Featured Map for 1 April 2023:
Wrong Way Corrigan and the Longest Route


In 9 July 1938, Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan flew a cobbled-together 1929 Curtiss Robin on a 27-hour flight from Long Beach to New York's Floyd Bennett Field, receiving national attention not for the transcontinental flight but that he did so in such a sketchy aircraft. He filed plans for a trans-Atlantic flight but authorities rejected them, merely allowing him to return to California. On 17 July 1938, he took off, ostensibly for California, but instead turned east. Over 28 hours later, he landed at Baldonnel Aerodrome near Dublin, Ireland. He claimed that the wrong-way flight was an accident and maintained that story until his death, but given his original intent it was widely believed that he knew exactly what he was doing.

His pilot's certificate was suspended for 14 days, coincidentally the duration of his return to New York (along with his aircraft) aboard the steamship Manhattan.

April Fool's Day seems like a good day to feature "Wrong Way" Corrigan, but it's not a joke that the Great Circle Mapper has long included an Easter Egg (there are quite a few!) in the form of a longest path: like a geodesic path, but going the "wrong way." Ok, not the longest path since a random walk could be infinitely long, but the longest that doesn't involve a turn. That's now available as a new path type, the third new path type to be introduced over the past few weeks (in addition to rhumb lines and Bézier paths)—but not the last that's in the works!

Another new feature is the ability to easily specify arbitrary text to label a location. There have been workarounds to do this but now it's a straightforward feature. For example, the path

SFO="Golden Gate",SFO-ORD
will change the map's label for San Francisco to "Golden Gate." (Adding this feature exposed an obscure zero-day bug in the Great Circle Mapper code, now fixed.)

Today's Featured Map illustrates Douglas Corrigan's flights in green, along with the "wrong way" path from New York to Long Beach in Irish orange. It also uses the new labeling feature for two of the airfields to revert their displayed names to what they were in 1938.

References and additional information:


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