Sir John William Alcock

Alcock, Sir John William.  Article #7. Vol 1, pg 228.

Growing up, I’d occasionally catch a movie on TV called Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines (1965).  It tells the story of a race across the English Channel in very early aircraft.

Reading the story of Sir John Alcock, I immediately picture the sort of airplanes depicted in this movie.  These are flying jalopies built out of baling wire and twine.  Sir John, along with flying buddy Arthur Brown, flew one of these early airplanes across the Atlantic Ocean in June of 1919, completing the first nonstop transatlantic flight.

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The airplane that Alcock and Brown flew was arguably a step above the earlier baling wire contraptions–but not much.  They flew a modified WW I Vickers Vimy bomber, flying from Newfoundland to Ireland and taking just a bit over 16 hours.

“Alcock, Sir John William.” Encyclopedia Britannica. 15th ed. 2010. Vol 1, pg 228.

About Sean

Software developer in the Twin Cities area, passionate about software development and sailing.
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