British aviators Alcock and Brown, 1919.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Alcock (centre left) holds a model of their Vickers Vimy biplane, and Brown (centre right) holds a mailbag. Sir John Alcock (1892-1919) and Sir Arthur Whitten Brown (1886- 1948) made the first direct transatlantic flight on 14 June 1919, for which they shared a £10,000 prize awarded by the 'Daily Mail' newspaper. They also carried several items of mail with them and in doing so, effectively transported the first transatlantic airmail to Britain. The flight, which took place between St John's in Newfoundland, Canada and Clifden in County Galway, Ireland, took 16 hours and 27 minutes and culminated in their crash-landing on Derrygimla bog in Clifden. Both men were knighted after the flight. Alcock was killed soon afterwards in an aeroplane accident.