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Tag Archives: The Flagship London

Defying gales to make inaugural flight

MOST people in Clare will have grown up without thinking anything unusual about aircraft crossing the Atlantic from North America to Shannon every day of the week but when the first passenger plane made the journey on October 24, 1945, it was a massive event. ‘TRANS OCEAN FLIGHTS’ screamed the lead headline on the following weekend’s Clare Champion, with sub-headlines of ‘New Air Service to Rineanna’ and ‘Clippers Defy Gale’ beneath it. The accompanying report said, “The Flagship ‘London’ of the American Airlines system landed at Rineanna at 3.30pm on Wednesday, thus inaugurating the land plane passenger service between America and Europe. Taking off from La Guardia Airport at New York on Tuesday night and calling at Gander Airport in Newfoundland, it flew the North Atlantic in half a gale in eight hours and twenty minutes. It was followed an hour later by a second Skymaster of the same Line. “The Irish and American flags fluttered from the fuselage of …

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