Centenary of the first transatlantic flight
On June 13 we commemorate a momentous event in transatlantic aviation – the first non-stop flight achieved by British airmen, Alcock and Brown.
Transatlantic flights are taken for granted today; thousands of aircraft make the crossing daily. On June 15, 1919, they landed at Clifden, County Galway following a 16-hour flight from St John’s, Newfoundland. Flying a Vickers Vimy biplane carrying 865 gallons of petrol and 40 gallons of oil, they won a £10,000 Daily Mail challenge prize for their feat.
Did you know?
Alcock and Brown carried an official mail bag containing private letters on board – the first transatlantic airmail in history. Included was a letter from Alcock to his sister, Elsie. Special red 15-cent Cabot stamps, marked ‘Air Post, 1919. One Dollar’, were overprinted for the flight (Cabot was a 15th-century explorer who discovered what would become known as Newfoundland).