British aviators John Alcock and Arthur Brown made the first non-stop transatlantic flight in June 1919, flying a modified First World War Vickers Vimy bomber from St. John's, Newfoundland, to Clifden, Connemara, County Galway. A small amount of mail was carried on the flight, making it the first transatlantic airmail flight. The two aviators were awarded the honour of Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE) a week later by King George V at Windsor Castle.
To celebrate the centenary of this flight, the Galway County Heritage Officer in collaboration with Alcock and Brown 100, Clifden Chamber of Commerce and Galway Education Centre will develop an educational programme for schools in the north Conemara area creating a number of resources which will be available online and will provide a link between heritage, education, science (STEM) , geography and aviation.
Although Although on first glance the story may seem to be just an historic aviation achievement it also allows us to explain other issues faced by the airmen such as weather, navigation, distances, size and indeed some technology. The resources will include workbooks, videos which have been developed and piloted with primary school children in the Clifden area but ultimately will be available for all schools across the county. The Heritage Office will research newspaper reports, original statements and records and will make them available to all on their digital platform.
Please note that the details of events listed above are provided by the relevant Local Authorities.