pt

pouco nublado
23°
pouco nublado
vento ENE 11 nós
humidade 65%

Aviation

The location of the Azores in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean has been, in many ways, a gift to the progress of the world. In this particular case, a gift to the history of transatlantic aviation, considering that Horta, because of its location and especially its bay (which is sheltered and provides easy access to communication via submarine cables), became an excellent stopover point.

In fact, on May 17th 1919, the NC-4 flying boat of the U.S. Navy, flown by Captain Albert C. Read, stopped at Horta. That was the first transatlantic flight ever.

The story would go on in the 20’s and 30’s with several attempts to cross the Atlantic Ocean, some of which did not succeed, some of which became famous, such as the flight of the largest and heaviest flying boat, the Dornier DO-X (weighting 30 tons and comprising 12 engines), which stopped at Horta in May 1932.

In August 1933 nine aircrafts of the fleet of the Italian Italo Balbo landed at the bay of Horta, where people were expecting them with all pomp and circumstance. It was quite an exciting moment, since they had never seen anything like that!

On November 1933, Charles Lindbergh, at the service of Pan America, landed at Horta with his wife on board of the Lockheed Sirius, especially designed and built for this field trip to scout for potential new airline routes. As a consequence, Horta became part of the intercontinental route between America and Europe, primarily for the carriage of mail. But on June 28th 1939 something important happened: the 1st scheduled transatlantic passenger flight. This is the unquestionable beginning of commercial aviation in the North Atlantic.

In the following years, and until the end of World War 2, in 1945, the bay of Horta turned into a busy airport, where clippers of Pan Am, Lufthansa, Air France and Imperial Airways (early British Airways) would land.

In fact, the level of comfort and safety provided to passengers led to the increase of demand. Well-known politicians and artists have stopped at Horta, cheering the community of Faial, who would warmly welcome them. In addition, this made it easier for people of Faial to visit both continents.

The Airport of Faial Island would open twenty six years later, on August 24th 1971.