A Navigational Landmark

 

Today in History, June 29: 1927 – Five weeks after Charles Lindbergh’s much more famous flight, Army Air Corps Lieutenants Lester Maitland and Albert Hegenberger completed the first trans-Pacific flight from San Francisco to Hawaii. They traveled over 2400 miles over ocean, using instruments to find their way to an island, as opposed to Lindbergh’s 3600 miles to find a continent. They used a Fokker Tri-Motor for their 25+ hour flight so that they would still have power if they lost an engine. The two men had spent the previous decade developing the navigation technology for the flight and repeatedly lobbying their superiors for the opportunity to test it. Both would continue to be heroes in WWII.