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Douglas World Cruiser "Chicago"

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This object is on display in the Barron Hilton Pioneers of Flight Gallery exhibition at the National Mall building.


With the successful crossings of the Atlantic in 1919 by the U.S. Navy's NC-4 and Alcock and Brown in a Vickers Vimy, circumnavigation of the globe by airplane was a natural next challenge. In July 1923, U.S. Army Air Service disclosed that it intended to attempt a global flight the following year. Four specially built aircraft were commissioned from the Douglas Aircraft Company. The World Cruisers, as they were called, were christened the Seattle, the Chicago, the Boston, and the New Orleans.

Only the New Orleans and the Chicago completed the arduous 44,085 km (27,553 mi) flight. It took 175 days, with a flying time of 371 hours 11 minutes. Throughout the journey the crews prevailed against an endless series of forced landings, repairs, bad weather, and other mishaps that continually threatened the success of the flight. A monumental logistical accomplishment, it was an important step toward world-wide air transport.

Transferred from the U.S. War Department

Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft Company

Date: 1924

Country of Origin: United States of America

Dimensions: Wingspan: 15.4 m (50 ft 6 in)
Length: 11.2 m (35 ft 9 in)
Height: 4.2 m (13 ft 9 in)
Weight: 1,991 kg (4,380 lb) with wheels,
2,355 kg (5,180 lb) with pontoons

Materials: Wings: Sitka Spruce, Cotton Covering Fuselage: Steel Tube, Sitka Spruce, Cotton Covering Empennage: Sitka Spruce, Cotton Covering Cowling: Aluminum

Physical Description:Engine: Liberty V-12 (423-hp) Propeller: Martin Bomber propeller No. X-47315 Manufacturer: McCook Field (from Jeremy kinney) Markings: Plane M.B.2-N.B.S.1, Standing RPM 1415, Part No. 047315, A.S. No. 24-62, Insp. No. 03454 (From a/c propeller) Separate single blade not associated with original receipt of aircraft, 62 7/8" (L), 11.5in., 11.25" (W) hub diameter, 7in. (H)

Inventory number: A19250008000

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