JUNE 2005 NEWSLETTER US DIVISION
Members will have noticed that the US pages carry an earlier date than the main newsletter. This is because the US page is added to the main paper newsletter when it is circulated in the US in arrear of the UK edition, so it is actually published between UK paper editions.
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AER LINGUS (and OTHER IRISH
AIRLINES) IN EUROPE
A selection of cards from Frank Litaudon, of Aer Lingus operations in France, with additional
Irish content cards from Leonardo
Pinzauti and my own collection.
Franks first card, actually appears in the “WORTH A SECOND GLANCE”
glance section, as it is of a unique Aer Lingus DC-3 illustrating the
re-connencement of service to Europe in 1946.
Apart from the DC-3 s featured there at le Bourget, there are also two
cards by Editions PI of Aer Lingus Viscounts at that site.
By May 1954 introduction of the
Viscount had enabled network expansion beyond the route to Amsterdam opened
later in 1947. Expansion in France was to generate Aer Lingus’ longest route,
a seasonal service to Rennes in Brittany
with its strong Celtic links and continuing to Lourdes to support pilgrimage
traffic. In 1955 Rennes was flown via Jersey with Lourdes either direct or as a
stop on service to Barcelona or Biarritz. Biarritz
did not survive but the other French destinations also had service from Cork
Aer Lingus at Rennes. Close up and aerial views of bare-metal DC-3. The
close up is EI-ACT St Colman.
Aer Lingus at Lourdes. EI-ALG Viscount 800 and a Viscount viewed under
the wing of a Belgian A.F DC-4. A third card is an aerial view with a Viscvount
in a similar position.
Aer Lingus went into the car carrying business with Carvairs in 1963 –
this included service to Cherbourg where the appropriate ground handing was
already in place to support Silver City/BUAF. Postcard
evidence comes from the centrepiece of a 5 view card of tourist views.
Aer Lingus introduced the BAC-111 Dublin-Cork-Paris in May 1965 but the
only French card showing the type is at a city which never had scheduled or
regular charter service. As is often the case odd things turn up on airport
cards. As the city is Bordeaux there is possibly a Rugby football connection.
Since then Aer Lingus have served several French airports in the 737 ,
and now Airbus era but none have
managed to feature on the diminishing number of airport cards – and despite
also featuring many French destinations, nor has rival Ryanair.
fact the rise of Ryanair parallels the decline of the airport postcard. However
two recent cards are known. Ryanair features on a multiview card from Hahn
airport in Germany (dubiously claimed to be Frankfurt by the carrier).
There is also a strange card from Friedrichshafen featuring a Ryanair
737-800 but this is
sold with 3D spectacles and the stereoscopic print would not copy very
well. Earlier the Viscount years of Aer
Lingus coincided with the peak of Frankfurt’s colour cards and included this
view of EI-AKL
a BAC-111 featured with an Olympic B720 on
a three view from Dusseldorf.
Only one Irish airline
card from Italy is known to Leonardo Pinzauti and this fills the 737 gap.
Again it features an unusual destination. It was produced for the Forli Trade
Fair 1st National General Aviation Show 9-13 July 1986 and shows a
737-200 at Forli “Luigi Ridolfi” airport. This is now also a Ryanair
destination. The card was produced by the
local Philatelic Club and sponsored by a local bank.
Given the rarity of ANY Greek airport card it is surprising that one
such features an Aer Lingus B707 – although only on part of a 4 view. Again
Olympic shares the view, this time at Corfu with a UK registered Seneca.
After scraping around to find evidence of
Irish carriers in Europe in backgrounds and multiviews we return to
France to show a Deauville card with an
Aer Turas DC-4, obviously, judging by the loading ramp,
in connection with the national passion for horseracing. 2 BCAL 1-11s and
an Invicta Vanguard also present
IRISH CONSTELLATION TRIUMPH
by info from Peter Marson’s History
In 1947 the Irish Government established an airline to operate as a
subsidiary of Aer Lingus and develop
transatlantic routes for which there was seen to be heavy demand from the Irish
descended population of the USA. Aerlinte
Eireann ordered four of the latest L749 series Constellation. After production
delays the first 3 were delivered in a formation flight across the Atlantic to
Shannon in Sep 1947. But following a
change of government the project was abandoned in 1948 after only proving
flights had been flown. The Connies had also been used for Aer Lingus services
to London and, briefly for 6 weeks, to Rome. They were subsequently all sold to
BOAC and became their G-ALA- series.
of serving the US Irish community was too attractive
not to be tried again and in 1952 an agreement was signed with Seaboard
Western to lease Super Constellations to revive the service.
The first westbound flight was on
28 April 1958, following a pre-inaugural eastbound
flight which ended up 20 hours late after engine problems at Gander. This card
was produced for the inaugural flight and has been submitted by both Bill
Baird and Alan Van Wickler. The
pre-postmarking appears to be common to all copies.
comments that the card, a copy of which was sent to his grandfather, was
sponsored by the (long gone) F.& M. Schaefer Brewing Co of New York.
Since that date Aer Lingus has maintained some form of North Atlantic
service with successively Boeing 720, 707, 747-200 and now Airbus A330.
A few years back they issued a set of history cards showing aircraft and
crew uniforms since their beginning which must have the record for the amount of
information packed into a single card. This
one shows the first Aerlinte Constellations on the 1940s card.
forget now just how relatively hazardous travel in the classic propliners was.
KLM alone lost two Super Constellations after leaving Shannon. One of these
PH-LKY Triton piloted by one of KLM s most experienced captains Adriaan Viruly,
only got as far as the River
Shannon where it stalled onto mud banks in Sept 1954. Many of the fatalities
were caused by fuel fumes rather than impact and amazingly, Shannon knew nothing
of the accident until 2 hours later after the co-pilot and navigator had waded ashore.
those lost in this disaster are commemorated at the departure Airport. A statue
of the Virgin Mary has stood in various landside locations there and can be
identified on many such postcards including this blow up, where it is seen in
lawns by the tower.
…ACROSS THE IRISH SEA
material by Ronny Vogt, Zurich
Spike Milligan had a song “I m walking backwards for Christmas across the
Irish Sea….”. Here we are concerned with flying forwards across those
waters. Whereas the first English Channel crossing by Bleriot is well known, the
first crossing of the Irish sea is both little known and subject to disputes of
Loraine, long associated with the Criterion Theatre in London, was the first man
to fly across the Irish Sea, when he flew from Holyhead in North Wales to Howth,
County Dublin on September 11, 1910. Although Denys Corbett-Wilson is often
credited with making the first Irish Sea crossing, Loraine was in fact the first.
He actually flew inland over
Ireland searching for a place to land and when forced to turn back towards the
sea, he then came down a few hundred years from the shore. As one observer said
at the time: "Loraine may not have landed on Irish soil, but he certainly
landed in Irish water". Loraine then swam to the shore.
there were soon lives lost in the attempts to cross the Irish Sea: Damer Leslie
Allen was born in Limerick on January 30, 1878. He earned his wings on February
20, 1912, receiving Royal Aero Club Aviator’s Certficate No. 183. Only two
months later, on April 17, 1912, he left Hendon, together with Denys Corbett
Wilson, in order to become the first pilots to cross the Irish Sea with a flight
Hendon – Chester – Holyhead – Dublin. Both pilots used a Blériot XI
monoplane. Allen successfully reached Chester racecourse in the evening of April
17, at 6.43 p.m., being the first pilot to fly into Chester. He left Chester
again early next morning at 6.00 a.m., flying over Holyhead at 7.50 a.m.
L Allan at Chester Roodee Racecourse.
Disaster struck over the open sea: Damer Leslie Allen disappeared in the middle of the Irish Sea, out of sight from either coast, the only item ever found being a wheel washed up on the coast one month later.
Corbett Wilson was more lucky. After some bad luck on April 17 when he had to
spend the night in a small village a few miles short of Chester, he managed to
cross the Irish Sea successfully on April 22 with a flight from Goodwick in
Wales to Enniscorthy.
the first successful crossing of the Irish Sea after the earlier attempt of
Robert Loraine. Many historians, dismissing Robert Loraine’s landing off Howth
on September 11, 1910, credit Denys Corbett Wilson with the first flight across
the Irish Sea. But in fact Corbett Wilson did not fly the Irish Sea but the St.
George’s Channel, and the Irish Sea crossing was not made until April 26,
1912, when a twenty-two year old Grimsby-born aviator, Vivian Hewitt, flying
from Rhyl, received the honour. The description in the “Dublin Mail” of
April 26 (courtesy of Liam Byrne):
after 11.30 this morning Dublin folk with keen ears heard a strange noise in the
air, and, on looking up they saw at a tremendous height, a bird man making in
the direction of Phoenix Park. Amongst Dublin airmen hopes were temporarily
raised that it might be the missing aviator, Allen, who might have been quietly
sequestered since last heard of, in either Wicklow or Welsh hills. But such was
not the case. It was Mr Vivian Hewitt who made all the noise in crossing the
city, and who subsequently landed safely in the Phoenix Park, near the Royal
Hibernian Military School. There were a number of people about at the time and
some of the boys at the school who were out of doors raised cheers for the
intrepid aviator. Mr Hewitt subsequently told a representative of the “Mail”
that the flight had been a most trying one and that he had lost sight of land
shortly after leaving Holyhead. There was a heavy fog at the time and for fifty
minutes he saw nothing appertaining to the earth. “I then saw the Wicklow
Hills and changed course to the North East” said Mr Hewitt “Which brought me
over the city at about two thousand feet. My real trouble came when I struck
several air pockets. On one occasion over trinity College the machine was nearly
turned upside down on me. After crossing Guinness’s Brewery I hit a pocket
which ws the worst I ever met and thought my flight was going to finish in the
following day, when leaving Dublin, Hewitt offered a special thanks to members
of the Dublin Metropolitan Police who had protected his aeroplane from
“members of the fair sex who tried to inscribe their names on my machine. I do
not like people writing their names on the canvas as someone with a hard pencil
will bore holes through the fabric covering”
became a long term resident of Rhyl from where this card was published ( Ernest
Jones, Water St) and posted ( from London & NW Railway convalescent home to
their Crewe Goods depot 27 Aug 1912).
life he was a successful businessman and stamp collector, particularly of
THE RFC “OVERSEAS” IN
By Ronny Vogt, Zurich
It would be generally assumed that the first “overseas” deployment
of the RFC was to France in 1914 but geographically but not politically, an
earlier sea-crossing had been performed in 1913 to British-ruled Ireland. The
occasion was manoeuvres to be held at Rathbane Camp, Co Limerick in September
1913. No 2 squadron of the newly formed Royal Flying Corps (RFC) was to
participate with 4 BE.2 aircraft. The four, flown by Capt Becke, Capt Mclean
Capt Dawes and Lt Waldron left their base at Montrose, Scotland on Sept 2
and crossed by the shortest route via Stranraer with a landing at Newcastle, Co
Down. They returned from Kells, Co Meath
by the same route on Sept 25th. Postcards of Capt Becke and his aircraft
recorded the departure from County Meath, the vertical one, titled
“Ready to Start” being posted from there on October 16th.
favourite card from Ken Jones to add to those in issue 50
card from my own collection which sums up
the pioneer age perfectly for me is this picture of James Valentine taking part
in the 1911 Circuit of Britain Race.
British pilot, flying a French Deperdussin machine, had set off from Hendon at
four in the morning of 24th July 1911 on the second leg of the daily
Mail race and descended at Kelham Bridge, near Newark, for a pre-arranged
refreshment stop. No doubt the hot tea and plate of sandwiches were eagerly devoured
on that cold morning before he was able to resume his journey, watched by a
large crowd of spectators.
second leg of the race consisted of the 343
miles from Hendon to Edinburgh, via Harrogate and Newcastle, and he was one of
only three competitors to complete the journey that same day. He went on to
finish the race at Brooklands in third place, although he was fully two days
behind the winner, Frenchman Andre Beaumont. This was due to the fact that he
suffered a long delay when forced to make an emergency landing in Scotland when
his aircraft sustained a badly damaged rudder and propeller.
card was posted at Newark on the day of the race with a message “Valentine No
14, the first flying man to visit Newark this morning in the big field at Kelham
for petrol and breakfast – 5 or 6 have gone over the town -24/7/1911.
sometimes quite surprising how fast first flights in the then Empire followed
progress at home. A card recently auctioned on the Internet followed the general
rule that the collecting process is a means whereby postal items eventually
return to their point of departure. It shows, apparently, the
first ever aviation meeting in Singapore which took place in March 1911 and this
card, pub. Max Hilckes in Singapore, shows the Belgian aviator Joseph
Christiaens (1882-1936) in his Bristol Boxkite about to take off.
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