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Flashback Friday: Amelia Earhart Completes Coast-to-Coast Flight

Adam Snider
August 24, 2018

A crowd gathers around Amelia Earhart and her Vega airplane at Newark Municipal Airport on August 25, 1932
(Photo by the AP)

Tomorrow will be the 86th anniversary of Amelia Earhart landing her Lockheed Vega 5B aircraft at Newark Municipal Airport, making her the first woman to pilot a solo, nonstop flight across the continental United States.

Earhart left Los Angeles Municipal Airport shortly after 7:30 p.m. local time on August 24, 1932, and landed in Newark around 11:30 a.m. the morning of August 25. She completed the nearly 2,500-mile journey in 19 hours and five minutes. That’s an average speed over just over 128 miles per hour. Less than two years later, Earhart would break her own record by nearly two hours.

Before the flight, Earhart had predicted her arrival time – and it turned out she was off by only 10 minutes. “It’s a funny thing,” Earhart said after landing in Newark, “but I estimated on my maps that it would take me nineteen hours and fifteen minutes. I was almost correct.”

Earhart’s Vega aircraft – which she called her “Little Red Bus” – was the same plane she had used three months earlier to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. The plane she used for these historic flights is currently displayed at the Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum.

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