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Throwback Thursday: How Pan Am Flight 50 Flew From Pole to Pole

Throwback Thursday: How Pan Am Flight 50 Flew From Pole to Pole
Meg Butler

Just an FYI for travel history enthusiasts, CNN Travel just published an interesting piece on what it was like to fly Pan Am Flight 50, the flight that flew from pole to pole in 1977.

The story of that journey comes from an aviation enthusiast Brian Baum, who saved $2,222 to take the flight on Boeing’s (then) new performance 747 because he knew it was likely to make history and set a speed record for polar circumnavigation.

The flight began in San Francisco, flew over the North Pole, then stopped in London to refuel. After that it went to South Africa, flew over the South Pole and landed in New Zealand before flying back to San Francisco.

The journey took 54 hours, seven minutes and 12 seconds, breaking the record, as Baum had predicted, at an average speed of 487 mph (784 km/hr).

“It was truly an opportunity to do something that really hadn’t been done before,” said Baum, a former public information officer at Seattle’s Museum of Flight. He goes on to share what he packed, what it was like to endure 54 hours in the air on a four-leg journey, his fellow passengers and more details from aviation history.

 

You can read more about the details of this historic flight at CNN Travel.

 

[Image Source: Wikimedia Commons]

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