Piper PA-12 (Super Cruiser) Around the World Flight Photo Album Evans and Truman

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This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

From August 9 to December 10, 1947, Clifford Evans and George Truman circled the globe in their Piper Super Cruisers, the first time light personal aircraft accomplished such a feat. Evans flew the City of Washington while Truman flew the City of The Angels. Neither Evans nor Truman was wealthy, so they had to convince Piper, Lycoming, and other manufacturers to donate the necessary equipment. Finally, they were able to arrange for two fully equipped, secondhand Piper Super Cruisers to be furnished for the trip. These planes were modified by the addition of a metal, rather than wood, fixed-pitch propeller, extra instruments, sophisticated radio and navigation equipment, and two extra 50-gallon fuel tanks for a total supply of 138 gallons to allow for 26 hours of endurance. They also carried survival equipment. Evans built a drift meter to help with navigation for both aircraft as well. The two planes were christened on July 25, 1947 at Washington National Airport with water flown in from both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and their flight officially began when they left from Teterboro, New Jersey on August 9, 1947. The flight took just over four months and encompassed 22,436 miles. Weather was the biggest problem, confining them to the ground for many days. However, when they arrived back at back at Teterboro Airport on December 10, 1947, the only mishap was a damaged tail wheel on one of the landings. During their final stretch across the United States, the "Modern Magellans," as they were billed, were celebrated with dinners and receptions and were greeted by President Harry Truman in Washington, DC.