THE first test flight of the Atlantic air mail service began on July 5 when the Imperial Airways flying-boat Caledonia left Foynes, Ireland, for Botwood, Newfoundland, and two and a half hours later the Pan-American Airways Clipper III took off from Botwood on the easterly crossing. The two boats alighted at their destinations within a quarter of an hour of each, other on July 6. The Caledonia, under Captain A. S, Wilcockson, flew mostly at a height of 1,500 ft. to avoid the worst of the head-wind ; she followed a rhumb line course at an average speed of about 132 miles an hour and was in the air for 15 hr. 28 min. The Clipper III, under Captain H. Gray, flew most of the way at 10,000 ft. to make the most of the following westerly wind ; she kept roughly to a great circle course and her average speed was 156 miles per hour and flying time 12 hr. 37 min. Both commanders described the crossing as comparatively uneventful, and paid high tribute to the work of the wireless stations on both sides of the Atlantic in assisting their navigation.
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