Published on June 8th, 2019 | by Alan Dwyer0
Launch of Atlantic Flight Centenary Book
Brendan Lynch launched his book at an event in Hodges Figgis on June 5th, Yesterday We Were in America, to commemorate this year’s centenary of the first 1919 Atlantic flight. The book details the tribulations of Manchester men John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown, who flew their open-cockpit Vimy plane from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Connemara on June 14/15. The history-making flight will also be commemorated with a special postage stamp and a new Central Bank coin.
The Dublin writer insisted ‘The occasion is a tribute to two of aviation’s most courageous pioneers. For over sixteen hours and 1,880 miles, Alcock and Brown battled the elements in their open-cockpit Vimy plane. With constant rain and cloud, navigator Brown enjoyed only three fleeting sun sightings, yet the pair landed just twenty miles off their original target destination.’
MC Martin McCarthy reminded ‘Alcock and Brown’s success opened up the Atlantic for commercial flights and put Ireland firmly on the world aviation map. It also lifted people’s spirits after the horrors of World War 1 and the Spanish Flu, which had decimated western Europe.’
Tony Alcock, nephew of John Alcock sent a special message to the launch. ‘The flight was triumph of rare skill and navigation. Not only the first crossing of any ocean, but also the greatest distance ever flown up to that time. This centenary book is a most comprehensive and accurate account of Alcock and Brown’s flight.’
The launch took place in Hodges Figgis, Dublin’s oldest bookshop. The attendance included authors John Grady and Oisin McGann and aviation enthusiasts from as far away as Belfast. Brendan Lynch will also launch his book in Clifden during the town’s special centenary celebrations in the coming days and speak at the Central Bank’s launch of a commemorative coin on June 14. Signed copies of his book are available from Margie Lynch. Tel; 01 830 2511.