Segments in this Video

Introduction: The Trailblazers (02:28)


On March 17th 1997, pilot Linda Finch set off to successfully fly the route intended by Amelia Earhart in 1937.

London Daily Mail Contest (04:57)

After World War I, aviators from around the world endeavored to be the first to fly a non-stop transatlantic flight. In May 1919, U.S. Navy Curtiss flying boats failed to complete the cross. John Alcott and Arthur Whitten Brown flew to the Irish Coast on June 14, 1919.

East West Trailblazers (03:33)

In July 1919, British Airship R-34 landed in New Jersey after takeoff in Scotland, making the first east to west aerial transatlantic crossing. Gago Coutinho and Sacadura Cabral pioneered navigation of the South Atlantic. In 1924, four Douglas World Cruisers made the first circumnavigation, crossing the North Atlantic.

Orteig Prize (06:13)

After an award was offered by a Missouri businessman, Charles Lindbergh made a solo flight from New York to Paris non-stop; he landed on May 21, 1927 after flying over 33 hours. His American rivals made record breaking trips the same year.

Female Trailblazers (06:00)

Several women attempted transatlantic flights in 1927; most were lost at sea, but Ruth Elder was rescued. Amelia Earhart flew a Fokker from Newfoundland to South Wales in 1928. In May 1932, she flew a Lockheed Vega to Ireland; she crossed the United States non-stop in July 1932.

Epic Flights (08:30)

In April 1928, Hermann Koehl made the first non-stop, east to west transatlantic crossing. In 1919, Ross and Keith Smith won a prize for flying from Britain to Australia. Alan Cobham made round trips to Rangoon, South Africa, and Australia to survey mail routes.

International Challenge (03:11)

In 1928, Bert Hinkler made the first solo flight from England to Australia in an Avro, sparking rivalry between the countries. Amy Johnson took the challenge on May 5, 1928. She married a pilot and they were the first couple to fly transatlantic.

Australian Trailblazer (03:07)

In May 1928, Charles Kingsford Smith made the first flight from America to Australia. Two years later, he broke Hinkler's record from Britain to Australia. While attempting to beat his previous time, he disappeared in the Indian Ocean in 1935.

National Aviation Heroes (02:44)

Italian Aviator Marquis De Pinedo crashed and died in September 1933 during takeoff for a transatlantic flight. In 1925, the Soviets flew five planes from Moscow to Peking. In July 1931, the Lindberghs journeyed from Washington DC to Tokyo to survey service routes for Pan Am.

Circumnavigating the Globe (07:04)

In August 1929, Randolph Hearst financed a Graf Zeppelin flight around the world. Amelia Earhart made her first attempt in a Lockheed Electra in March 1937, but crashed in the Pacific; on her second try she disappeared near Howland Island.

Trailblazer Legacies (02:07)

In 1939, Howard Hughes beat Post's record time circumnavigating the northern hemisphere. By that time, commercial airliners were offering flights all over the world, surveyed by pioneers of flight.

Credits: The Trailblazers (00:42)

Credits: The Trailblazers

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Century Of Flight: The Trailblazers

Part of the Series : Century of Flight
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



In this episode of Century of Flight, review the great long-distance flights and the aviators who achieved them, including color re-enactments using restored and replica aircraft. The great transatlantic flights are featured together with those to the Orient and Africa. The conquering of the Pacific is covered, including Amelia Earhart and the mystery of her disappearance. See how these pioneers paved the way for modern airliners.

Length: 53 minutes

Item#: BVL185470

ISBN: 978-1-64623-945-0

Copyright date: ©1997

Closed Captioned

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