Esquema dos navios de apoio à travessia de 1919 (Crédito: wikipedia)

A squadron of three US Navy seaplanes set off from Rockaway Beach in New York State in the United States of America, with stopovers in Halifax, Newfoundland and the Azores, supported by 21 US Navy ships, deployed every 60 miles emitting light and radio signals to guide the aircraft, thus linking the United States with Europe for the first time.

A single American seaplane, a Curtiss NC-4 "Liberty", moored in the Tagus River in front of the Belem Tower, concluding the First North Atlantic Air Route. This mission was commanded by Lieutenant Captain Albert Cushing Read and by 2nd Lt. Elmer F. Stone and Walter Hinton, mechanic Eugene T. "Smokey" Rhoads and radiotelegraphist Herbert C. Rodd. They were received by Captain Lieutenant Sacadura Cabral at the Bom Sucesso Maritime Aviation Centre.


The Vickers “Vimy” taking off from Terra Nova - a difficult take-off, in which the trip was almost over. Credit: Wikipedia

British aviators John Alcock and Arthur Brown made the First non-stop Air Crossing of the North Atlantic. They flew in a modified Vickers Vimy aircraft. They departed from St. John's, Terranova, and arrived in Ireland at Clifden, Galway. They won the Daily Mail's award for the "first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, by aeroplane, in less than 72 consecutive hours". opportunities of being used for the crossing of the South Atlantic.

G.E.A.R - Aviation Squadron Group “República”, based in Amadora, in the current facilities of the Military Academy. (Credit: From Portugal to Macau, Sarmento Beires)

A Breguet XIV A/2 aircraft, known as "Black Knight", took off from Amadora, bound for the island of Madeira. It was crewed by the Portuguese Army Sarmento Beires and Brito Pais


Arrival in Madeira. The lashing was done by the pilot Ortins de Betencourt.

Sacadura Cabral as commander and pilot, First Lieutenant Naval Pilot Ortins de Bettencourt as second pilot, Gago Coutinho as navigator, and Frenchman Roger Soubiran as mechanic, made the first aerial journey Lisbon - Funchal, covering 983 kilometres in 7 hours and 40 minutes, using the latest equipment, thus proving the effectiveness of the air navigation methods.


A Fairey "Felixtowe F-3" #N4018 seaplane was used, equipped with two 350 Hp Rolls-Royce Eagle engines, 8 V-cylinders and four-bladed wooden propellers, received from Great Britain in 1920.


The return to Lisbon on April 6th took place on board the destroyer "Guadiana", because when trying to take off from Porto Santo Island, the hull of the hydroplane suffered a rupture, causing the fire of the buoys on board, which resulted in the destruction of the plane, thus putting an end to all opportunities of being used for the crossing of the South Atlantic.


The 1922 crossing had to overcome the challenges of the Atlantic crossing using an open cockpit plane, during long segments and in a humanly aggressive environment.


Only the courage and determination of Sacadura Cabral - the only pilot of the plane - and the knowledge and experience of Gago Coutinho - the navigator - allowed them to succeed.


Both belonged to the Naval Aviation of the Portuguese Navy.


The stage between S. Tiago (Cape Verde) and the Penedos de São Pedro and São Paulo, of 1.682 Km, took 11h21m. It was especially demanding for the airmen, who trusted their lives to the certainty of the navigation method invented by Gago Coutinho.


The crossing was made without radio support, on the "Lusitânia", and without the support of surface ships to mark its course, unlike other previous crossings in the North Atlantic.

UNESCO inscribed the Report of the 1st South Atlantic Air Crossing in the Memory of the World Register on 27 July 2011, and from this date it is considered a World Heritage Site.

Preparation of the 1st Round the World Trip, by Plane.

Sacadura Cabral planned a round-the-world trip by plane, with departure and arrival in Lisbon, in the opposite direction of Fernão de Magalhães' voyage, because nobody had yet crossed the Pacific Ocean.


For this purpose, 5 Fokker T III hydro-planes were acquired in Holland for the Naval Aviation.


This aircraft, the first to arrive in Portugal and piloted from Holland by Sacadura Cabral, had a tank of 1820 litres, which offered more autonomy in contrast to the version with a Rolls-Royce engine with a tank for 1200 litres. Cabral intended to use the greater autonomy aircraft for the last stages of the journey.

It was in one of these Fokker #4146 , that on November 15, 1924, on a flight from Amsterdam to Lisbon, Sacadura Cabral and the corporal Pinto Correia disappeared in the North Sea, from unknown causes.

Connection Portugal - Macau / Brito Pais, Sarmento De Beires and Manuel Gouveia / "Pátria I" and "Pátria II

The first air route between Portugal and Macau began in Vila Nova de Milfontes on April 7, 1924 in a Breguet 16 Bn-2 aircraft,


Connection Portugal - Macau / Brito Pais, Sarmento De Beires and Manuel Gouveia / "Pátria I" and "Pátria II

The first air route between Portugal and Macau began in Vila Nova de Milfontes on April 7, 1924 in a Breguet 16 Bn-2 aircraft, christened "Pátria 1", with a 300 Hp Renault engine, carried out by Sarmento Beires, Brito Pais and Manuel Gouveia.
Due to bad weather conditions, the plane suffered irreparable damage in the desert of Thur, India. It was replaced by a De Havilland DH9, with a 400 Hp Liberty engine. The plane was bought in India (and acquired thanks to contributions from the Portuguese population, in a wide popular campaign) and christened "Pátria II", thus completing the journey to Macau.

To know more:

António Jacinto da Silva de Brito Pais

José Manuel Sarmento de Beires

Raid Lisbon - Guinea (Bolama) / Pinheiro Correia / "Santa Filomena”

On 27th March 1925 the Raid Lisbon - Guinea (Bolama) started with Pinheiro Correia (pilot), Manuel António (mechanic) and Sérgio da Silva in the Breguet XIV christened "Santa Filomena", equipped with a 300Hp Renault engine, landing in Bolama on 2nd April.

Spain - Argentina voyage / "Plus Ultra”

The "Plus Ultra" Expedition made the first transatlantic flight between Spain and South America in January 1926, with a crew of Spanish aviators, which included: Ramón Franco, Ruiz de Alda Miqueleiz, Juan Manuel

Duran, and Pablo Rada. It was flown in a Dornier Do J Wal hydroplane.


The "Plus Ultra" departed from Palos de la Frontera in Huelva, Spain, on 22 January and arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 19 February. It made stopovers in Gran Canaria, Cape Verde, Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco (Recife), Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo and Buenos Aires. The 10,270 km journey was completed in 59 hours and 39 minutes.

First Nocturne Air Crossing of the South Atlantic / Sarmento de Beires / "Argos”

On March 2, 1927, began in Alverca, in the Tagus River, another great transatlantic journey, initially planned with the purpose of making the circumnavigation trip, idealized by Sacadura Cabral.

Sarmento Beires as commander, Duvalle Portugal as second pilot, Jorge de Castilho as navigator, and Ensign Manuel Gouveia as mechanic, took off in a Dornier J Wal hydroplane, baptised with the name "Argos", equipped with a twin-engine of 450 Hp, heading for Brazil, using only the means of astronomical navigation with a sextant modified by Jorge de Castilho, where he applied an innovative lighting system.


On 16th March 1927, the great historical feat of the "First Nocturne Air Crossing of the South Atlantic" began, connecting Bubaque in Guinea, tying up in Santo António Bay on Fernando Noronha Island in Brazil, on the following day, 17th March 1927, covering 2595 kilometres in 18 hours and 11 minutes at a speed of 103 km/hour.


The immediate return was suggested by the Portuguese Government via Cape Verde and

Madeira. Due to bad weather conditions, Sarmento Beires was advised by Gago Coutinho to return via North America, Newfoundland and the Azores.


The return trip began on 1st June, taking off from Belém do Pará, towards the Guianas, rounding the North Cape. Due to several incidents, among which the rupture of a wing caused by an inspection cover that was ripped-off in mid-flight and fractured one of the floats of the "Argos", caused the sinking and the loss of the aircraft. The crew was picked up by a fisherman's canoe.

On June 27, Sarmento Beires, Jorge Castilho and Manuel Gouveia arrived in Lisbon on board the ship "Hildbrand".

Sarmento de Beires

Jorge Castilho

Manuel Gouveia

João Ribeiro de Barros / "Jahú

João Ribeiro de Barros, Brazilian aviator, accompanied by Arthur Cunha (in the first phase of the crossing) and later João Negrão (co-pilots), Newton Braga (navigator), and Vasco Cinquini (mechanic), attempted the aerial crossing of the South Atlantic in the Savoia-Marchetti S.55 "Jahú" hydroplane.

The voyage began in Genoa (Italy) on 17 October 1926, making stops in Spain, Gibraltar, Cape Verde, Fernando Noronha, Natal (14 May 1927), Recife, Salvador, Rio de

Janeiro, Santos, and finally, São Paulo (in August 1927).


This journey was only possible due to the steel determination of João Ribeiro de Barros, and a telegram received from his Mother, in Las Palmas, on November 7, 1926, when all seemed lost:








To know more:

João Ribeiro de Barros


Solo crossing of the North Atlantic - Charles Lindbergh / "the Spirit Of Saint Louis

From 20th to 21st May 1927, Charles Lindbergh, made the first solo "North Atlantic flight", connecting Roosevelt Airfield, Garden City, Long Island, New York, USA, to Le Bourget Airport in Paris, France. Lindbergh's flight lasted 33 hours and 31 minutes.


To find out more:

Charles Lindbergh

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