Richard Byrd

November is National Aviation History month!

90 years ago on this day in 1929, Richard Byrd and his 3-man crew made the first flight to the South Pole. They had difficulty gaining enough altitude, and had to dump empty gas tanks, as well as their emergency supplies, in order to achieve the altitude of the Polar Plateau, but they were ultimately successful. The flight took 18 hours and 41 minutes roundtrip.

Fun fact: In the early 1920s, NYC wealthy hotelier Raymond Orteig offered $25,000 to anyone who could make the first non-stop transatlantic flight between New York City and Paris. In early 1927, Richard Byrd was the popular favorite in the USA – until Charles Lindbergh showed up, and the rest is history.

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