This Day in Aviation History
July 1st, 1935
Fred and Al Key of “The Flying Keys” land after being aloft for 653 hours and 34 minutes.
On June 4, 1935, The Flying Keys, as the brothers later became known, lifted off in a borrowed Curtiss Robin monoplane named Ole Miss from Meridian, Mississippi’s airport. For the next twenty-seven days, they flew over the Meridian vicinity. Several times each day, the crew of a similar plane would lower food and supplies to the brothers on the end of a rope, as well as supply fuel via a long flexible tube. They landed on July 1 after traveling an estimated 52,320 miles and used more than 6,000 gallons of gasoline.
Their non-stop endurance flight lasted 653 hours, 34 minutes.
The Ole Miss is permanently displayed in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C..
After this historic flight, Meridian’s public airport was renamed Key Field in the brothers’ honor.
According to Owen, the brothers’ flight boosted confidence in aviation nationally. People figured if the Key brothers made their flight safely in such a small plane, then the big commercial airplanes were definitely safe….
Wikipedia, The Flying Keys:
YouTube, The Flying Keys: Pilot Fred and Al Key fly aircraft for 653 hours consecutively:
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