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Aircraft Beacon-26

By coolsen - Posted on 12 January 2018

Check in at this site

  • Site # 33
  • GPS Coordinates: N43.24589 W115.80761
  • Elevation: 3320 feet
  • Benchmark Page: 72
  • Benchmark Coordinates: B3 Idaho
  • Ride Difficulty: 2


In 1923, the United States Congress funded a sequential lighted airway along the transcontinental airmail route.  The lighted airway was proposed by National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), and deployed by the Department of Commerce. It was managed by the Bureau of Standards Aeronautical Branch.  The first segment built was between Chicago and Cheyenne, Wyoming.  It was situated in the middle of the airmail route to enable aircraft to depart from either coast in the daytime, and reach the lighted airway by nightfall.  Lighted emergency airfields were also funded along the route every 15–20 miles.  Construction pace was fast, and pilots wishing to become airmail pilots were first exposed to the harsh wintertime work with the crews building the first segments of the lighting system.  The first nighttime airmail flights started on July 1, 1924.  By eliminating the transfer of mail to rail cars at night, the coast to coast delivery time for airmail was reduced by two business days.  Eventually, there were 284 beacons in service.  With a June 1925 deadline, the 2,665 mile lighted airway was completed from New York to San Francisco.  In 1927, the lighted airway was complete between New York City and Salt Lake City, Los Angeles to Las Vegas, Los Angeles to San Francisco, New York to Atlanta, and Chicago to Dallas, 4121 miles in total.  In 1933, the Transcontinental Airway System totaled 1500 beacons, and 18000 miles.  There are remnants of several such beacons in Idaho similar to this one.


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Check-Ins for this Challenge Point

Hard to tell if I drove through a garbage dump or neighborhood to get here.

Posted by englund on 2018-04-13 13:49

 Interesting history

Posted by sage on 2018-05-07 08:25

This site is not easy to find.  First of all there are no marked roads leading to it (either in the Idaho Benchmark Mapbook or on the Garmin BaseCamp mapping software).  Secondly, you will see this site until you within 10-15 feet of it.  The GPS coordinates are exactly on top of this site, and the rough and rutted two-track road leading to it comes within about 40-50 of this site.  To help others out, I have posted my GPS tracks to this site along with a description of how to get there in the route library at this site.

Posted by coolsen on 2018-06-04 18:26

 This was a fun Easter Egg Hunt.  A dead end road and backtrack. Using dead reconing riding beyond the pavement.  Stumbling through the sagebrush.  Found!  GMOUNTAI

Posted by gmountai on 2018-06-17 18:45

7-7. Needed to use Desert Duck (I think the road was called) to get back there.  Faulkner (that the GPS wanted me to use) was a dead end.

Posted by BoiseMike on 2018-07-19 11:56

 Special Ed at Aircraft Beacon-26

Posted by Special Ed on 2018-07-21 16:04

 Thanks Craig for the gps tracks. Made it much easier to find

Posted by shutterman on 2018-08-25 14:55

 9/15/2018, Really was a little hard to find.

Posted by rwhopp on 2018-09-15 15:34

 Great aviation history.

Posted by AGHill on 2018-11-27 12:59

Hard to find but very cool.

Posted by Trent on 2018-11-28 17:24

oldnut @ #33 aircraft beacon - 26

Guess what I forgot?

Posted by oldnut on 2018-12-06 19:02