The controversial 1937 Tupolev ANT-25 flight distance record

When the Soviet Union, with the Tupolev ANT-25, set a new world distance record in 1937, The Aeroplane’s editor C. G. Grey felt the whole thing was a fix, said so in print, and nearly caused an international incident. The record stood — but was he right?

In July 1937 a single-engined monoplane, its unusually long and slender wings shining bright red in the California sun, touched down in a pasture a little outside San Jacinto, 62 hours 17 minutes after taking off from Moscow. The three men who emerged from the Tupolev ANT-25 were soon overwhelmed by the joyous reception they received. Hundreds of journalists jostled for a word and a photograph. They were feted on a tour of the United States and invited to meet President Roosevelt. Understandably so, for they had smashed the existing world distance record, on only the second intercontinental flight across the North Pole. It showed the still-young USSR in a new light, and promised to smooth the way for a better relationship with western nations.

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Enjoy the following subscriber only benefits:

  • Unlimited access to all KeyAero content
  • Exclusive in-depth articles and analysis, videos, quizzes added daily
  • A fully searchable archive – boasting hundreds of thousands of pieces of quality aviation content
  • Access to read all our leading aviation magazines online - meaning you can enjoy the likes of FlyPast, Aeroplane Monthly, AirForces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, Aviation News, Airports of the World, PC Pilot and Airliner World - as soon as they leave the editor’s desk.
  • Access on any device- anywhere, anytime
  • Choose from our offers below