Brown was the first to launch a glider off the cliffs at La Jolla and in 1939 set a new world record for altitude, distance, and time aloft by flying his glider, Thunderbird, 263 miles from Texas to Kansas. He received a telegram of congratulations from President Herbert Hoover.
"They all laughed at me at the airport," Woody said. "Yeah, when they asked, 'Well, where ya going? Where's your destination?' I said, 'Oh, Wichita, Kansas.' Three states away! You see, nobody had even gone across one state. All the airplane guys laughed. 'Ho, ho, ho! It takes us all day to go over there. You're going in that?!' But, boy, when I came back, there wasn't a sound. Nobody said anything."