A specially-equipped U.S. Army C-54 “Skymaster” airplane, commanded by one Colonel Gillespie, flew using autopilot control from Newfoundland, Canada to Oxfordshire, England on this date in 1947, some 66 years ago. Carrying 14 passengers (a crew of nine, and five observers), the C-54 made the crossing without any of the controls being touched. It followed a home station frequency in England for the entire trip, and landed with full automation (including deployment of its landing gear), making the 2400-mile trip in ten hours and 15 minutes.

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