On October 8, 1919, the first transcontinental air race in the United States begins, with 63 planes competing in the round-trip aerial derby between California and New York. As 15 planes departed the Presidio in San Francisco, California, 48 planes left Roosevelt Field on Long Island, New York.

Lieutenant Belvin Maynard, flying a Havilland-4 with a Liberty motor, won the 5,400-mile race across the continent and back.

 

Lieutenant Belvin W. Maynard

Lieutenant Belvin W. Maynard

Maynard reached the Presidio in just over three days, rested and serviced his plane for another three days, and then returned to Roosevelt Field in just under four days.

October 1919. "Transcontinental air race, Roosevelt Field, New York. Col. A. Miller, Lt. E.C. Kiel, Sgt. F.K. McKee." Bain News Service.

October 1919. “Transcontinental air race, Roosevelt Field, New York. Col. A. Miller, Lt. E.C. Kiel, Sgt. F.K. McKee.” Bain News Service.

Maynard won for the lowest total elapsed time, but in actual flight time–24 hours, 59 minutes, and 49 seconds–three others accomplished the round-trip journey faster.

maynard

Belvin Wooten Maynard, at center, with his dog “Trixie,” and his mechanic William Kline. Belvin Maynard was a pilot for whom the first airfield in the Winston-Salem area was named in 1919.

To read biographic information about Belvin W. Maynard, click HERE

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One response

  1. Birgit says:

    here we think it takes long if it is 4 hours! Amazing feat when we think of it and how little time has elapsed from when this happened to now-look at all the progress

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