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John Alcock (aviator)

From Academic Kids

Sir John William Alcock (November 5, 1892-18 December 1919) was, as a Captain in the Royal Air Force together with Lieutenant Arthur Whitten Brown, the pilot of the first successful non-stop transatlantic flight, from St. John's, Newfoundland to Clifden, Connemara, Ireland which took place on 14 June 1919 departing St Johns' at 1.45 p.m. local time, and landing in Derrygimla bog 16 hours and 12 minutes later after flying 1980 miles (3186 km). The flight was made in a modified Vickers Vimy bomber, and won a 10,000 prize offered by London's Daily Mail newspaper for the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic.

Alcock was born in 1892 at Seymour, Old Trafford, England. He first became interested in flying at the age of seventeen. He became an experienced pilot during World War I, though he was shot down during a bombing raid, and taken prisoner in Turkey. After the war, Alcock wanted to continue his flying career and took up the challenge of attempting to be the first to fly directly across the Atlantic.

A few days after the flight both Alcock and Brown were knighted by King George V.

Alcock was present at the Science Museum in London on 15 December 1919 when the recovered Vimy was presented to the nation. Three days later he was flying a new Vickers amphibious plane, the Type 54 Viking, to the first postwar aeronautical exhibition in Paris when he crashed in fog at Cote d'Everard, near Rouen, Normandy stalling such that a wing hit a tree. He died before medical assistance arrived. Sir Ross Smith and J.M.Bennett also died in a stalled Viking amphibian, spinning into a woodland near Brooklands on 13 April 1922.

See also

Alcock and Brownde:John Alcock gl:John Alcock pl:John Alcock

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