June 29 This day during American History

June 29, 1927 – The Bird of Paradise, a U.S. Army Air Corps Fokker tri-motor, completes the first transpacific flight, from the mainland United States to Hawaii. The Bird of Paradise was a military airplane used by the United States Army Air Corps in 1927 to experiment with the use of radio beacon aids in air navigation. On June 28–29, 1927, the Bird of Paradise, crewed by 1st Lt. Lester J. Maitland and 1st Lt. Albert F. Hegenberger, completed the first transpacific flight, from California to Hawaii, a feat for which the crew received the Mackay Trophy. The Bird of Paradise was one of three Atlantic-Fokker C-2 trimotor transport planes developed for the Air Corps from the civilian Fokker F.VIIa/3m airliner design. Its two-ton carrying capacity gave it the ability to carry sufficient fuel for the 2,500-mile flight, and its three motors provided an acceptable safety factor in the event one failed. Moreover, although modified for the long distance flight, the C-2 was a widely used standard design, demonstrating the practicality of flying long distances. 

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