1932: Amelia Earhart Flies Nonstop Across U.S.

Posted on Thu, August 25 2016
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Today in 1932, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the U.S. nonstop. Earhart  piloted her Lockheed Vega 5B from Los Angeles to Newark in a record 19 hours and 5 minutes. The 3,986-kilometer (2,477-mile) flight set an official U.S record for women’s distance and time.

Lockheed 5B Vega in Pioneers of Flight

Earhart's Lockheed 5B Vega. Image: Dan Patterson, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

Interior view of the Lockheed Vega.

The cockpit of Amelia Earhart's Lockheed 5B Vega. Image: Eric Long and Mark Avino, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

Earhart’s average speed for this record-breaking flight was 206.42 kilometers per hour (128.27 miles per hour), and she flew most of the way at an altitude of 3,048 meters (10,000 feet). Less than a year later, Earhart would set a new transcontinental speed record, making the same flight in a record 17 hours and 7 minutes.