Anyone whining about modern air travel needs to take some time and ponder its magnificence. Yes the seats suck, TSA is Kubuki Theater, and all the other Super Duper annoying first world problems.

To fly at all is a miracle...

So why bring this up? Well the four pilots, and Joey the baby kangaroo, flew for fifty two hours and over eleven thousand miles... in 1946!

Seriously Silly

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The purpose of the flight was to answer the USAAF’s recent seven thousand mile record, flown in a Boeing B-29 Superfortess.

Starting before the WWII was over and rapidly spiraling into an angry, aggressive all out fight between the nascent Air Force, still part of the army until 1947, over post war funding.

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The USN rightly felt that their performance in the war, especially in the pacific, had shown the need for a powerful navy.

The Turtle was stripped of everything possible for its long range flight

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Normally Carrying 2,350 gallons of AVGAS the Turtle had tanks added in the wings, bomb bays, tip tanks which were dropped, and others... All adding up to 8,450 gallons... more than three times normal for the P2V-1. Later Neptunes used some of these tanks for extended range.
In beautiful restored color as the Naval Avaition Museum

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Red Line is a warning stripe to stay away from the propellers. Later Neptunes had a different nose, additional jet engines, a magnetic anomaly detector or MAD boom, and anti submarine radar.
The navy’s first plane that could deliver the early, and gigantic, nuclear weapons... it did this in a most interesting way...

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Under construction
The Turtle artwork is a modern replica of the original paint job.... this in an era where planes had names and mascots

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Over time the clean lines would give way to numerous appendages and add-ons

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Love the truck... this original nose design is very similar to existing Lockheed bombers of the WWII era
Lockheed would be the premier anti submarine and ocean patrol builder for the USN until the recent acquisition of the Boeing 737 based P-8A Poseidon... rumor has it Boeing had to sweet talk Lockheed into allowing a Ocean God name...

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P2V-7... this is the ultimate result of the design evolution. Note the jet engine in a pod under the wing... these were added for takeoff and sprint speed over the target area. They had lovered doors that closed when not in use to reduce drag.
The four pilots, normal crew was eight, who flew the rocked flight.

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Great Cirlce map of the flight... the path was as straight as the weather allowed... the curves are minimized here as they are projected on a ‚Äúglobe‚ÄĚ shaped map.

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Radar antennas
Engine nacelle has a white stripe where the piston engines oil would collect... this allowed visual confirmation of combustion products.

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Jet engine add on for later Neptunes

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