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New Transcontinental Speed Record Set By Two Army Planes, Timed Exclusively By Longines

From The American Horologist magazine, July, 1944

New Transcontinental Speed Record Set By Two Army Planes, Timed Exclusively By Longines

Colonel Clair Peterson, the personal Pilot of Lt. General "Hap" Arnold, piloted a P-51 North American Mustang fighter plane, fully equipped as if ready to go into battle with the Packard Rolls Royce 1520 h.p. Merlin Motor, arrived at LaGuardia Field 6 hours, 31 minutes and 30 seconds, after leaving Los Angeles, California, on May 12, 1944.

The official time as taken from a Longines stop watch which passed timing tests according to the rules and regulations of the Federation Aeronautique 'Internationale according to the Neuchatel Observatory Bulletin was 3:32 p. m. Eastern War Time, and exactly seven minutes later Lt. Colonel Jack Carter arrived in the same type plane, after making a non-stop flight.

Colonel Peterson spent six minutes and 25 seconds refueling in Kansas City and by having a lighter weight carrying plane actually made the record seven minutes faster than Lt.

Colonel Carter, who lost five minutes circling over the Los Angeles airport to check his retracted landing gear.

It took almost seven years to beat the record established by Howard Hughes in 1937, when he flew from Burbank, California, to Newark in 7 hours and 28 minutes, averaging 327.1 miles an hour. The epochal flight of Howard Hughes was also officially timed in 1937 with Longines watches, which are the only watches available in this country with the proper Certificate of the Federation Aeronautique Internationale Bulletin, issued by the Neuchatell Swiss Observatory.

John P. V. Heinmuller, President of the Longines- Wittnauer Watch Co., Inc., is also Chief Timer for the National Aeronautical Association. He was assisted in officially timing this flight by Fred Wilkinson, who acted as Timer for the National Aeronautical Association.

Following the last war Mr. Heinmuller helped organize the Timing Contest Board of the National Aeronautical Association, in harmony with chronometric specifications of the Federation Aeronautique Internationale and became Chief Timer of this organization, the position he still holds today. Among the outstanding flights he timed with Longines watches were those of every major wor1cl record established in the last fifteen years. Mr. Heinmuller's new book "Man's Fight to Fly" with the chronological history of aviation has just been published by Funk and Wagnalls. It is heralded as the most outstanding aviation book published thus far. These one motored fast pursuit planes called "MustangP-51" will no doubt in the near future fly directly to Europe. The plane has a wing span of 37 feet and a four blade propeller. It can travel 30,000 feet high at which approximate altitude the Transcontinental flight was made.


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