Flying Carpet: Adventures in a Biplane from Timbuktu to Everest and Beyond (Revised)

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Thirsting for a new adventure and announcing that “an adventure not in the air is obsolete,” Richard Halliburton hired pioneer aviator Moye Stephens in 1931 and fearlessly set out to circle the world in an open cockpit biplane optimistically named The Flying Carpet. For Halliburton, it was the ultimate in romantic, risky exploration and was a means of seeing the world in a way that few had ever seen it before. True to form, his journey was breathtakingly audacious. They performed aerobatics in Fez; landed in mysterious Timbuktu; spent time with the French Foreign Legion in Algeria; and explored Cairo, Damascus, and Petra. In India, they flew over the Taj Mahal–upside down–and, soaring over the Himalayas, Halliburton took the first aerial photograph of Everest. A journey as dazzling as Halliburton himself and, with the world at war less than a decade later, marking the end of an era, the story of The Flying Carpet is as captivating today as it was to the world 80 years ago.

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