Celebrating the First Trans-Atlantic Flight. No, It Wasn’t Lindbergh’s.Breaking News
tags: planes, aviation history, Lindbergh
The first trans-Atlantic flight? Lindbergh seems the obvious answer. But that would be wrong.
Yes, Charles A. Lindbergh belongs in the history books — for the first nonstop, solo flight across the Atlantic.
But note the words nonstop and solo. Lindbergh was not the first aviator to cross the Atlantic Ocean. His record-setting achievement was flying to Europe alone in the cockpit without stopping.
So, who got there first? Six Navy and Coast Guard crewmen in 1919, eight years before him. Their mammoth seaplane, known as the NC-4, left Rockaway Beach in Queens 100 years ago Wednesday.
Theirs was no nonstop flight — they stopped in several places along the way for repairs and refueling — and the going was slow. Lindbergh made the trip in less than a day and a half. They took almost three weeks. At every stop, they had to wait for parts to be delivered or bad weather to clear before they could take off again.
At the time, what they accomplished was front-page news, including in The New York Times. But unlike the Wright brothers or Amelia Earhart later on, the NC-4 and its crew have been largely forgotten.
“This was lost to history, eclipsed by Lindbergh,” said Robert Schwach, a retired New York City police lieutenant. “It just didn’t seem fair.”
comments powered by Disqus
- Archivist and bookseller plead guilty to pilfering $8M in rare texts from Carnegie Library
- The chief justice who presided over the first presidential impeachment trial thought it was political spectacle
- Hundreds of Britons Volunteered for a Diary-Keeping Project in 1937. They Left an Invaluable Record of World War II
- Fact check: After Pearl Harbor, Japanese didn't invade US because they feared armed citizens?
- How Political Divides Shape U.S. History Lessons
- AHA Encourages History Departments to Provide Full Library Access to Alumni and to Unaffiliated Historians in their Regions
- Clayborne Carson Interviewed by World Socialist Web Site on 1619 Project
- “A staggering tour de force – but an opportunity missed”: a historian’s review of the film 1917
- NY Journal of Books Reviews Wilmington's Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy
- AHA Enrollment Study Finds History Enrollments Hold Study as Department Efforts Intensify