The first non-stop flight from America to Europe was accomplished in 1919 by the Vickers “Vimy” Bomber, a bi-motored Rolls-Royce airplane, piloted by Captain John Alcock and navigated by Lieut. Arthur W. Brown.
[ad#ad-1]The trip started at St. Johns, Newfoundland, at 12.13 P.M., New York time, on Saturday, June 14, 1919 and 16 hours and 12 minutes later a landing was made at Clifton, Galway, Ireland, at 4.40 A.M., New York time. The 1960 miles of the Atlantic Ocean were thus navigated at an average speed of 120 miles per hour. The trip was accomplished through fog and mist, but the engines functioned consistently, and the most important mishap was the failure of the radio instruments so that no connection was had with the outside world during the 16 hours of the trip. Captain Alcock and Lieutenant Brown were awarded the Daily Mail $50,000 prize for making the first non-stop flight between Europe and America, and their conclusion, as expressed by Captain Alcock, was “that the Atlantic flight is practicable, but I think it should be done not with an airplane or seaplane but with flying boats. We had plenty of reserve fuel left, using only two-thirds of our supply.”
Captain Alcock had been for many years interested in aviation and aeronautics, starting his experiments with gliders, and in 1911 began to fly. In 1913 he won the first race in which he ever entered, and shortly thereafter took second place in the London to Manchester and return competition. He was the first man to bomb Constantinople, and it was on his return from his second bombing expedition over the Turkish capital that his engine failed, and forced to descend he was captured by the Turks.
Top Speed: 120 m.p.h.
Engine: two 375 h.p. Rolls-Royce inline
Wingspan: 67 feet 2 inches
Weight: 10,884 lb.
Armament: 2 machine guns; 2,476 lb (1,123 kg) of bombs
The Vickers “Vimy” plane was twin engined and had a 67 feet 2 inch wing spread, being 42 feet 8 inches in length with a gap of 10 feet and a chord of 10 feet 6 inches. It was of the bombing plane type and was transformed for peace work by replacing the fighting equipment with gasoline tanks with a total capacity of 870 gallons. The two Rolls-Royce Eagle 375 horse power engines were mounted between the upper und lower planes on either side of the fuselage, driving two 4-bladed propellers. Hollow seamless steel tubing extending from the nose to well behind the planes was used in the construction, and a tank system of eight separate containers from which fuel could be consumed simultaneously at the same rate were important characteristics. A gravity tank at the top of the fuselage was arranged to be emptied first so that it could serve as a life raft any time after the first two hours of the flight.
This 1900 mile flight established a new world record, breaking that of Captain Boehm in a Mercedes driven Albatross plane which flew for 25 hours and 1 minute and covered 1350 miles.
[ad#ad-1]ENGLAND TO AUSTRALIA FLIGHT
The prize of Â