• Short Summary

    A NEW RECORD FOR THE ATLANTIC CROSSING WAS SET UP TODAY BY A ROYAL NAVY PHANTOM JET, ON THE OPENING DAY OF THE DAILY MAIL NEWSPAPER TRANS-ATLANTIC AIR RACE.

  • Description

    A NEW RECORD FOR THE ATLANTIC CROSSING WAS SET UP TODAY BY A ROYAL NAVY PHANTOM JET, ON THE OPENING DAY OF THE DAILY MAIL NEWSPAPER TRANS-ATLANTIC AIR RACE. MEANWHILE, THROUGHOUT THE DAY, COMPETITORS WERE LEAVING LONDON'S POST OFFICE TOWER IN A VARIETY OF VEHICLES, RANGING FROM HELICOPTERS TO UNDERGROUND TRAINS, ON THE FIRST STAGE OF THEIR THREE-AND-A-HALF-THOUSAND MILE (APPROX. 5,600 KM) JOURNEY TO NEW YORK'S EMPIRE STATE BUILDING.

    THE ROYAL NAVY'S PHANTOM MADE THE FLIGHT FROM NEW YORK TO LONDON IN FIVE HOURS, THREE MINUTES -- ALMOST 26 MINUTES INSIDE THE 11-YEAR-OLD RECORD SET UP BY THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE. BUT THERE WAS DRAMA RIGHT UP TO THE LAST MINUTE AS THE PHANTOM ARRIVE AT WISLEY AIRFIELD IN SOUTHERN ENGLAND. THE TYRES ON BOTH LANDING WHEELS BUST AS THE AIRCRAFT TOUCHED DOWN ON THE RUNWAY AND IT SHOT ALONG WITH ITS WHEELS IN FLAMES. THE OFFICIAL EXPLANATION WAS THAT THE PILOT HAD BRAKED TOO HARD TO GIVE HIS PASSENGERS A FEW MORE VITAL SECONDS IN THE RACE.

    HIS PASSENGER, THE FIRST CONTESTANT TO ARRIVE FROM AMERICA, WAS ROYAL NAVY LIEUTENANT PAUL WATERHOUSE, WHO WAS WHISKED FROM WISLEY BY HELICOPTER TO THE POST OFFICE TOWER. THE TRIP THERE TOOK 13 MINUTES, GIVING HIM AN OVERALL TIME OF FIVE HOURS, 30 MINUTES AND 24 SECONDS.

    THE RACE OFFICIALLY GOT UNDER WAY IN BRITAIN AT EIGHT O'CLOCK THIS MORNING, WHEN THE FIRST COMPETITOR CHECKED OUT OF THE G.P.O. TOWER. APPROPRIATELY, THE FIRST TO LEAVE WAS ANNE ALCOCK, NIECE OF ONE OF THE MEN WHO MADE THE FIRST NON-STOP FLIGHT ACROSS THE ATLANTIC, 50 YEARS AGO.

    A PARTY OF BUSINESSMEN, WEARING THE TRADITIONAL 'CITY' GARS OF DARK SUITS, BOWLER HATS AND CARRYING UMBRELLAS, IS ALSO TAKING PART. THE BUSINESSMEN HOPE TO COMBINE THE GAINING OF EXPORT ORDERS WITH PARTICIPATING IN THE RACE.

    THE FIRST TO ARRIVE IN AMERICA WAS THE ROYAL AIR FORCE VICTOR TEAM WHO MADE SURE OF A QUICK GETAWAY BY PARKING THEIR HELICOPTER NEXT TO THE G.P.O. TOWER. IT TOOK THEM DIRECTLY TO THEIR AIRCRAFT AT WISLEY, IN SURREY.

    MARY RAND, BRITAIN'S OLYMPIC RUNNER, SPRINTED FROM THE POST OFFICE TOWER TO A NEARBY UNDERGROUND RAILWAY STATION AND SHE IS MAKING THE FLIGHT IN A CHARTERED AIRCRAFT.

    FORMER RACING-DRIVER STIRLING MOSS MADE A QUICK DASH ACROSS THE RIVER THAMES IN A SPEED BOAT TO WHERE HIS HELICOPTER AWAITED HIM TO WHICH HIM AWAY ON THE FIRST LEG OF THE JOURNEY, AFTER TRAVELLING ON THE BACK OF A MOTORCYCLE TO THE RIVER.

    SOME COMPETITORS, LIKE BRITAIN'S FAMED WOMAN PILOT MISS SHELIA SCOTT ARE FLYING IN THEIR OWN AIRCRAFT, BY FAR THE MOST HAZARDOUS WAY OF MAKING THE JOURNEY.

    BUT WHILE MOST COMPETITORS WERE IN FRANTIC HASTE TO GET AWAY ON THE FIRST LEG OF THE JOURNEY, FOUR GIRLS AND THEIR ESCORTS, SUITABLY DRESSED FOR THE OCCASION, DROVE THROUGH THE STREETS OF LONDON IN A SEDATE CONVOY OF A STAGE COACH AND VETERAN CARS.

    FOR THE NEST WEEK, HOWEVER, THERE WILL BE PLENTY OF FRENZIED COMINGS AND GOING THROUGH LONDON AS ALMOST 4-HUNDRED COMPETITORS COMPETE FOR PRICE MONEY TOTALLING GBP61-THOUSAND STERLING.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA9SY5JPS20WHDDCNP2R9AR2SD8
    Media URN:
    VLVA9SY5JPS20WHDDCNP2R9AR2SD8
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    04/05/1969
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:03:15:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

Comments (0)

We always welcome comments and more information about our films.
All posts are reactively checked. Libellous and abusive comments are forbidden.

Add your comment