First nonstop flight from Europe to North America

First nonstop flight from Europe to North America

German pilot Hermann Köhl, Irish aviator James Fitzmaurice and Baron Ehrenfried Günther Freiherr von Hünefeld, the expedition’s financier, complete the first Europe to North America transatlantic flight, taking off from Ireland and landing safely on a small Canadian island.

The prevailing winds in the North Atlantic blow from North America towards Europe, hastening Eastbound airplanes on their way but making headwinds a major problem for those flying West. Köhl, who had flown in the German Army Air Service in World War I, and von Hünefeld, who had been turned away from the Air Service due to his health, attempted the crossing in 1927 but turned back due to poor weather. With the addition of Fitzmaurice, who had served in the British Royal Air Force before resigning to join the Irish Air Corps, they staged a second attempt the following April, using one of von Hünefeld’s two Junkers W33 aircraft, the Bremen.

The trio gathered in Dublin in late March, but foul weather delayed takeoff for 17 days. Finally, on April 12, they took off from Baldonnel Aerodrome, intending to fly to New York. Things went smoothly at first, but a combination of storm clouds and a faulty compass put them roughly 40 degrees off course as they approached Canada. Their problems didn’t end there; the aviators soon realized they had an oil leak, at which point they abandoned the plan to land in New York and looked for the nearest place to set the plane down, which turned out to be Greenly Island.

Köhl and Fitzmaurice put the Bremen down in a frozen pond, damaging it in the process, but they walked away unharmed and having made the first-ever East-West crossing of the Atlantic.

When they later arrived in New York (having left the Bremen behind for repairs) the “Three Musketeers of the Air” received a parade and a hero’s welcome. They spent the next several months traveling the United States and Europe, meeting with dignitaries and enjoying similar celebrity status to what Charles Lindbergh (who completed the first solo North America-Europe transatlantic flight) had experienced the previous year. Though today their accomplishment is overshadowed by his in the popular imagination, their semi-planned landing in Canada on April 13, 1928 represents an equally important moment in aviation history, the first successful nonstop flight from Europe to North America.

READ MORE: 10 Fascinating Facts About Charles Lindbergh


New book reveals Ice Age mariners from Europe were America’s first inhabitants

Some of the earliest humans to inhabit America came from Europe according to a new book Across Atlantic Ice: The Origin of America’s Clovis Culture. The book puts forward a compelling case for people from northern Spain traveling to America by boat, following the edge of a sea ice shelf that connected Europe and America during the last Ice Age, 14,000 to 25,000 years ago. Across Atlantic Ice is the result of more than a decade’s research by leading archaeologists Bruce Bradley of the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, and Dennis Stanford of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. Through archaeological evidence, they turn the long-held theory of the origins of New World populations on its head. For more than 400 years, it has been claimed that people first entered America from Asia, via a land bridge that spanned the Bering Sea. We now know that some people did arrive via this route nearly 15,000 years ago, probably by both land and sea. Eighty years ago, stone tools long believed to have been left by the first New World inhabitants were discovered in New Mexico and named Clovis. These distinctive Clovis stone tools are now dated around 12,000 years ago leading to the recognition that people preceded Clovis into the Americas. No Clovis tools have been found in Alaska or Northeast Asia, but are concentrated in the south eastern United States. Groundbreaking discoveries from the east coast of North America are demonstrating that people who are believed to be Clovis ancestors arrived in this area no later than 18,450 years ago and possibly as early as 23,000 years ago, probably in boats from Europe. These early inhabitants made stone tools that differ in significant ways from the earliest stone tools known in Alaska. It now appears that people entering the New World arrived from more than one direction.

Dennis Stanford with Clovis stone points from the collection of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. (Photo by Chip Clark)

In “Across Atlantic Ice,” the authors trace the origins of Clovis culture from the Solutrean people, who occupied northern Spain and France more than 20,000 years ago. They believe that these people went on to populate America’s east coast, eventually spreading at least as far as Venezuela in South America. The link between Clovis and contemporary Native Americans is not yet clear. Bradley and Stanford do not suggest that the people from Europe were the only ancestors of modern Native Americans. They argue that it is evident that early inhabitants also arrived from Asia, into Alaska, populating America’s western coast. Their ongoing research suggests that the early history of the continent is far more intriguing than we formerly believed. Some of the archaeological evidence analyzed in the book was recovered from deep in the ocean. When the first people arrived in America, sea levels were nearly 130 meters lower than today. The shore lines of 20,000 years ago, which hold much of the evidence left by these early people, are now under the ocean. This is also the case in Europe.

Clovis-made stone tools in the hands of Bruce Bradley, co-author of Across Atlantic Ice: The Origin of America’s Clovis Culture. (Photo by Jim Wileman)

“We now have really solid evidence that people came from Europe to the New World around 20,000 years ago,” Bradley says. “Our findings represent a paradigm shift in the way we think about America’s early history. We are challenging a very deep-seated belief in how the New World was populated. The story is more intriguing and more complicated than we ever have imagined.” “There are more alternatives than we think in archaeology and we need to have imagination and an open mind when we examine evidence to avoid being stuck in orthodoxy,” Stanford adds. “This book is the result of more than a decade’s work, but it is just the beginning of our journey.” Across Atlantic Ice is published by University California Press, Berkeley.–Source University of Exeter


First Trans-Atlantic Commercial Flight Landed 75 Years Ago Sunday

Sunday marks the 75 th anniversary of the first non-stop trans-Atlantic commercial flight by a land-based aircraft, a four-engine Focke-Wulf Fw 200 “Condor” developed by a German manufacturer and flown by Lufthansa.

The plane landed the afternoon of August 11, 1938 at Floyd Bennett Field, now a park in Brooklyn, after taking off about 25 hours earlier from Berlin on a 3,728-mile flight. Thousands of people gathered for the landing, Lufthansa said in a press release. Previous crossings had been made by sea planes, often with the purpose of transporting mail.

“As the world's first four-engined, land-based passenger aircraft, with its record time, the Fw 200 indicated the possibilities of transatlantic air travel in the future,” Lufthansa said. “The revolutionary aircraft offered room for 26 passengers who traveled in comfortable upholstered seats. For the first time, specially-trained stewardesses were employed onboard and looked after the passengers.”

Lufthansa’s history was interrupted by World War II. In 1945, its service was suspended, but a new national German airline was founded in 1953 and revived the Lufthansa name in 1954. As for the aircraft, Lufthansa’s detailed press release points out that at the start of World War II, Germany’s “National Socialist regime also showed its interest in the Fw 200. In the following years the aircraft was also used for military purposes, primarily as a transport and reconnaissance aircraft, but also as a bomber.” But the plane, “designed for civil aviation, proved relatively unsuited for military action,” the release noted.

The last surviving Fw200 has been preserved after making an emergency landing in February 1942 in the Atlantic Ocean in a fjord near Trondheim, Norway. It sat at a depth of 196 feet until it was salvaged in 1999, and is now being restored by a group that includes Airbus, Rolls-Royce, Lufthansa and the German Technology Museum in Berlin.

U.S. carriers were a bit later in attempting an Atlantic crossing. The first Pan Am trans-Atlantic flight in 1939, aboard a Boeing 314 seaplane, went from Newfoundland to Ireland, according to Wikipedia, which notes that by 1947 commercial carriers offered twenty-seven westbound passenger flights a week aboard various U.S. and European airlines including Pan Am, TWA and BOAC.

The first US Airways trans-Atlantic flight was operated between Charlotte and London by predecessor Piedmont Airlines in 19897. American’s first trans-Atlantic flight was operated by predecessor American Export Airlines aboard a DC-4 flying from New York to London, making stops in Boston, Gander and Shannon on July 5, 1945.


Non Stop Flights to Israel

Even if your city does not have a direct flight  to Tel Aviv, use the list below to get new ideas for stopover cities. You might uncover some interesting new options for a stopover. For example, my family and I enjoyed a wonderful vacation in Thailand. We chose to fly from Tel Aviv to Bangkok with a stopover in Amman, Jordan. The service on Royal Jordanian was superb.  

For your convenience, I've grouped the list of non stop flights based on continent / region, country and city. Browse the page or choose the region that interests you and click on the link.

Non Stop from North America

  • Boston - El Al 
  • Chicago - El Al (as of March 2020)
  • Las Vegas - El Al
  • Los Angeles - El Al 
  • Miami - El Al 
  • New York - Continental, Delta and El Al
  • Newark - United
  • San Francisco - United 

from Canada

Non Stop from Central / South America

There used to be, but there are currently no direct flights between Israel and South or Central America. We'll keep you posted!

Non Stop from Asia

from Thailand

from Uzbekistan

Non Stop from the Middle East and Africa

For European cities - go to our page dedicated to:  European Direct Flights to Israel .

I hope you've found my list of non stop flights to Israel. Enjoy your travels and have a safe flight! 


Vinland

By most accounts, around the year 1000, Eriksson sailed from Greenland to Norway where he served in the court of King Olaf I Tryggvason, who converted him from Norse paganism to Christianity. Soon thereafter, Olaf commissioned Eriksson to proselytize across Greenland and spread Christianity to the settlers there as well. Although Eriksson would eventually make it back to Greenland, it is the details and motives of his return route that are the subject of most debate.

In the 13th-century Icelandic account The Saga of Erik the Red, Eriksson’s ships are said to have drifted off course on the return voyage home, finding dry ground at last on the North American continent. They are most likely to have disembarked in what is now Nova Scotia, which Eriksson named Vinland, perhaps in reference to the wild grapes that his landing party saw there. However, The Saga of the Greenlanders, which dates to the same era, suggests that Eriksson had heard already learned of “Vinland” from another seamen, Bjarni Herjólfsson, who had already been there more than a decade earlier, and that Eriksson sailed there on purpose, landing first in an icy region he named “Helluland” (believed now to be Baffin Island) and the heavily forested “Markland” (thought to be Labrador) before eventually making his way eventually to the more hospitable Vinland.

Whatever his motives, or the lack thereof, Eriksson is generally credited as the first European to set foot on the shores of North America, nearly five centuries before Christopher Columbus would arrive in 1492. But all suggest that Eriksson was most likely a member of an early Viking voyage to North America, if not, in fact, the leader of that first expedition.


Non-stop flights

To start with the simplest case, a non-stop flight is exactly what the name implies. It will fly between two airports, without any stops on the route.

This may seem obvious, and indeed the vast majority of flights today are non-stop. But this was not the case in the early days of flying. Prior to the jet aircraft of the 1950s, regular stops were very common.

In the US for example, regular transcontinental non-stop flights did not start until the mid-1950s (they were possible before that but not as common). Prior to that, two-stop flights (with the DC-2) had been offered since 1934 and one-stop (with the DC-4 and Lockheed Constellation) since 1934.

Non-stop transatlantic service was not regularly offered until 1958. British Overseas Aircraft Corporation (BOAC) was the first airline to offer this, with a de Havilland Comet service between London and New York, soon joined by Pan American World Airways (Pan Am).


This Day In History: The First Battle Took Place Between White Settlers in North America (1565)

On this day in history, there took place the first recorded battle between Europeans on North American soil. There had been many battles between native Americans, but today there took place the first battle between white men. In the early 1560&rsquos French Protestant known as Huguenots fled persecution and war in their native land. The sailed like so many refugees since, for the New World, with the encouragement of the leaders of the Huguenots. They established themselves in the modern state of Florida, which had earlier been explored by the French. The established a settlement near present-day Jacksonville, and here they could freely practice their religion without fear of persecution. The called their settlement Fort Caroline Florida. However, there was a problem, the Spanish laid claim to the entire Continent of America. They had claimed Florida before the arrival of the French Huguenots and they were angered by what they saw as foreigners establishing themselves on their territory without permission. This was the era of the Counter Reformation and Catholic Spain was deeply anti-Protestant. They were appalled by the fact that French Protestant had established themselves in the New World and feared that they would spread Protestantism among the Indians. The Spanish decided that they had to drive the French Huguenots from their country. Phillip II the Spanish King and the most powerful man in Europe and American personally ordered that the Spanish in America drive the Huguenots from the area and establish a permanent settlement in the region.

An illustration of French ships in Florida

In early September 1565, Aviles founded San Augustin on the Florida coast, which would later grow into Saint Augustine. This is regarded as the oldest city in North America. It was established to safeguard the Spanish interests in Florida.

Spanish forces under Pedro Menéndez de Avilés attacked the French Protestants in early 1565. The French did not have a chance against the larger and well-equipped Spanish force. De Aviles captured the French Huguenot settlement of Fort Caroline. The French, commanded by Rene Goulaine de Laudonniere, lost 135 men in the first instance of colonial warfare between white soldiers on American soil. The majority of the French killed died after the battle. Most of those killed were massacred on the order of the Spanish commander Aviles, who had many Huguenots hanged on trees beside the sign &ldquoNot as Frenchmen, but as heretics.&rdquo Such brutality was typical of the time. During the Religious Wars in Europe, no quarter or mercy was shown to those deemed heretics or religious dissenters. The leader of the French Huguenots, Laudonniere and some 50 other Huguenots escaped. Fort Caroline was taken over by the Spanish.

The French defeat at Fort Carolina persuaded France to refocus its colonial efforts in America far to the north, in what is now Quebec in modern Canada.


Plant History how Dandelions came to North America

Out of all of the plants that are considered weeds in the United States, the humble dandelion holds a place of distinction. Known for its stubborn nature of invading newly cleared land and hard to eliminate tap root, dandelions are a bane to gardeners who continually battle over the same area of unearthed land for the right to grow. Dandelions are also a highly nutritious plant and have been and are still used as herbal remedies and as medicines. The introduction of the dandelion into North America is a wonderful lesson in history and also sheds some light on a plant that was once regarded as staple in early colonial life.

Dandelions are known botanically as Taraxacum officinale and are members of the daisy family, Asteraceae. The name, “dandelion” is a misspronounciation of the French name dent de lion, which translates to &ldquotooth of the lion&rdquo. The tooth of the lion refers to the dandelion&rsquos leaves which are serrated and look much like teeth. Dandelions are thought to have originated in Europe and Asia where humans have cultivated them for hundreds of years. The typical &ldquowild type&rdquo dandelion has a rosette of toothed leaves originating from a central growing point or crown at the ground level of the soil. From this crown, buds numbering from one to five will emerge on tall stems of ten to twenty inches tall. These buds open up into the unmisstaken golden-yellow aster-like flowers which will then transform into the characteristic seed head puff ball. The average size of the dandelion plants can be from six inches wide and tall to 24 inches wide and tall or more if growing conditions permit large growth. European cultivars of dandelions will have even larger leaves as these selections are used as cutting greens.

It is estimated that dandelions have been in cultivation since the Roman times. For the last thousand years, dandelions have been used as remedies for illnesses including liver problems, gastrointestinal distress, fluid retention, and skin ailments. Besides being a medicinal plant, the dandelion is a tasty and highly nutritious vegetable. All parts of the plant can be eaten including the root and flowers. Leaves can be eaten as salad greens or steamed with beets, flowers are used to make dandelion wine, roots are boiled and steeped in a tea or roasted and made into a coffee substitute.

During the 17th century, dandelions were heavily used as food and medicine. Early colonists who came to the new settlements of the American colonies brought many items from their homeland that they thought they would need in this new land. One of those items was the dandelion.. It was from this very early introduction in American history that dandelions began their spread across uncharted territory. It was the common people looking for a new life who brought this plant with the simple need for something familiar in a strange new place. Many Native American peoples also developed their own uses of the dandelion after it naturalized. Since their introductionin to North America, dandelions have colonized the rest of the world and are just as abundant as other introduced species such as house sparrows and starlings.

Dandelions grow best in full sun in areas that have been recently or constantly disturbed such as construction sites, flower beds, newly weeded gardens, and lawns. Although they are non-native, these plants are not considered a threat to exhisting flora as they are not able to compete in areas where native plants are well established.

Dandelions can be thought of as foundation plants for a group of people who had not yet found their own foundation in a new and overwhelming place. Although not as widely used as medicine and a source of food as they once were in North America, many cultures around the world still employ this plant in customary practices that date back hundreds of years.

Pojar, Jim, Andy MacKinnon. Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Vancouver: Lone Pine Publishing, 1994.


Who Was the First European to Reach North America?

Contrary to the common myth that Christopher Columbus "discovered" America, he was not the first European to reach North America that honor arguably belongs to Leif Erikson, who landed in North American locations in modern-day Canada and during the second century C.E., about 500 years before Columbus first landed in this part of the world. However, Leif Erikson's father, Erik the Red, led the first group of European colonizers to Greenland, which arguably makes this group the first collection of Europeans to set foot on and establish their society in North America. Though Greenland is officially a Danish territory, it is usually considered to be located within North America rather than Europe.

Those who do not consider Greenland to be part of North America give credit for European "discovery" of North America to Leif Erikson, which is why he is sometimes referred to as the first European in America. Either way, there is physical and recorded evidence that confirms the fact that Christopher Columbus was not the first European in North America. Though Columbus landed much farther to the south, Leif Erikson and his father, Erik the Red, established European colonies in North America long before Columbus was even born. Leif Erikson has also served as a symbol for Scandinavian-American immigrants in more modern times.


Today in Aviation: First Female Solo Nonstop Transatlantic Flight

MIAMI – Today in Aviation, Amelia Earhart began her solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic in 1932, becoming the first woman, and the only person since Charles Lindbergh, to accomplish such a feat.

Earhart took off from Harbor Grace, Newfoundland, Canada, and landed 15 hours later near Londonderry, Northern Ireland, in a red Lockheed Vega. Earhart became a worldwide phenomenon as a result of her pioneering achievement, which demonstrated her bravery and ability as a pilot.

Earhart would later fly from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey, in the first solo, nonstop flight by a woman across the United States on August 24-25, setting a women’s record of 19 hours and 5 minutes and a distance record of 3,938 kilometers (2,447 miles).

In 1928 Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic as a passenger in the Fokker F.VII Friendship with two male pilots. Photo: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

First Transatlantic Flight

By 1928, Earhart was flying at Dennison Airport and had joined the local National Aeronautic Association, when she was given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: to be the first woman to travel across the Atlantic as a passenger.

Aboard the Fokker F.VII Friendship, Earhart and pilots Wilmer Stultz and Lou Gordon took off from Trepassey, Newfoundland on June 17, 1928, but despite being guaranteed time at the controls of the tri-motor, she was never given the opportunity to pilot the plane during the 20-hour 40-minute flight to Burry Point, Wales. On the final flight to Southampton, England, she sat in the pilot’s seat for a while.

Her dramatic 1928 flight garnered her international recognition and provided her with the opportunity to pursue a career in aviation. Putnam took over as her manager, and she started lecturing and writing about aviation all over the United States.

Three record-setting women pilots but Amelia Earhart soloed the Atlantic to gain more respect. Photo: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

To Prove Onself

Back in the air, in addition to the group flight across the Atlantic, Earhart became the first woman to fly an autogiro, made by Pitcairn and featuring spinning blades to increase lift and enable short takeoffs and landings, after just 15 minutes of training in 1930.

Earhart set the first autogiro altitude record and completed two cross-country autogiro tours, which included three public “crack-ups,” as she later dubbed them.

Despite being the most successful female pilot at the time, Earhart was not the most professional. The pilot wanted to fly the Atlantic Ocean again, this time alone, in order to prove herself. She believed that a transatlantic flight would earn her recognition, something that other women desired as well.

Ruth Nichols attempted a transatlantic flight in 1931 and crashed in Canada. She was contemplating another attempt when Earhart decided to once more cross the pond, this time alone.

The Solo Transatlantic Flight

On May 20-21, 1932, Earhart battled exhaustion, a leaky fuel tank, and a broken manifold that spewed flames out the side of the engine cowling during her 3,260-kilometer (2,026-mile) nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic. To make matters worse, ice accumulated on the Vega’s wings, causing it to plummet 3,000 feet to just above the waves.

She landed in a farmer’s field in Culmore, near Londonderry, Northern Ireland, after realizing she was on a path far north of France.

The wonder pilot received a ticker-tape parade in New York City and awards in Washington, D.C. after receiving acclaim in London, Paris, and Rome. She was back in the Vega for her transcontinental flight by July and August.

Amelia Earhart. Photo: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Shattering Records and the Glass Ceiling

Amelia Earhart became the first female to travel solo from Hawaii to the United States mainland on January 11–12, 1935, in a Lockheed 5C Vega. While some referred to it as a marketing ploy for Earhart and Hawaiian sugar plantation promoters, it was a risky 3,875-kilometer (2,408-mile) flight that had already claimed the lives of many.

Of that flight, Earhart remarked, “I wanted the flight just to contribute. I could only hope one more passage across that part of the Pacific would mark a little more clearly the pathway over which an air service of the future will inevitably fly.”

Later that year, Earhart set records for flight times between Los Angeles and Mexico City, as well as between Mexico City and Newark, New Jersey. She also finished fifth in the Bendix Race in 1935. Earhart would win the Harmon Trophy twice and be awarded the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross.

Featured image: Amelia Earhart arrives in Culmore, Northern Ireland after her solo flight across the Atlantic after fighting fatigue and aircraft problems. Photo: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Article sources: Women in Aviation and Space History, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum


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