SAN FRANCISCO, April 10, 2008 — The San Francisco Aeronautical Society, in conjunction with the Pan Am Historical Foundation, is pleased to announce a major event commemorating what is generally regarded as the greatest milestone in commercial aviation history. November 2010 will mark the 75th anniversary of the famous China Clipper flight which opened the Pacific to the world’s first regular transoceanic commercial air service. Today people cross oceans in airplanes without even a second thought, but in 1935 that very first commercial transoceanic flight was a mammoth undertaking that presaged modern international travel.
The year is 1935. As Pan American Airways plans its historic attempt to conquer the Pacific, the world is in a deep economic depression. Franklin Roosevelt has just been elected President of the United States – and will remain so for an unprecedented 4 terms. There are only 48 states in the Union. Alaska and Hawaii will not be added for almost 30 years. Prohibition has been repealed and thanks to Hollywood, New York’s Empire State building will forever have King Kong associated with it.
The establishment of the trans-Pacific route by Pan American Airways, a mere 32 years after the Wright Brothers’ Kitty Hawk success, overcame the greatest technological, geographical and navigational challenges of the day. Their fleet of flying boats captured the world’s imagination as they ushered in the age of global air travel.
The China Clipper 75th Anniversary Flight will retrace the Pacific Route that departed San Francisco to reach Hong Kong via Honolulu, Midway, Wake, Guam, and Manila – albeit with a modern aircraft. VIP functions will be held at each port of call.
A web site, http://www.chinaclipper75.com, has been created to provide information on the history of the Clippers and the commemorative flight.
The San Francisco Aeronautical Society is a not-for-profit volunteer organization dedicated to preserving the history of aviation.
Photo, courtesy Pacific Aerial Surveys:
Caption: A Boeing B-314 flies over San Francisco Bay, with the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on the lower left. Yerba Buena Island and Treasure Island are on the lower right. The harbor between was called Port of the Trade Winds and was the home port of the flying boats.
For more information, contact:
Peter I. Volny
San Francisco Aeronautical Society
P.O. Box 250250
San Francisco, CA 94125-0250
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