North American P-51C "Excalibur III"

View of the propellers and engine of a plane.

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On May 29, 1951, Capt. Charles F. Blair flew Excalibur III from Norway across the North Pole to Alaska in a record-setting 10½ hours. Using a system of carefully plotted "sun lines" he developed, Blair was able to navigate with precision where conventional magnetic compasses often failed. Four months earlier, he had flown Excalibur III from New York to London in less than 8 hours, breaking the existing mark by over an hour. Highlighted in this image are the propellers of the North American P-51C.

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