QUICK, who was the first to fly non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean?

QUICK, who was the first to fly non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean?

Sep 26
QUICK, who was the first to fly non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean?








QUICK, who was the first to fly non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean?


I’m presuming that you answered Charles Lindbergh, Lucky Lindy.  This is the name associated as the Atlantic Ocean overflight record holder.  In fact, Lindbergh does hold an Atlantic Ocean flight record; Lindbergh was the first to fly non-stop SOLO across the Atlantic Ocean.  Overnight on May 20th – 21st of 1927, Lindbergh flew, as is well known, the all metal monoplane Spirit of St. Louis from Long Island to Paris’ Le Bourget Airport and in so doing won the Orteig Prize and became an international hero and icon.  But by eight years, Lindbergh was not the first to fly non-stop across the Atlantic.

Incidentally, if you gave the answer Amelia Earhart, you were again close but no cigar.  Earhart also holds two records for transatlantic flight, but as the first woman to fly as a passenger across the Atlantic in June of 1928, and again as the first woman to fly solo, non-stop across the Atlantic on the fifth anniversary of Lindbergh’s crossing, May 20th, 1932.

The “trick” of the question above is that it doesn’t require that the plane was piloted solo.

The actual record holder for the very first successful, non-stop flight across the Atlantic belongs to a pair of English Pilots, Capt. John Alcock and Lieut. Arthur Whitten Brown.  They flew their converted, World War I biplane bomber, a Vickers Vimy, non-stop from St. John, Newfoundland, to Clifden, Ireland, on June 14th – 15th, 1919

in 16 hours and 12 minutes.  As you can see from the photo, the landing was a little rocky, but pilots say that any landing you can walk away from is a good landing.  They undertook to transport their plane to Newfoundland by boat because the prevailing winds on the North Atlantic flow from West to East, referred to as the Jet Stream.  Beyond the obvious of being the very first to conquer this obstacle, what truly makes this flight remarkable is that their plane had an open cockpit and was constructed of wood, rope and cotton fabric (90/inch cotton fabric, about the same as a good men’s suiting fabric).  Think about these two adventurers flying above the Atlantic Ocean in their plane then next time you get a rip in the seat of your pants.

For their accomplishment, on which they also carried the first air mail across the Atlantic, they received the Daily Mail newspaper prize of £10,000 from the British Secretary of State for Air, who just happened to be Winston Churchill.  An equivalent amount today would be somewhere around $500,000 to $1,000,000.  They were also honored by King George V with Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE) at an investiture held at Windsor Castle.


Actual plane flown by Alcock and Brown in Clifden, Ireland.

Vickers Vimy

Portrait of William Alcock

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