmitted five times a day by WCBS, Springfield’s first radio station. WCBS announcer Harry Bradford was the flyers’ manager.

The brothers became flight instructors as World War II approached, and both later joined the British Royal Air Force. When Richard Nixon first ran for president, the Moody brothers were his campaign pilots.