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Extra resources for A History of Sea-Air Aviation - Wings Over the Ocean
They made their first test flights in 1929-l 930. Then in July 1930, RlOO fl cw to Montreal and back to England, weathering some bad storms en route. After difficulties in its flight tests and subsequent modifications, Rl 01 was provisionally certified as airworthy and prepared for the first of the “Empire flights” to India. Without adequate testing and trials of the later modifications, RlOl took off on October 4, 1930. After crossing the English Channel to France, it crashed near Beauvais. At first the rigid dirigible seemed to be more promising than heavier-thanair craft for long-haul air transport.
The east-to-west flight took just over 27 hours; the west-toeast flight, nearly 24 hours. At that time, service between Los Angeles and Copenhagen via New York took about 30 hours. Although the Germans and the British had been experimenting with jet aircraft since the beginning of WW II, the first passenger operation with jets did not begin until May 2, 1952, when BOAC put a de Havilland Comet 1 into service between London and Johannesburg, South Africa. The Commet 1 could carry 36 passengers at a speed of 500 miles per hour.
Maitland, set out to prove the superior capabilities of the airship Naval Aviation News for long-range commercial operations. The Air Ministry had two new rigid airships, R33 and R34, which were finished too late for use in the war; thus, when the Aero Club of America invited the British government to send an airship to a meeting of the association in May 1919, Maitland decided to send R34. R34 left East Fortune, Scotland, for New York City on July 2 with a crew of 30 men under the command of Maj.