July 22, 1933 – Phillips Petroleum sponsors Solo Flight
Before 50,000 cheering New York City onlookers, famed aviator Wiley Post lands his Lockheed Vega “Winnie Mae” and becomes the first man to fly solo around the world.
Post had developed a close relationship with Frank Phillips, founder of the Phillips Petroleum Company of Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Phillips paid for Post’s high-altitude experimental flights. Five years earlier Phillips had sponsored the winning plane – the Woolaroc – in a dangerous air race from across the Pacific.
Post’s trademark eye-patch resulted from his days working in oilfields near Seminole, Oklahoma. When a metal splinter damaged his eye in 1926, Post used $1,700 in compensation to buy his first airplane – and launch his famed aviation career. Read the rest of this entry »