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Transatlantic flight

From Academic Kids

Transatlantic flight is any flight of an aircraft, whether airplane, balloon or other device, which involves crossing the Atlantic Ocean -- with a starting point in North America or South America and ending in Europe or Africa, or vice versa.

Early notable transatlantic flights

Alcock and Brown's Vickers Vimy takes off from Newfoundland.
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Alcock and Brown's Vickers Vimy takes off from Newfoundland.
  • March 30-June 17, 1922. LCdr. Sacadura Cabral (pilot) and Cdr. Gago Coutinho (navigator) of Portugal, using three Fairey IIID floatplanes ("Lusitania", "Patria Brasileira" and "Santa Cruz") used successively after two ditchings, make first flight across the South Atlantic, using only internal means of navigation (the Coutinho-invented sextant with artificial horizon) from Lisbon, Portugal to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • May 8-9, 1927. Charles Nungesser and François Coli attempted at crossing the Atlantic from Paris to the USA in Levasseur PL-8 "L'Oisseau Blanc" biplane, but were lost. According to some witnesses, they might have crashed already in Maine, USA.
Missing image
Lindbergh.jpg
Lindbergh and Spirit of St. Louis
  • September 1-2, 1930. Dieudonne Costes and Le Brix fly the Breguet 19 Super Bidon biplane "Point d'Interrogation" (Question Mark) in first nonstop westbound flight between European and American mainlands, from over North Atlantic, 6,200 km from Paris to New York City.
  • May 7-8, 1933. Stanislaw Skarzynski makes a solo flight across the South Atlantic, covering 3,582 km (2,238 miles), in a smallest plane that crossed the Atlantic, the RWD-5bis - empty weight below 450 kg (990 lb).
  • July 15-22, 1933. Wiley Post flies Lockheed Vega monoplane Winnie Mae in first around-the-world solo flight, 15,596 miles in 11 stops, in 7 days, 8 hours, 49 minutes; flying time, 115 hours, 36 minutes.

Commercial transatlantic flight

Transatlantic airline travel was pioneered by Pan American World Airways of the United States, Imperial Airways of Britain, and Aeropostale of France, which used flying boats to connect the Americas to Europe via Bermuda and the Azores during the 1930s. After World War II, American and European carriers such as Pan Am, TWA, Trans Canada Airlines, BOAC, and Air France acquired larger piston aircraft based on new bomber designs, which allowed services over the North Atlantic with intermediate stops (usually in Gander, Newfoundland and/or Shannon, Ireland). Jet service began in the late 1950s, and supersonic service (Concorde) was offered from the 1970s through the 1990s. Since the loosening of regulations in the 1970s and 1980s, a large number of airlines now compete in the transatlantic air travel market.

Other early transatlantic flights

Apart from most notable flights described above, many persons attempted to fly across Atlantic, what was quite dangerous in early years of aviation. These include:

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