The day the first nonstop flight around the world started – level 3


On February 26, 1949, a special plane with a 14-member crew on board took off from a military base in Texas. Its task was to fly east for the whole flight. The entire mission was secret and it was organized to look like several separate flights.

The first refueling was over the Azores, another over Saudi Arabia, over the Philippines, and over Hawaii. Bad weather over the Philippines caused a tragedy in which one of the refueling planes crashed on its return, and all crew members died. However, the mission continued.

On March 2, 1949, the plane returned to the base in Texas. The first flight around the globe without a stopover was completed. The plane flew almost 38,000 kilometers, and its crew spent 94 hours in the air.

After landing, the true importance of the mission was announced by the US general. He said, “We showed that the Air Force can send its planes from the United States to any place in the world that requires the atomic bomb.”

Difficult words: refueling (filling with fuel before continuing), stopover (a short stop), announce (to say officially), require (to need).

What motivated the US general to announce the importance of the mission after its completion?


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