The Great Transatlantic Race.....Lindbergh Was Not The First - August 30, 2019

France’s Lindbergh – August 23, 2019
August 25, 2019
Opa Locka/ALaska Sky Trucks – September 6, 2019
September 6, 2019
Show all

The Great Transatlantic Race…..Lindbergh Was Not The First – August 30, 2019

RN3DB

August 30, 2019

Good Morning, One of the most interesting time periods in aviation was the “Great Race” to be the first to fly the North Atlantic. I recently visited the “Royal Aeronautical Society” website and was very impressed with the content and the completeness of the articles. Take some time to click on the link below after the introduction and see for yourself. Enjoy…..

The Great Transatlantic Race

On 15 June 1919 a telegram arrived at the Royal Aero Club with the message: ‘Landed Clifden, Ireland, at 8.40 am Greenwich mean time, June 15, Vickers Vimy Atlantic machine leaving Newfoundland coast 4.28 pm GMT, June 14, Total time 16 hours 12 minutes. Instructions awaited.’ The message was from pilots John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown announcing to the world that, for the first time, an aircraft had flown non-stop across the Atlantic. The epic flight of Alcock and Brown in their converted Vickers Vimy bomber is now an established date of history but at the time their success was by no means expected. An examination of the newspaper archives kept at the RAeS National Aerospace Library showed that Alcock and Brown were not the initial favourites to win the transatlantic race, nor were they the only fliers to cross the Atlantic in 1919. Nor was this the only epic long-distance flight to be made that year by a Vickers Vimy. The story behind the race began on 1 April 1913 where Lord Northcliffe, owner of the Daily Mail newspaper, offered a prize of £10,000 for the first non-stop flight over the Atlantic by a heavier-than-air aircraft. The advent of WW1 the following year put any attempt at competing for the prize on hold but, with the conclusion of the Great War in November 1918, Lord Northcliffe repeated his Daily Mail challenge. The epic flight of Alcock and Brown in their converted Vickers Vimy bomber is now an established date of history but at the time their success was by no means expected. An examination of the newspaper archives kept at the RAeS National Aerospace Library showed that Alcock and Brown were not the initial favourites to win the transatlantic race, nor were they the only fliers to cross the Atlantic in 1919. Nor was this the only epic long-distance flight to be made that year by a Vickers Vimy. The story behind the race began on 1 April 1913 where Lord Northcliffe, owner of the Daily Mail newspaper, offered a prize of £10,000 for the first non-stop flight over the Atlantic by a heavier-than-air aircraft. The advent of WW1 the following year put any attempt at competing for the prize on hold but, with the conclusion of the Great War in November 1918, Lord Northcliffe repeated his Daily Mail challenge. To be eligible for the prize, competitors would have to comply with three basic conditions: (i) The flight had to be between any point in Great Britain and any point in Canada, Newfoundland or the United States (ii) The flight had to be non-stop. (iii) The flight had to be completed within 72 hours. As the world enjoyed its first year of peace in 1919, the aviation press turned its attention away from conflict and towards the peacetime potential of aviation. While the idea of flying the Atlantic in a fixed-wing aircraft had seemed like an impossible dream in 1913, aircraft technology and design had now made considerable progress and the accomplishment of such a long-distance flight now seemed to be within reach. Wartime aircraft manufacturers were keen to enter teams to prove the adaptability of their machines to peacetime applications. The first entry to the competition was made in November 1918 by Cpt Arthur Payne and Austin Hurson with a four-engine Whitehead biplane who planned to fly east-west from Feltham to Newfoundland with a stop at Galway. As the early months of 1919 progressed, there was increasing coverage in the press of the forthcoming race and the pilots and aircraft that would be competing. Among the entries reported were a ‘large seaplane’ to be flown from Newark, NJ by Swedish airman Cp Hugo Sundstedt, a Martinsyde Raynor, a Handley Page, an Italian Caproni and an entry by the US Navy using Curtiss flying boats.

Read More

Have a good weekend/Labor Day and check back next week when we will talk about….. Robert Novell August 30, 2019