Balbo Plans Daring Non-Stop World Flight (Dec, 1933)

Balbo Plans Daring Non-Stop World Flight

THE first actual world flight of 25,000 miles in two days without a landing is said to be under consideration by Gen. Italo Balbo.

Four seaplanes, designed for flying eight miles above the earth, would accomplish the feat by refueling in four dirigibles, spaced at 6,250-mile intervals. One dirigible would be stationed near the Amazon river, another in the Polynesian islands, and the third near China.

The planes would make each lap in ten hours and be drawn aboard the ships by a suspended hook and hoist, such as is used on U. S. Macon. During each rest period, ships would continue the flight.

8 comments
  1. Jeffk says: March 9, 20108:13 am

    Mussolini gave Chicago an ancient Roman column to commemorate Balbo’s success.

    The dedication year is inscribed on the (not ancient) base as, “eleventh year of the fascist era”!

    http://www.ostia-antica…

  2. John Savard says: March 9, 20109:05 am

    The article inspired me to look up the Wikipedia article to find out more about this feat. Indeed, it was successful, but, sadly, he was deeply involved in the Fascist movement. He died at Tobruk from friendly fire.

  3. Chris Radcliff says: March 9, 20101:56 pm

    Looks like that 1933 flight was transatlantic, not around-the-world, according to Wikipedia::

    http://en.wikipedia.org…

    It also says the flight had seven legs, which implies landing instead of in-air refueling. Still successful, but not as ambitious as this article predicted.

  4. John Savard says: March 9, 20104:11 pm

    The Wikipedia article mentions a transatlantic flight, but it also mentions the round-the-world one as well.

  5. Bayard says: May 3, 20106:36 pm

    According to Wikipedia “In 1949, The Lucky Lady II, a B-50A of the U. S. Air Force, commanded by Captain James Gallagher, became the first airplane to circle the world nonstop. This was achieved by refueling the plane in flight.” No mention is made of a non-stop flight by Balbo.

  6. Firebrand38 says: May 3, 20106:52 pm

    #1 Balbo’s success was flying to the Chicago Exposition. FDR awarded him the Distinguished Flying Cross and there is still a Balbo Avenue in Chicago to commemorate the event http://maps.google.com/…

    #2 No he didn’t go around the world using relays of aircraft carrying dirigibles.

    #4 Not that I can see. The only two flights listed for him were transatlantic
    http://books.google.com…

    http://books.google.com…

    #5 Because he didn’t make one

  7. Rose D'Ascenzo says: April 18, 20119:21 am

    My grandmother’s brother was on the 1933 flight Chicago, please e-mail any information.

  8. John says: April 18, 20119:22 am

    Rose D’Ascenzo: Yeah, we’ll get right on that.

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