The record setting Betty Jo at 71

Here we see P-82B (F-82B) Twin Mustang # 44-65168 “Betty Jo” during a test flight.

This plane, powered by a pair of Rolls Royce Merlin engines, made history when she flew nonstop from Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii to La Guardia Airport in New York over the course of Feb. 27-28, 1947, without refueling, an amazing distance of 5,051 miles in 14 hr 32 min.

Betty, named for command pilot, Colonel Robert E. Thacker‘s wife, averaged 347.5 miles per hour. The aircraft carried a full internal fuel tank of 576 US gallons, augmented by four 310 US gallon tanks for a total of 1,816 US gallons. Also, Col. Thacker neglected to drop three of his external tanks when their fuel was expended, which would have reduced drag and made the flight shorter/faster.

Still, the feat remains the longest nonstop flight ever made by a propeller-driven fighter, and the fastest such a distance has ever been covered in a piston-engined aircraft.

Betty-Jo came to the Air Force museum in 1957 and is currently on display.

As for Thacker, he flew in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, earning two Silver Stars, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, 10 Air Medals and the French Croix de Guerre with Palm as well as induction into the Academy of Model Aeronautics Hall of Fame.

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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