This Day in History: 1946-09-29

A highly modified Lockheed Neptune P2V-1, the “Truculent Turtle”, set a world record in September 1946 when it flew 18,081km (11,325mi) non-stop and unrefuelled from Perth, Western Australia to Columbus, Ohio, in 55 hours and 17 minutes, a record that remained until 1962 when it was broken by a Boeing B-52H Stratofortress. The US Navy aircraft departed Perth on 29 September 1946. The intended destination of the flight was Washington, DC, however the aircraft encountered winds and heavy weather over the Pacific Ocean and rain, sleet, and snow over the Rocky Mountains, consuming more fuel than anticipated, and the aircraft made an early landing at Naval Air Station (NAS) Columbus, Ohio. An unusual passenger carried by the “Turtle” was a 9 month old Grey Kangaroo, destined for an American zoo. After the flight, the aircraft was used for JATO trials. Source: National Naval Aviation Museum (Pensacola USA) website;