The first transcontinental flight in the United States, a Wright Model EX piloted by Calbraith Perry Rodgers, landed in Maricopa on Nov. 1, 1911. After spending the night while the mechanic made repairs, Rodgers flew into Phoenix for a short exhibition. Cal Rodgers’ main mechanic, Charlie Taylor, was mechanic for the Wright Brothers and followed Rodgers across the country by train to make frequent repairs. In those days, flyers used the rail lines as an “iron compass.” Taking 49 days – only 82 hours and 4 minutes if which was flight time – Rodgers completed the first transcontinental flight from New York to Pasadena, California, on Nov. 5, 1911, and then flew on to Long Beach to deliver the mail, for a total distance of approximately 4,321 miles.
Photo courtesy of Maricopa Historical Society
This item appeared in the July issue of InMaricopa.