John Macready Aviation Pioneer; Author: Sally M. Wallace
A celebration of the first non-stop transcontinental flight and the pioneer who made it happen.
John Macready's record-breaking transcontinental flight -- 2,500 non-stop miles -- in aviation's infancy, will capture the imagination of anyone intrigued by the pioneering spirit.
On May 2, 1923, John Macready and his partner Oakley Kelly skipped off a Long Island runway in their overloaded Fokker T-2 Transport and landed, 27 hours later, in San Diego. Barely clearing the airfield's hangar roofs, the plane's Liberty engine was wide open. The aircraft grudgingly rose by inches.
During the unsophisticated, dangerous flying era of the 1920s, pilots who took to the skies risked their lives to the whims of nature and the temperaments of untested machines. The daring young aviators with the U.S. Army Air Service at Ohio's McCook Field dedicated themselves to taming the wild beast of flight and helped to make air travel the essential part of American life today.
John Macready was the chief test pilot for the Air Service from 1920 to 1926 -- courageous, at a time when no one knew what to expect from the blue beyond. Macready was the first to fly above 35,000 feet -- and in an open-cockpit biplane! He made the first night parachute jump, invented the first aviator glasses, was the world's first crop duster, took the first photos of a solar eclipse, made the first aerial photographic survey of America, conducted the first tests in a pressurized cockpit, and was the first and only person to three times win the Mackay Trophy for outstanding aviation achievement.