1932: Amelia Earhart Flies Nonstop Across U.S.

Posted on Thu, August 25, 2016

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

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.