Round-the-World Flights

First Air Express Round-the-World Shipment

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Kellogg's Corn Flakes Round-The-World Pan Am Boeing 314 Imperial Short Eastern DC-2
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First Air Express Round-the-World Shipment
Three different elements came together in early 1939. 1. Air Express Early aviation promoters were always looking for practical uses for the airplane. One idea was to use them as carriers of freight. The first practical demonstration of air freight occurred in November 1910 when a department store shipped a bolt of silk by air from Dayton to Columbus, Ohio. 2. Kellogg's Corn Flakes Company Will Keith Kellogg invented the first cereal flakes. In 1898 at Battle Creek, MI, they became known as "Kellogg's Corn Flakes." Early on he got ripped off by his competitors. He countered with clever ad blitz's, to become the champion of breakfasts. 3. Howie Wing Radio Program The airplane had greter impact upon our popular culture after the sky battles of WW-I over Europe. The Howie Wing Radio Program was created by Wilfred G. Moore and aired from 1938 to 1939. Wing was a 21-year-old "junior pilot" whose adventures were typical for aviator fiction of the time. He was taught by Captain Harvey, a WW-I ace. Howie's girlfriend was Donna Cavendish. A fellow pilot was Zero Smith, one of the best "tough weather pilots" but cranky, devious, and generally disagreeable, and often suspected of working for the Germans. The villain of the show was Burton York, who posed as an insurance agent to discredit Captain Harvey. Coming Together In 1939 Kellogg's Corn Flakes sponsored the Howie Wing Radio Program. Airlines had bridged both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and the public's interest in aviation was peeking. To stimulate interest in the Howie Wing program, Kellogg's chose to sponsor the First Air Express Round-the-World shipment. They prepared two suitcases. One would be sent by air Round-the-World in an easterly direction and the other to the west. It would be a race to see which suitcase would win its Round-the-World trip. The suitcases would travel on:
Eastern Airlines American Airlines Pan American Airways Air France KLM Airlines Imperial Airways United Airlines Transcontinental & Western Airlines Chicago & Southern Airlines
Schedule: 02/22/39 Suitcases departed Battle Creek, MI 03/06/39 At 11:30 AM the suitcases crossed paths while on KLM planes flying between Calcutta and Allahabad, India. 03/18/39 West suitcase arrived back to Battle Creek, MI 03/22/39 East suitcase arrived back to Battle Creek, MI Results:
Winner: West Suitcase went Round-the-World in 25 Days Loser: East Suitcase went Round-the-World in 29 Days
Details: Each Suitcase made approximately 75 different stops while traveling 31,188 miles Round-the-World.

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