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Pan Am: Crossing the Pacific

3 x 60 HD
Broadcaster:  PBS

Combining incredible archive and dramatic reconstructions this is the story of one of the great milestones in aviation history: the 1935 crossing of the Pacific Ocean by a Pan American Airways flying boat known as the China Clipper. People everywhere sensed this was a pivotal moment in human history, for if the Pacific could be crossed, there would be no place on earth that could not be reached by airplane. The world would suddenly be smaller.

The Clipper’s maiden voyage was the culmination of eight years of explosive innovation and growth, involving hundreds of men and women, both famous and unknown. Like the NASA engineers and astronauts who would later put a man on the moon in less than a decade, these earlier aviation pioneers built new aircrafts, invented new technologies and overcame innumerable obstacles.

They stood at the water’s edge, poised to vault the 8,700 miles of the mighty Pacific. How did they do it – and how did it change the world?

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