Attempted flight round the world 1924

Contributed by Vanessa Ascough

Attempted flight round the world 1924

This model is of the Vickers Vulture amphibian aeroplane, presented to my grandfather, Squadron Leader Stuart-MacLaren, by The Times newspaper when he and his two man crew made the second British attempt to achieve a flight around the world. With open cockpits, a wooden hull, wheels to be cranked by hand and only a map as a navigational aid, my grandfather was determined to show that the flight could be done by one British machine and one British engine. In the end, they managed to cover 13,100 miles before crashing in the Bering Sea - they were beaten by appalling weather conditions alone. But what made it a story which stands apart in world history was the bravery of the crew in sometimes nigh on impossible conditions, the spontaneous help of ordinary people they met along the way and the comradship of other 'competitors' at the time. Much of what they achieved in the way of experience on their journey must have helped those who came after them who finally were successful in their own attempts to fly round the world.

My grandfather was one of the most distnguished and promising RAF officers of his generation and is a hero in my family.

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