The story of the first direct flight across the Atlantic Ocean was one of both engineering achievement and human courage. The first non stop transatlantic flight by Alcock and Brown started in Newfoundland and ended in a remote bog at Errislannan in Connemara in the west coast of Ireland. Some of the visitors to Erislannan have described it as being bleak and dreary, most enjoy the beautiful scenery as a 'Special Amenity Area'. You can judge for yourself. The story of the first direct flight across the Atlantic Ocean was one of both engineering achievement and human courage.

 

Two memorials commemorating the flight were constructed near the landing spot close to Clifden. One is an isolated cairn a little over two miles south of Clifden on the site of Marconi's first transatlantic radio station from where Alcock and Brown transmitted their success to London. This memorial is about a quarter of a mile from the spot where they actually landed. In addition there is a sculpture of a plane's tail-fin on Errislannan Hill about a mile north of the landing spot which was erected to mark the 40th anniversary of the landing, on June 15th. 1959. Memorial statues were also erected at Heathrow and Manchester Airports to mark the remarkable achievement.

John Alcock was born in 1892 in Manchester in England. He first became interested in flying in his teens at a time when the science of aviation was still in its infancy. During the first World War Alcock gained much experience as a pilot, but was actually shot down during a bombing raid and was taken prisoner in Turkey. When the war finished he wanted to pursue his flying career and accepted the challenge of being the first to fly non stop across the Atlantic Ocean.

Arthur Brown was born in Glasgow in 1886 and pursued a career in engineering prior to the start of the First World War. He, similar to Alcock, became a prisoner of war when he was shot down over Germany. When he returned to Britain he continued to develop his aerial navigation skills. On a visit to the engineering firm of Vickers he was invited to be the navigator for a proposed attempt at a transatlantic flight as partner to John Alcock, who had already been selected as pilot.

By linking with the engineering firm of Vickers, Alcock and Brown entered the competition for the first direct transatlantic flight, set up by the Daily Mail with a prize of ten thousand pounds for the first person to fly across the Atlantic in less than 72 hours using only one airplane. They won the prize but had to endure many treacherous conditions. They had to fly through the night and often thick fog and they almost landed in the sea.

 

When Alcock and Brown returned to Britain after their successful journey, they received a hero's welcome.The two aviators were awarded the honor of Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE) a week later by King George V at Windsor Castle.

 

"I called Jim at Ireland West Tours looking specifically for a day touring around Galway to do photography. The minute I mentioned this to Jim, he started talking about light and times of day and I knew I was on to the right person! I trusted Jim with the places he recommended and he did not let me down!"

Jan M., Drogheda, Ireland

 

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Satisfying the customer 

Over the years we have had several compliments on our drivers from many of our satisfied customers. Click on the link to "Tripadvisor" below to read, in full, the reviews of some of our many happy customers.

"While some travellers may think of this as an expensive option, a driver allows you to see so much more than a tour bus would, is relaxing, personalized and gets you off of the beaten path. Jim is a gentleman and a professional."

Lady 12322, Saskatoon, Canada

 

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IRELAND WEST TOURS

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