John Glenn became a national hero by setting a new transcontinental airspeed record on July 16, 1957…sixty-four years ago this week. Major Glenn flew an F8U-1P Crusader (BuNo 144608) from NAS Los Alamitos, California nonstop to NAS Floyd Bennett Field, New York, at a record speed of 725.55 mph. The flight was named “Project Bullet” because Glenn was traveling faster than a round from a .45-caliber pistol. The flight lasted just three hours, 23 minutes, and 8.4 seconds, beating the previous record-holder (an F-100F Super Sabre) by 15 minutes.
Although Glenn’s accomplishments as a Marine aviator, astronaut and senator are well documented, little is known about the subsequent history of the Crusader flown on that record-setting flight in 1957.
In today’s podcast we explore the rest of the Crusader’s story.
Photo Credit ANTHONY CAMERANO