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Human flight, history (1919-1938)

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Milestones in early flight came thick and fast between the years 1919 to 1938. In the early decades of the twentieth century the world of aviation was a flamboyant pursuit as well as a dynamic growth industry yet in its early stages. The exploits of the courageous flyers dazzled the world. We have lost today the inclination to feel that ‘gee whiz’ admiration and gob-smacked awe that the general public once lavished on aviators and aviation milestones.

1919 - 1922

Crossing the Atlantic Ocean by airplane was a first major ‘race’ of world aviation. In 1913, the English newspaper Daily Mail offered a £10,000 prize to the first pilots to fly non-stop across the Atlantic. However, the First World War put on hold any attempts.

1919 was the pivotal year, bringing first failure and then success. Courageous pioneers would dare to fly into the unknown for the sheer exhilaration of it, because it was there to be done—as a problem to be solved, an obstacle to overcome, an adventure to be had.

In May-June 1919, the Americans accomplished the first transatlantic crossing in an airplane. Three Curtis NC4 flying boats (“Nancies”) took off from Newfoundland on May 16. The planes prevailed upon a series of American naval ships positioned at fifty mile intervals, as well as the Azores in the south Atlantic, as stepping stones. Fifteen days later, after a couple of mishaps downed two of the three, the last of the open-cockpit flying boats, nicknamed the Lame Duck, captained by Lt. Commander A. C. Read, landed in Plymouth, England. Its flying time was 53 hours and 58 minutes.

One month later, on 14-15 June 1919, the first direct non-stop transatlantic flight was accomplished by a pair of British officers in the Royal Flying Corps, Captain John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Whitten Brown, both veterans of the First World War. Using an open-cockpit Vickers-Vimy IV biplane with two 350-horsepower engines, they took off from the side of a hill near St. Johns, Newfoundland and landed in a bog in Clifden, Ireland. As reported in large type on the front page of the New York Times: ALCOCK AND BROWN FLY ACROSS ATLANTIC; MAKE 1,980 MILES IN 16 HOURS, 12 MINUTES; SOMETIMES UPSIDE DOWN IN DENSE, ICY FOG. This first ‘one-hop water jump’ won Alcock and Whitten the £10,000 Daily Mail prize, as well as knighthoods by King George V. Today, a monument to Alcock and Whitten stands at London Heathrow Airport.

Back on land, Alcock recalled, "We scarcely saw the sun, or the moon, or the stars. For hours we saw none of them. The fog was very dense, and at times we had to descend to within 300 feet of the sea. For four hours the machine was covered in a sheet of ice, caused by frozen sleet; at another time the sleet was so dense that my speed indicator did not work."[1]

The plane’s log, kept by Brown, included this atmospheric description: "An aura of unreality seemed to surround us as we flew onward towards the dawn and Ireland. The fantastic surroundings impinged on my alert consciousness as something extravagantly abnormal—the distorted ball of a moon, the eerie half-light, the monstrous cloud shapes, the fog below and around us, the misty indefiniteness of space, the changeless drone, drone, drone of the engines."[2]

In July 1919, a British airship, the R34, having a cruising speed of only 45 miles an hour, crossed the Atlantic from Scotland to New York State in 108 hours and 12 minutes. Three days later R34 embarked on a return flight, reaching Norfolk, England in 75 hours and 3 minutes.

In November-December 1919, Englishman Ross Smith and crew carried out the first flight from London to Australia in a Vickers Vimy, covering 11,000 miles in 27 days and 20 hours.

1919 had occasioned a succession of courageous aviation firsts. The 1920s would show no slowdown of aerial activity in international skies. In fact, public enthusiasm for airflight grew in intensity through the decade, finally reaching a fever pitch in 1927. The excitement over airflight remained high into and through the 1930s. Air pilots were the new cowboys, the new explorers, the new adventurers. There was a fairytale romanticism as well as a profound social significance to the airplane in international flight. As the far flung points of the earth were being joined by airplanes in flight, the world was ‘getting smaller’ and the peoples of the various nations were ‘coming closer together’. Air flight was an emblem and agent of the future. An airplane was a bold and flamboyant symbol of progress and human potential, promising an intricate modernity of consummate technical expertise. Man, with courage and cleverness, might conquer the elements and, echoing author William Faulkner, not only endure, but prevail.

1923 - 1926

On 2-3 May 1923, two American Army Air Service lieutenants, Oakley Kelly and John A. Macready, flew the first non-stop American transcontinental flight in a Fokker T-2 monoplane outfitted with nothing more than a magnetic compass as sole navigational aid, from Roosevelt Field, Long Island to San Diego, California, covering 2,520 miles in 26 hours and 50 minutes.[3]

It is worthwhile quoting from an American mail pilot of the 1920s: "Above the haze layer with the sun behind you or sinking ahead, alone in an open cockpit, there is nothing and everything to see. The upper surface of the haze stretches on like an endless desert, featureless and flat, and empty to the horizon. It seems your world alone. Threading one’s way through the great piles of summer cumulus that hang over the plains, the patches of ground that show far below are for earthbound folk, and the cloud shapes are sculpted just for you. . . . It was so alive and rich a life that any other conceivable choice seemed dull, prosaic and humdrum.”[4]

The race was on to be the first to fly around the world. On 6 April 1924, four U.S. Military Douglas World Cruisers biplanes (each powered by one 420-h.p. Liberty engine) with eight American crewmen took off from Seattle, Washington, heading west on the first around-the-world flight. Once again, the U.S. Navy mobilized its forces, positioning its fleet of warships—carrying upwards of 30 spare airplane engines—in strategic locations around the world. Two dozen nations along the flight path had agreed to provide top-up fuel and oil for the planes. Two of the planes (Chicago and New Orleans) made it back to Seattle 26,345 miles and 175 days later. Total flight time was 371 hours and 11 minutes.

Later in 1924, the German airship LZ126 flew from Friedrichshafen, Germany to Lakehurst, New Jersey via the Azores in three and a half days.

In 1925-26, the Englishman Alan Cobham in a D.H. 50 piloted the first London to Cairo flight; Cobham subsequently became the first Briton to fly to India, Australia, and South America.

There were a series of airplane crashes—French, American, and English—in the Atlantic Ocean in 1926 and early 1927. At this time, eager pilots were chasing a $25,000 prize, sponsored by a French hotelier named Raymond Orteig, to be the first to fly non-stop between Paris and New York City.

1927

On 20-21 May 1927, the first solo non-stop transatlantic flight was flown by an unknown mail pilot named Charles Lindbergh. Nicknamed at first the “flying fool”, the soft-spoken Lindbergh took off in his custom-built, single-engine Ryan monoplane Spirit of St. Louis from Roosevelt Field in Long Island, New York, and landed at Le Bourget Airport in Paris 3,610 miles and thirty-three and a half hours later, thereby winning the Frenchman’s $25,000 prize. Between 1919 and 1926 there had been more than ten flights made successfully across the Atlantic by airplane and airship, but Lindbergh was the first to fly it alone, and he became the most famous pilot of them all. No longer the flying fool, now he was dubbed the “Lone Eagle”.

On 4-5 June 1927, just a couple of weeks after Lindbergh’s triumph, American pilot Clarence Chamberlin and his sponsor Charles Levine flew nonstop in a Bellanca, Miss Columbia, for 3,905 miles from New York to Eisleben, Germany. Newspapers were giddy with excitement for aviators and their achievements, as record-breaking flights promised “great circulation-building possibilities.”[5] Newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, after Lindbergh gave him the cold shoulder, offered Chamberlin and Levine $100,000 to capture the first east-to-west transatlantic crossing record, but for one reason or another they turned him down. Later in June, three Italians sponsored by their government flew from Newfoundland to Lisbon via the Azores in a Savoia-Marchetti flying boat. Late in June, four Americans, led by Admiral Richard E. Byrd, attempted to emulate Lindbergh’s flight path in a Fokker christened America and came up just short: 42 hours in, they landed in the water just off the coast of France. In August, the Pride of Detroit, a Stinson piloted by Americans Shlee and Brock, flew from Newfoundland to London; thence by a series of stages onward to Tokyo.

June 1927 had been a busy month for world aviation. On 28-29 June, two American Army Lieutenants, A. F. Hegenberger and Lester Maitland, flew a Fokker C-2 from Oakland, California to Honolulu, Hawaii, in 25 hours and 49 minutes. Two weeks later, two American pilots, Emory Bronte and Ernie Smith, flying in the Travel Air Cabin Spirit of Oakland, also flew from California to Hawaii.

1928 - 1929

April 1928 saw the first east-to-west transatlantic crossing, when a German-Irish crew flew a Junkers W-33L from Dublin to Labrador in thirty-six and a half hours. In May-June of that same year, an Australian-American crew, commanded by Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith, completed the first United States to Australia flight, hopping from Oakland, California to Hawaii to Fiji to Brisbane in a Fokker F-7. Also in 1928 two Italian pilots in a Savoia flying boat flew non-stop for 4,500 miles from Rome to Brazil.

As for the transatlantic crossing, in the twelve months following Lindbergh’s triumph there had been some successes but even more failures. No less than fourteen attempts to cross the Atlantic by pilots of various nationalities failed in one way or another, some tragically. At this time the airplanes still used only the most rudimentary of cockpit instrumentation. In the air over the Atlantic, which was so often wholly obscured by cloud, it was dangerously easy for a pilot to get disoriented and lost. There were to be many difficult and mishap-prone endeavors. The Atlantic Ocean became a graveyard of downed planes as well as sunken ships.[6]

(Incidentally, America’s first in-flight motion picture (a comedy short and newsreel) was shown aboard a Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT) passenger plane over Ohio in the Summer of 1929. In 1930, TAT would merge with three other airlines to become TWA.)[7]

On 1 August 1929, the German Graf Zeppelin embarked from Friedrichshaften on an around-the-world-flight. It was a magnificent silver ship gliding through the sky, 775 feet long, 100 feet high, and 100 feet in diameter. Its interior carried 20 passengers in comfortable private compartments, a crew of 43, as well as thousands of pieces of mail. The hydrogen-filled zeppelin, powered by five 570-h.p. motors running on gasoline, proceeded on its journey via a series of four “legs”: Friedrichshafen to Lakehurst, New Jersey (4391 miles); Lakehurst to Los Angeles (2996 miles); Los Angeles to Tokyo (5998 miles); Tokyo to Friedrichshafen (6988 miles). The navigator, computing direction of in-flight winds via calculations taken from three different drift readings, used celestial, dead reckoning and map reading navigation. Weather forecasts were radioed in by stations en route. The around-the-world flight covered 20,373 miles and was completed in 21 days 5 hours and 54 minutes. The next year, the Graf Zeppelin made another famous flight, the Europa-Pan American Round Trip. In a grand publicity move, the Graf Zeppelin would fly around-the-world from Lakehurst to Lakehurst. The 1930 around-the-world flight of the Graf Zeppelin was one of the notable events of the American year.

Air travel would not only be a pursuit for the courageous and the adventuresome; it was establishing itself as a commercial business enterprise in many countries through the 1920s. (See U.S. commercial aviation history to 1966.) Air mail services as well as (still very small) passenger planes were in the air. For example, Germany’s Lufthansa was flying to South America; Great Britain’s Empire Airways was flying to India; and France’s Compagnie Aéropostale (later Air France) was flying to North Africa. A nation’s airline industry became an advertisement for that nation on the world’s stage. In the belief that a well-run national airline brought prestige to its country of origin, many countries (such as France, Italy, Germany, and later Great Britain) took to subsidizing their airlines. In the 1930s, the various airborne countries of the world would have to agree to establish international committees and associations to regulate the myriad details of the airborne traffic which was beginning to crowd international skies. In terms of aviation activity and aviation milestones, the 1930s would be just as eventful as the twenties. As an art, technology, and industry, the world of aviation would continue to grow in complexity unabated over the next decade.

1930 - 1937

Flying across the Atlantic in airplanes became a craze throughout the 1930s. The endeavor became a nationalist enterprise, with planes named, among others, American Legion, Lithuania, Faith in Australia, Bremen, City of Warsaw, and Justice for Hungary. If between 1927 and 1930 there were more failures than successes in transatlantic crossings, after 1930, there would be more successes than failures.

The 1930s would be an exciting and playful time for aviation; it was the golden age of air meets and international air races. Such annual competitions included the Men’s Air Derby Race from Los Angeles to Chicago; the Shell Speed Race; the MacRobertson Race, a London to Melbourne contest; the Golden Gate Trophy Race, and the All-American Air Meets. Prestigious annual aviation awards in America included the Bendix Air Race Trophy (to the winner of the Los Angeles to Cleveland competition), the Thompson Trophy (to the winner of the 100-mile, closed-course, high-speed, low-altitude “Free-for-All” race around a series of pylons, held at the Cleveland National Air Races), the Cliff Henderson Trophy (for America’s best speed pilot of the year), and the Harmon Trophy (for America’s best over-all pilot of the year).

On 5 May 1930, Amy Johnson, a Yorkshire (UK) girl of 26 who had received her pilot’s license in 1929, set off from Croydon in a single-engine de Havilland Gypsy Moth biplane named Jason on her quest to become the first woman to fly solo from Britain to Australia. 11,000 miles later, she landed in Darwin on May 24, and promptly became a world celebrity.

The second successful east-west transatlantic crossing came in June 1930, when Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith and his crew flew in a Fokker trimotor against the prevailing headwinds from Ireland to Newfoundland. German pilots in German aircraft would go on to fly successful east-west flights in 1930, 1931, 1932 and so on.

Pilots were not only chasing new benchmarks for established records. The 1930s would occasion a new series of aviation firsts. The technology of aircraft design would progress by leaps and bounds through the decade, in part through the influence of Howard Hughes, the multimillionaire aviator who would fly in two of the most advanced aircraft of the 1930s, his H-1 racer and the refitted Model 14 Super Electra in which he successfully circumnavigated the world.

On 2-3 September 1930, two French pilots, Costes and Bellonte, flew the first non-stop Paris to New York flight in a Breguet biplane, in 41 hours and 13 minutes.

In 1931 airplanes began to be fitted with ‘blind flying instruments’—Sperry gyros and artificial horizons. American Wiley Post and his navigator, Australian Harold Gatty, used the latest in-flight technology in the Lockheed Vega 5-C Winnie Mae which barnstormed them around the world in 8 days and 16 hours, making 14 stops along the way and in the process making mincemeat of the Graf Zeppelin’s record.[8]

On 4-5 October 1931, two Americans, Hugh Herndon and Clyde Pangborn, accomplished the first non-stop transpacific flight, flying from Japan to Washington State, in a Bellanca CH-400, the Miss Veedol. This was the final leg of their own around-the-round flight that had commenced on July 28.

For five years many pilots had attempted to emulate Lindbergh’s 1927 solo achievement but all failed until the American Amelia Earhart flew from Newfoundland to Ireland in a Lockheed Vega 5B, making 2,026 miles in fifteen hours on 20-21 May 1932—the five-year anniversary of Lindbergh’s famous flight.

In August 1932, Glaswegian Jim Mollison, who just one year earlier made a solo Britain to South Africa flight, flew a de Havilland Puss Moth monoplane The Heart’s Content from Portmarnock Beach, Ireland to New Brunswick, Canada, setting the first westbound transatlantic solo flight milestone.

Also in August 1932, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly the U.S. transcontinental route solo, flying from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey, in her Lockheed Vega, covering 2,448 miles in 19 hours and 15 minutes.


In July 1933, Amy Johnson flew with her husband Jim Mollison across the Atlantic in the DH-84 Dragon Seafarer from Pendine Sands, Wales to New York. Thirteen months later the pair flew in the DH-88 Black Magic from Great Britain to Karachi, Pakistan.

On 15-22 July 1933, the one-eyed Wiley Post flew his single-engine Winnie Mae in the first around the world solo flight, flying from Floyd Bennett field in New York City and back with eleven stops in between, making 15,596 miles in 7 days, 18 hours, and 49 minutes. His plane featured state-of-the-art instrumentation such as an auto-pilot, gyroscope, and radio direction finder, all made by the Sperry Gyroscope Company. At the time, Howard Hughes described Post’s achievement as “the most remarkable flight in history.”[9]

On 5 September 1934, Wiley Post in his Winnie Mae flew the first flight up into the substratosphere. He developed (with the B.F. Goodrich Company) an early version of a full pressure suit, with which he flew up to 40,000 feet above Chicago.[10] Then, in March 1935, Post flew from Burbank CA to Cleveland OH, using the jet stream in the substratosphere, making the journey in 7 hours and 19 minutes. Though his plane’s engines had a maximum speed of 170 mph, at times his ground speed exceeded 340 mph.

By 1935, the American continent was well used to airplanes: 18,000 miles of airway across America were lighted for night flying. 1,500 illuminated beacons were in place some twenty miles apart from the east coast to the west coast. 68 communications stations were maintained to distribute navigation and weather information to airborne pilots via two-ray radio.

On 13 January 1936, Howard Hughes, master of the technically state-of-the-art, achieved the American transcontinental flight speed record, flying a Hughes-Aircraft-modified Northrop Gamma from Burbank, CA to Newark, NJ in 9 hours, 27 minutes and 10 seconds.

On 16 April 1935, the Sikorsky Pan-American Clipper flew from San Francisco to Hawaii in 18 hours, ushering in the age of the flying boats. Later in the year, in November, the Pan American Martin-130 China Clipper (at the time, the largest U.S. airplane) flew from San Francisco to Hawaii and then on to the Philippines and back in 13 days, by hopping from Honolulu to Midway to Wake Island to Guam to Manila. The feat brought its Pan Am pilot, Ed Musick, great fame and pride of place on the cover of Time magazine on December 2. (Two years later Musick flew from California to New Zealand in the China Clipper, to great acclaim.)

On 15 August 1935, Wiley Post and passenger Will Rogers, the humorist and honorary mayor of Beverly Hills, were killed when their Lockheed Orion-Explorer Aurora Borealis crashed into a lagoon near Point Barrow, Alaska, while attempting an around-the-world flight, what would have been Post’s third.

Beryl Markham became the first woman to fly the east-to-west transatlantic route solo in September 1936 in a Vega Gull, the Messenger.

On 19 January 1937, Howard Hughes in his reconstructed H-1 Racer, the Silver Bullet, outfitted with a myriad of the very latest in navigational aids and cockpit instruments, broke his own his American transcontinental record, clocking in at 7 hours, 28 minutes, 25 seconds.

On 6 May 1937, German zeppelin Hindenburg, 803.8 feet long and 135.1 feet in diameter, the largest airship of them all, and veteran of twenty-one previous Atlantic crossings, caught fire at 300 feet and crashed thirty seconds later into the ground as it was arriving at Lakehurst, New Jersey, at 7:35 p.m. Thirty-five persons on board were killed. Many of the 61 survivors were badly burnt. Apparently the stretched-fabric skin of the Hindenburg caught fire due to a static discharge caused by the five thin layers of aluminium powder-filled paint varnish that coated the exterior of the airship. The surface skin burned away entirely within a minute; the grand piano from the clubroom, the ornate furnishings of the private cabins and asbestos-lined smoking room, the tail fins with their huge swastikas, and the diesel fuel for the four Mercedes-Benz engines, took longer to burn. The Hindenburg disaster rang the death knell of the age of the delicate and accident-prone lighter-than-air aircraft. All of Germany’s airships, including the Graf Zeppelin, were withdrawn from service. Great Britain had already grounded its own airships some years earlier.

Also in 1937, Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan in their Lockheed Electra disappeared over the Pacific Ocean while attempting an around-the-world flight.

1938

The non-stop transatlantic route as well as the non-stop American transcontinental route were both “old-hat” by the summer of 1938. By this time the United States had Eastern Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines, and TWA flying mail from coast to coast; while Juan Trippe’s Pan American Airways had more than one hundred airplanes flying the transatlantic, South American, and transpacific mail service routes.

According to an aviation historian, "By 1938 the Americans had made thirty-eight [transatlantic] attempts and had had twenty-one successes. The British had tried thirteen times and had five successes (three of them by Jim Mollison). Out of twelve attempts, the French had been successful four times. Out of ten attempts, the Germans had four successes. Out of four attempts, the Canadians had had two successes, and also out of four attempts the Poles had done it once. The Norwegians, the Danish, the Hungarians, the Irish, the Australians and the Italians had all had one success, while the Lithuanians had had two. Even the Russians had made one attempt in an ordinary military bomber. . . . Not only had the water jump been carried out many times, it had been done on every conceivable variation of route—via the northern and southern stepping stones, direct from Newfoundland to Ireland and New York-Paris and beyond, eastwards and westwards. . . By 1938 the Atlantic aerial circus was beginning to look tame."[11]

By 1938, the grandest aviation record of them all was the around-the-world flight speed record in an airplane. Hughes and his four man crew flew the Lockheed Model 14 Super Electra 14,824 miles in three days, 19 hours, and 8 minutes. (On the way, and as a ‘by the way’, Howard Hughes broke the speed record for the non-stop transatlantic New York to Paris route, making the trip in 16 hours and 38 minutes.) Hughes and crew were the first to successfully circumnavigate the globe since Wiley Post five years earlier.

After Hughes’ record-breaking around-the-world flight, there was no major world record aviation left for Hughes to conquer except his own. He was planning a second flight around the world until World War II thwarted his plans. In the event, Hughes moved on to the next stage of the world of aviation, and the most grandiose of them all: owning a major world airline. In the 1940s, owning an airline was ‘where it was at’ for the aviator, just as owning a movie studio would be an ultimate dream of any Hollywood filmmaker, or running a corporation the dream of any business executive. In the 1940s and beyond, the development of the technology of passenger aircraft became the paramount focus of aviation leaders. The age when record-breaking airplane pilots could win great fame was over. The world of aviation became one more capitalist enterprise, and now, in the present day, air pilots and air flight—once so exceptional and exciting to the people of times past—are received as nothing special. In 1947 Chuck Yeager in the X-1 conquered beyond Mach I, and then Scott Crossfield surpassed Mach II, but neither became household names like the pilots Lindbergh and Hughes had ten years earlier. Even astronauts and the achievement of space travel fail to arouse the popular mind much anymore, except when disaster occurs, such as a space shuttle tragedy. The general public has become used to air travel and space travel. But in the early decades of the twentieth century there was much romance in air flight. Aviators and airplanes and the possibility of journeys of great distances were enchantments to the popular mind. The period of 1919 to 1938 was the childhood of modern air travel—perhaps its headiest, greatest days.

References

  1. “Captain Alcock’s Own Narrative of His Flight from Newfoundland to Ireland.” New York Times, June 16, 1919, p. 1.
  2. Beaty, David, The Story of Transatlantic Flight (Suffolk: Airlife Publishing Ltd, 2003), p. 29.
  3. By the way, on August 31, 1921, Macready flew the first crop dusting flight in Troy, Ohio, wiping out an infestation of Sphinx moth across a six acre Catalpa grove. In the same year Macready won the prestigious Mackay trophy—his first of three times—for his high altitude test flights in which he established a world record altitude of 40,800 feet, while flying in an open-cockpit biplane! Also, Lt. Macready accomplished the first night parachute jump, in 1924. It’s also reported that Macready made the first aerial photographic survey of America, as well as the first photos of a solar eclipse. Also, Macready is the inventor of aviator goggles. See Sally Macready Wallace, John Macready—Aviation Pioneer (Manhattan, Kansas: Sunflower University Press).
  4. Dean Smith, By the Seat of My Pants (Boston: Atlantic-Little, Brown, 1961), quoted in T. A. Heppenheimer, Turbulent Skies: The History of Commercial Aviation (New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1995).
  5. Swanberg, W. A., Citizen Hearst ([New York:]: Longmans, 1961),p. 392.
  6. Also, airplane engines were so loud at this time that more than one pilot would eventually come to notice hearing damage. Airplane engines would be tortuously loud until up around 1960, when the proximity of airports to suburban sprawls made quieter airplanes an absolute necessity.
  7. See www.aerofiles.com/chrono.html. ¶ See also Serling, Robert, Howard Hughes’ Airline: An Informal History of TWA (New York: St. Martins/Marek, 1983), p. 11.
  8. The Vega, a single-engine monoplane designed by John K. “Jack” Northrop and Gerald Vultee at the Lockheed Aircraft Company, first flew in 1927 and is one of the most significant of early American airplanes. 128 of them were built between 1927 and 1934.
  9. Quoted on the “Wiley Post” page of the U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission home website.
  10. Some sources say up to 50,000 to 55,000 feet (unofficial figures).
  11. Beaty, p. 75-6.

Information for this page derives primarily from Beaty, David, The Story of Transatlantic Flight (Suffolk: Airlife Publishing Ltd, 2003); Gibbs-Smith, Charles H., The Aeroplane: An Historical Survey (London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1960); and upwards of three-dozen websites on specific subject-points.