Transcontinental flight

A transcontinental flight commonly refers to a non-stop passenger flight between an airport in the West Coast of the United States and an airport in the East Coast of the United States.


The first transcontinental flight across the United States was made by Calbraith Perry Rodgers in an attempt to win the Hearst prize offered by publisher William Randolph Hearst. Hearst offered a $US 50,000 prize to the first aviator to fly coast to coast, in either direction, in less than 30 days from start to finish. Previous attempts by James J. Ward and Henry Atwood had been unsuccessful.

Rodgers persuaded J. Ogden Armour, of Armour and Company, to sponsor the flight, and in return he named the plane after Armour's grape soft drink "Vin Fiz". Rodgers left from Sheepshead Bay, New York, on September 17, 1911, at 4:30 pm, carrying the first transcontinental mail pouch. He crossed the Rocky Mountains on November 5, 1911, and landed at Tournament Park in Pasadena, California, at 4:04 pm, in front of a crowd of 20,000 people. He had missed the prize deadline by 19 days. He was accompanied on the ground by a support crew that repaired and rebuilt the plane after each crash landing. The trip required 70 stops.

On December 10, 1911, he flew to Long Beach, California, and symbolically taxied his plane into the Pacific Ocean.


See also


  1. "Flier, Seeking to Reach San Francisco, Lands at Calicoon Late in the Afternoon". New York Times. September 15, 1911. Retrieved 2010-11-25. James J. Ward, who left New York for San Francisco Wednesday, flying for the W.R. Hearst $50,000 prize for a transcontinental flight, reached Callicoon, N.Y., a few miles from here, at 4:35 o'clock this afternoon. He covered 59 1–10 miles in 57 minutes, having left Middletown, N.Y., at 3:38 o'clock.
  2. "C. P. Rodgers' Aero Plunges into Surf at Long Beach. Hundreds See Tragedy. Hero of First Transcontinental Flight Victim of His Own Daring. When Lifted From Wrecked Machine His Neck Is Found to Be Broken. Birdman's Home in Havre de Grace, Maryland. Cousin of Lieut. Rodgers in Navy's Aerial Corps. Victim Author of Theory of 'Etherial Asphyxia.'". Washington Post. April 4, 1912. Long Beach, California, April 3, 1912. Calbraith P. Rodgers, the first man to cross the American continent in an aeroplane, was killed here almost instantly late today, when his biplane, in which he had been soaring over the ocean, fell from a height of 200 feet and buried him in the wreck. His neck was broken and his body mangled by the engine of his machine.
  3. Pattillo, Donald M. (February 28, 2001). Pushing the Envelope: The American Aircraft Industry. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press. p. 14. ISBN 9780472086719. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  4. "Fokker T-2". Collections. National Air and Space Museum. Archived from the original on March 11, 2016. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
  5. Meister, Richard L., Jr. (2000). "The Flight of the Spokane Sun-God". Aerofiles. Archived from the original on March 12, 2016. Retrieved 2016-03-12.
  6. "Glider is Towed by Plane Across the Nation". Popular Mechanics. 1930. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
  7. Merritt, Larry (2003). "From mail-sack seats to sleeping berths and above-cloud routes". Boeing Frontiers. Boeing. Archived from the original on March 12, 2016. Retrieved 2016-03-12.
  8. Proctor, Jon; Machat, Mike; Kodera, Craig (2010). "The Jet Age Begins, Or Does It? (1949–1952)". From Props to Jets: Commercial Aviation's Transition to the Jet Age 1952–1962. North Branch, Minnesota: Specialty Press. p. 26. ISBN 978-1580071994. Retrieved 2016-03-12.
  9. "Biography of John H. Glenn". History. NASA. November 12, 2008. Archived from the original on March 12, 2016. Retrieved 2016-03-12.
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