Last of Their Kind

Airplanes without equal at the National Air and Space Museum

(Library of Congress)

Douglas World Cruiser Chicago

(Eric Long)

In 1924, the U.S. Army Air Service ordered one prototype and five two-place biplanes from Douglas Aircraft, four of which left Seattle on April 6 on a round-the-world flight. Lost in fog, the Seattle crashed in Alaska; its crew survived with minor injuries. The Boston lost oil pressure and ditched in the north Atlantic; the prototype aircraft joined the flight as the Boston II. The flight of three returned to Seattle on September 28, the Chicago and the New Orleans having flown 27,553 miles in 175 days. Transferred from the War Department in December 1925. Restored: 1975. One of two survivors; the New Orleans was at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force from 1957 to 2005, then returned to the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. The wreckage of the Seattle is at the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum in Anchorage.


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