"Vikings down the cracking winds, steering through fog by the polarized light of sun-stones."Sun-stones? There are rocks that are called sun-stones, and you might be able to use them for navigation. Reading about them leads to the solar compass, which leads to flying over the poles (where magnetic compasses are not much help), which leads to the first flight across the Arctic ice cap. And since navigation is complicated and airplanes are thrilling, we'll put aside solar navigation for now and focus on the airplane.
|ANT-25 at Pearson Field|
They built a special runway in Moscow for it. Two and half miles long and sloped, though I can't imagine they could put enough slope in a runway that long to make any difference.
And then they flew it to the United States (see flight path above). They were hoping to make California, but problems with the aircraft led them to say Oregon is far enough. They were going to land at Swan Island but when they flew over they saw a large crowd of people and mindful of what happened to Charles Lindbergh when he landed in Paris*, they opted for the military airfield across the river in Vancouver: Pearson Field.
In 1974 some Russian fishermen paid a visit to Pearson Field. Their hosts were embarrassed enough by the lack of a monument that they had one erected.
"In 1989, Tupolev design bureau built an ANT-25 replica for Monino aviation museum."
Fiddler's Green has a few stories about the ANT-25.
Diesel Punks dot org has a pretty good photo essay.
* "A crowd estimated at 150,000 spectators stormed the field, dragged Lindbergh out of the cockpit, and literally carried him around above their heads for "nearly half an hour". While some damage was done to the Spirit (especially to the fine linen, silver-painted fabric covering on the fuselage) by souvenir hunters, both Lindbergh and the Spirit were eventually "rescued" from the mob by a group of French military fliers, soldiers, and police, who took them both to safety in a nearby hangar." - Wikipedia