July 22

This Day in History

General Interest

Jul 22, 1933:

Wiley Post flies solo around the world

American aviator Wiley Post returns to Floyd Bennett Field in New York, having flown solo around the world in 7 days, 18 hours, and 49 minutes. He was the first aviator to accomplish the feat.

Post, instantly recognizable by the patch he wore over one eye, began the journey on July 15, flying nonstop to Berlin. After a brief rest, he flew on to the Soviet Union, where he made several stops before returning to North America, with stops in Alaska, Canada, and finally a triumphant landing at his starting point in New York.

Two years earlier, Post had won fame when he successfully flew around the northern part of the earth with aviator Harold Gatty. For his solo around-the-world flight in 1933, he flew a slightly greater distance--15,596 miles--in less time. For both flights, he used the Winnie Mae, a Lockheed Vega monoplane that was equipped with a Sperry automatic pilot and a direction radio for Post's solo journey. In August 1935, he was attempting to fly across the North Pole to the USSR with American humorist Will Rogers when both men were killed in a crash near Point Barrow, Alaska.

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