The first ever nonstop, around-the-world trip by an airplane took place on February 1949. This remarkable journey was done by a United States Air Force Boeing B-50 Superfortress named Lucky Lady II. Assisted by in-flight refueling, this flight lasted 94 hours and 1 minute, covering 23,452 miles, averaging a ground speed of 249 miles per hour. The Lucky Lady II departed Fort Worth, Texas, on Feb. 26 with the aiming to make the first nonstop transglobal flight. The airplane was an updated version of the B-29 that had fought in World War II and was close to being obsolete by 1949.
Lucky Lady II crew members are greeted
by Air Secretary Stuart Symington and General Hoyt Vandenberg
The Lucky Lady II was attended by a total crew of 14 under the command of Capt. James Gallagher. They were rotating in shifts of four to six hours.
The flight started its mission at 12:21 p.m. on February 26, 1949, heading east toward the Atlantic Ocean. The plane was equipped with 12.50-caliber (12.7mm) machine guns. An addition fuel tank was added in the bomb bay for extra range.
After flying 23,452 mi (37,742 km), the aircraft passed the control tower back at Carswell on March 2 at 10:22 a.m., marking the end of the circumnavigation, and landed there at 10:31 a.m. after having been in the air for 94 hours and one minute, landing two minutes before the estimated time of arrival calculated at take-off.