Around-the-world flight: Tokyo-Paris, 1928.

1920sAviationHistoric EventsTechnologyTransportation
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Costes & Le Brix, 1928, and their Breguet 19 G.R. Nungesser-Coli aircraft.

Costes (left) & Le Brix, 1928, and the Breguet 19 G.R. Nungesser-Coli aircraft they flew round-the-world (except for passage across the Pacific Ocean).

From the wiki: “On 10 October, Lt. Cmdr. Joseph Le Brix and the French aviator Dieudonné Costes left Paris in the Breguet 19 G.R. Nungesser-Coli to attempt a trip around the world, with Costes as pilot and Le Brix as copilot and navigator. Their first leg was a flight to Saint Louis, Senegal, where they landed on 11 October. The second leg was the world’s first aerial crossing of the South Atlantic Ocean, flying from Saint-Louis to Port Natal, Brazil, on 14–15 October. The two men then visited every country in South America before flying north across Panama and Mexico to the United States, reaching Washington, D.C., on 6 February 1928. By this time, their friendship had broken down, to the point that they almost had a fistfight during a reception hosted by the French ambassador in Washington.

“Despite their growing dislike for one another, the two men pushed on, flying across the United States to San Francisco, California. There they boarded a ship to cross the Pacific Ocean by sea. Arriving in Tokyo, Japan, they resumed their flight, stopping in French Indochina, India, French Syria, and Greece before completing their trip with an arrival before an enthusiastic crowd at Paris–Le Bourget Airport in Paris on 14 April 1928. The trip had covered 57,410 kilometers (35,652 miles) by air in 338 flight hours over 187 days with 43 stops. Le Brix’s relationship with Costes was ruined, however; upon arrival at Paris–Le Bourget, Le Brix supposedly said sharply, ‘Finally I am no longer the servant of Costes.’

“In 1931, Le Brix, chief pilot Marcel Doret, and mechanic René Mesmin attempted the first non-stop flight between Paris and Tokyo. Taking off from Paris–Le Bourget Airport on 12 July 1931, they made it to the vicinity of Lake Baikal in Siberia beofre the aircraft’s engine iced up. Le Brix and Mesmin parachuted to safety, and Doret crash-landed the plane into the treetops of a Siberian forest. All three men survived unharmed.”

Tokyo-Paris route, 1928.

Tokyo-Paris route of Coste and Le Brix, 1928. After crossing the Pacific Ocean by ship, the two aviators continued their round-the-world flight to Paris in a record-breaking 7-1/2 days.

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