RON DUPAS COLLECTION
No. 13078. Lockheed 26-49 P2V-1 Neptune (89082 c/n 26-1003) US Navy "The Turtle"
Aeroplane Photo Supply (APS) Photo No. 3442

Lockheed 26-49 P2V-1 Neptune

03/15/2017. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "Even before entering squadron service, the Neptune had captured the attention of the public as the Navy used the specially-modified first production P2V-1 (BuNo. 89082) to shatter the 7,916 mls (12,739 km) world's distance in a straight line record which had been set in November 1945 by a modified, Bell-built, Boeing B-29B of the USAAF with a flight from Guam to Washington, D.C.

The special Neptune carried the name The Turtle but is better remembered by its Navy nickname Truculent Turtle. Positioning the aircraft at Perth, Western Australia, the Navy planned to fly it nonstop to Washington, D.C., a distance of 11,570 miles (18,620 km).

With a crew of four (Cdrs Thomas Davies, Eugene Rankin and Walter Reid, and Lt-Cdr Roy Tabeling), and 8,592 gal (32,534 l) of fuel, and carrying a pet kangaroo as mascot, The Turtle weighed 85,240 lb (38,664 kg) when, on September 29, 1946, it lifted off after a 4,720 ft (1,439 m) run boosted by four 1,000 lb (454 kg) RATO (Rocket Assisted Take-Off) bottles. Flying eastward to take advantage of prevailing tailwinds in the southern hemisphere when the aircraft was still heavy with fuel but encountering rain, sleet and ice during some of the flight, The Turtle and its crew were forced to land at NAS Columbus, Ohio (now John Glenn Columbus International Airport), on October 1, short of its intended destination.

None-the-less, a new absolute world record of 11,235.63 miles (18,081.99 km) in 55 hr 17 min had been established in the FAI Class C, Group 1 (Aeroplanes with piston engines). The record for piston engined aircraft stood for over forty years until Burt Rutan and Jeana Yeager circumnavigated the globe in the Voyager, covering 24,986.67 mls (40,212.14 km) in nine days in December 1986.

The Turtle was preserved for eventual display by the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., but in 1977 it was shipped to the National Naval Aviation Museum at Pensacola, Florida. Originally on loan, The Turtle was formally transferred in 1992."

Created March 15, 2017