FLIER SPANS U.S.
Sets Record for Light Planes
A new non-stop distance records for light planes was set yesterday afternoon when John M. (Johnny) Jones, 25-year old Van-Nuys (Calif.) flier, landed at Roosevelt Field, L. I., after spanning the continent from West to East in a craft with a lower horsepo wer rating, and operating cost per mile than that, of popular-priced automobiles.
Exactly 30 hours and 37 minutes after taking off from Los Angeles, Jones put his stock model Aeronca, powered by a fifty-horsepower Continental engine, down at the Long Island field. The entire cost of the 2,785-mile trip was estimated at $30.91. The former United States record for light planes was held by Robert E. Bryant, who flew 1,014 miles in a non-stop, flight from Miami to Camden, NJ, last July 31.
Jones, who is part owner of an airplane agency on the West coast and formerly was a vaudeville dancer, appeared to be stiff and tired when he climbed from the small plane at, the Long Island field.
"It's the gas tanks," he explained. "The regular tank in this plane holds only twelve gallons of gas, but on a long trip like this I figured I'd need about 130 or 140 gallons, so I had an eighty-five gallon tank built alongside my seat and a forty-nine gallon tank in the compartment for baggage. They cramped me a little, I'm afraid.
At the Hotel McAlpin, from the suite formerly occupied by Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd and Douglas Corrigan, Jones immediately put in a phone call to his mother, Mrs. Bertha C. Jones of Van Nuys.
As he washed and shaved and later ate a dish of hot soup, he chatted with fliers, aviation enthusiasts and newspapermen. Of medium height, slender and soft spoken, the young Californian seems to have a great deal more poise and self-assurance than the, average pilot.
"All in all it was a pleasant trip," he said. The weather was fine almost all the way in. I had 146 gallons of gas aboard at the take- off, which made the plane weigh 1,900 pounds. You can see what an overload I had when you realize that the plane weighs about 650 pounds empty.
"I used about 123 gallons of gas and less than a quart of oil, on the trip, and when I landed I bad enough fuel for about four more hours."
The four-cylinder, fifty-horse power engine burns about 3.5 gallons of gas an hour while cruising at 91 miles an hour.
Jones explained that he had bucked head winds from Los Angeles to El Paso, then had experienced almost calm weather from there to Cincinnati and from that point to New York had a slight tail wind. His route was from Los Angeles to Yuma to Tucson to El Paso to Fort Worth to Nashville to Cincinnati to Pittsburgh to New York.
"I cruised at about ninety-one miles an hour at an average altitude of 5,000 feet," he said. "I had to go to 7,000 feet about eighty miles east of El Paso to get over the mountains, but that was the highest point of the whole trip. Really it was an uneventful trip. Everything worked out perfectly"
The only food aboard the tiny plane was a quart of milk, a quart of water, a pound of dates and about a dozen bars of candy. Only part of the food was eaten.
Source: New York Times Dec 2, 1938
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