Picture Archive: Lindbergh and Byrd, 1920s
Admiral Byrd had a history of being second in flight.
Orville and Wilbur aren't the first aviators to have their claims of primacy tussled with.
Here, Byrd's team fuels up the monoplane in a photo from "The First Flight to the North Pole," published in the September 1926 issue of National Geographic. According to the caption, "The main gasoline supply for the trip was contained in the tanks built inside the single wing of the plane. The motors of Commander Byrd's plane were air-cooled, thus materially lessening the weight and relieving the explorer of any anxiety as to the freezing of water in the radiators."
The feat stood unquestioned for 70 years, until Byrd's diary from the flight was discovered in 1996. Expert analysis of the journal's calculations