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Other forgotten trans-Atlantic flights ....

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Other forgotten trans-Atlantic flights ....

Old 7th May 2019, 12:55
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Other forgotten trans-Atlantic flights ....

Most Americans know that Charles Lindbergh was the first man to fly across the Atlantic. Ask them about Alcock and Brown and you just get a "Huh?" Of course Lindbergh got a lot of publicity by flying New York City - Paris, plus he was an American so that the American press made quite the hero of him.

Going the other way, East-to-West, there was the home team in the Junkers W33 Bremen. The team consisted of a sickly in body but strong in mind aristocrat, Ehrenfried Günther Freiherr von Hünefeld, a stolid professional aviator from Luft Hansa, Captain Hermann Köhl, and an Irishman with a British accent, Captain James Fitzmaurice.

Fitzmaurice was the commandant of the Baldonnel Military Airfield, Baldonnel, Irish Free State, when that was chosen as the starting point for the flight. He is also given in various accounts as the navigator, when they went wildly off course, finally landing on a frozen pond on Greenly Island, Canada instead of in New York as planned. So there is that .... Anyway, that mismatched trio did succeed in making the first East-to-West crossing of the Atlantic on 13 April 1928.

Günther von Hünefeld died less than a year later from cancer, aged 36 years.

Captain Köhl lost his position with Luft Hansa and retired to do farming in Bavaria, near Ulm, dying in 1938, aged 50 years.

Captain Fitzmaurice had a long and varied life, finally dying in ill health in Dublin, aged 67 years.

The Bremen is the property of the Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, Michigan, but it can be viewed, fully restored, at Bremen Airport, Bremen, Germany, along with a collection of memorabilia.

Another flight that has been largely forgotten was made by an FW-200 Kondor, the Brandenburg, between Berlin and New York City, in August of 1938. It was built near Bremen so that there is a plaque commemorating the flight on the Böttcherstraße in Bremen.

Given the political situation in Germany in 1938, making a direct flight from Berlin might have been seen as more of a threat than anything else.
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Old 7th May 2019, 13:27
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Originally Posted by chuks View Post
Another flight that has been largely forgotten was made by an FW-200 Kondor, the Brandenburg, between Berlin and New York City, in August of 1938. It was built near Bremen so that there is a plaque commemorating the flight on the Böttcherstraße in Bremen.

Given the political situation in Germany in 1938, making a direct flight from Berlin might have been seen as more of a threat than anything else.
I figure they went to New York to get some take out from a nice Jewish Deli. The idea was to return with an ample supply of corned beef on rye, etc given how few good Jewish delis one could find in Berlin in 1938. ..
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Old 7th May 2019, 14:33
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Beryl Markham, took off from Abingdon on 4 September 1936, 20 hours later landed at Beleine Cove in Nova Scotia.
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Old 7th May 2019, 14:35
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Douglas Corrigan? Transatlantic crossing July 1938.
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Old 7th May 2019, 14:46
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Originally Posted by chuks View Post
Most Americans know that Charles Lindbergh was the first man to fly across the Atlantic. Ask them about Alcock and Brown and you just get a "Huh?" Of course Lindbergh got a lot of publicity by flying New York City - Paris, plus he was an American so that the American press made quite the hero of him.
You left out a key word. Solo. A major factor in a flight of over 33 hours.

Personally, I've always preferred the Marx Bros' trip:


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Old 7th May 2019, 15:34
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There's another odd chapter to flying the Atlantic, when the Germans used catapult-launched floatplanes to carry mail from two passenger liners from Bremerhaven to New York City. They would launch once they were in range of New York City, when the liners, the Bremen and the Europa, would then recover the aircraft on arrival.

They had a tragic accident when a pilot landed by mistake on a mudflat after an engine failure, taking it for a body of water, when he had a fatal crash. Soon afterwards they suspended this service. It had run from mid-1929 until 1935.

Ernest K. Gann wrote about flying in the Americas in the pre-war period, when the US government was trying to stymie German efforts to set up air links there. They put in a lot of effort trying to establish a presence, and we put in just as much effort trying to keep them out.
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Old 7th May 2019, 16:42
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I have an old copy of Riley's "Believe it or not", riginally my grandfather's, undated but probably mid 1930's. Ripley states "Lindbergh was the 67th man to fly the Atlantic" He lists Alcock and Brown (1919), the R34, crew of 31 (1919), and the GermanZR 3 , crew of 33 (1924). Since the R34 made the return flight, Perhaps Lindbergh should be listed as the 98th.
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Old 7th May 2019, 17:08
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1930: East-West trans-Atlantic crossing completed by Charles Kingsford Smith, Co-Pilot Evert van Dyk, Navigator Captain J.P. Saul and Wireless Operator John Stannage in the Fokker F.VIIb/3m "Southern Cross".
1932: First solo East-West TA, James Mollison in the "Hearts Content", a de Havilland DH.80A Puss Moth

Both started from the strand/beach at Portmarnock in north Co.Dublin (by coincidence, as it turns out, now almost directly under the approach to EIDW 28). There's an annual commeration in Portmarnock to mark the Southern Cross flight.

Historic Irish Aviation ? NPI Digital

JAS
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Old 8th May 2019, 01:57
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Thor Solberg, first successful solo flight from the United States of America to Norway in 1935
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Old 8th May 2019, 03:14
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A quick fact check: Solberg's flight was not solo and it was not non-stop. (I asked a Swedish friend about this and he told me that Solberg made a couple of stops en route just to ask directions, but he might have been joking about that; Norwegians are often the butt of Swedish humor.)

Aviation made such rapid advances that Howard Hughes did his record around-the-world flight in mid-1938 wearing a suit and tie, showing that modern aircraft of the time had advanced far past the pioneering flights made not long before.

If you go to the Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. you can view the Vin Fiz Flyer, the first aircraft to make a coast-to-coast flight across the United States. Its pilot, Calbraith Perry Rodgers, crashed 16 times en route, even sending himself to hospital for one visit of three weeks. Not much of the original aircraft that had departed Brooklyn was left by the time it reached Long Beach. That was in 1919. Thirty years later such a trip had become routine, albeit not in a Wright biplane!

I've looked at the Bremen several times while waiting for a flight out of the eponymous airport. It's a crude old thing, so that one could just imagine the nerve it took to cram it full of fuel and set course for New York City.
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Old 8th May 2019, 07:08
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But if we start dragging out that bag of cats then you'd also have to ask what Francis Chichester got his gong for?
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Old 8th May 2019, 08:26
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Nowadays you really have to stretch it to get noticed. There was that part tragic, part farcical affair of the seven year-old girl who was supposedly going to be the youngest person ever to fly across the States in both directions. Her father set the whole thing up and the press got hold of it, even though it was complete nonsense. The father pushed for a departure in bad weather at a high elevation (Cheyenne, Wyoming: six thousand feet) with the airplane a bit over gross, to meet some press obligation or other. The CFI, flying from the right seat, lost control and crashed, killing all aboard. After that, legislation was passed to prevent anyone else trying such a stunt, mainly by requiring anyone to have a Student Pilot license at the minimum, meaning to be at least 17 years old.

I watched a guy in an ultra-light with a Rogallo wing trying to depart Grand Strand in a stiff crosswind on his way to Kitty Hawk to honor the Wright brothers, or so he said. There's probably no way to cross-control a weight-shift ultralight well in much of a crosswind, so that both tries saw him go steaming off into the weeds, engine buzzing frantically. That was ... interesting. He had got his picture in the paper already, and I guess he finally made it.

We had that first non-stop, non-refueled flight around the world by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager in Voyager, which was fascinating, but the next one, the solo flight by Steve Fosset, did not draw so much interest, probably in part because his aircraft was so much more advanced. Two machines, both built by Burt Rutan about 20 years apart, when the second one was a generation past the first one.
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Old 8th May 2019, 08:44
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Reading the Wiki account of Alcock and Brown's flight reveals how much it depended on chance - from their acquaintance with Vickers (who were planning a flight but had no pilot) to their hurried departure ahead of Handley Page, their loss of electrical power and communication, their flight through fog, altitude variations and dead reckoning/chance of direction - there were so many possible disasters which could have terminated their attempt and success.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transa...cock_and_Brown
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Old 9th May 2019, 04:40
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Back in the '80s some folks sent an RC aircraft from Newfoundland to Ireland. The Irish crew eventually picked up the signal and guided it to a landing.
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Old 9th May 2019, 09:25
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There's another odd chapter to flying the Atlantic, when the Germans used catapult-launched floatplanes to carry mail from two passenger liners from Bremerhaven to New York City. They would launch once they were in range of New York City, when the liners, the Bremen and the Europa, would then recover the aircraft on arrival.
then there was the Short-Mayo Composite.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_Mayo_Composite

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Old 9th May 2019, 13:30
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Originally Posted by RatherBeFlying View Post
Back in the '80s some folks sent an RC aircraft from Newfoundland to Ireland. The Irish crew eventually picked up the signal and guided it to a landing.
That RC model is now in the AMA museum in Muncie, Indiana. It flew autonomously after RC contact was lost on departure from Newfoundland until, as RBF says, the RC signal was picked up in Ireland. It landed close to the Alcock & Brown landing site. Like other transatlantic attempts, several attempts failed before the successful one.

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Old 9th May 2019, 17:27
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For anyone who is interested Clifden where the Vimy came down is commemorating the event.

https://alcockandbrown100.com

The Alcock and Brown statue currently at Heathrow is being moved for the event. There's talk of a re-enactment but it's not clear if that means crashing a large biplane into the bog.

Is there anything happening in the UK?
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Old 9th May 2019, 18:59
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https://www.brooklandsmuseum.com/abo...oklands-museum
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Old 9th May 2019, 19:05
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Old 9th May 2019, 19:53
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We had that first non-stop, non-refueled flight around the world by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager
Pedantic I know, but - Yuri Gagarin
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