Transatlantic crossing  

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Transatlantic crossings are passages of passengers and cargo across the Atlantic Ocean between the Americas and Europe. Prior to the 19th century, transatlantic crossings were undertaken in sailing ships, which was a time consuming and often perilous journey. Transatlantic crossings became faster, safer, and more reliable with the advent of steamships. The Blue Riband is awarded for the record fastest crossing. Grand ocean liners began making regularly scheduled crossings, and soon it became a symbol of national and company status to build the largest, fastest, and most luxurious ocean liner for transatlantic crossings. Transatlantic crossings through water are still slow compared to aircraft crossings, taking anywhere between two weeks and several months to complete. Examples of some famous transatlantic liners are Template:RMS, Template:RMS , Template:RMS, Template:SS, Template:RMS, Template:SS, Template:SS, Template:RMS, and Template:RMS.

The current transatlantic sailing record was set on Sunday August 2, 2009, when the trimaran Banque Populaire V made the crossing from New York to Cornwall, UK in 3 days, 15 hours, 25 minutes, 48 seconds. This was a 9 hour gain over the previous record set in 2007.

Guinness Book of World Records has been tracking all vessels making the passage and has awarded world records to luxury liners, sail boats, rowing boats. In 2009 Ralph and Robert Brown succeeded in setting several world records, arriving September 5 in London, after leaving Tampa on June 27. They are the smallest unassisted transatlantic motor boat and the longest "Flats Boat" ocean voyage. Their Dreamboats Intruder 21' has a single Suzuki 115 HP outboard (a 9.9 HP was available in emergencies) is a "flats" boat (4 inch draft, no cabin, no keel) (see external links).


Transatlantic flights

Transatlantic flight would eventually surpass ocean liners as the predominant mode of crossing the Atlantic by the late 20th century. In 1919, the American NC-4 became the first airplane to cross the Atlantic (but in multiple stages). Later that year, a British Vickers Vimy piloted by Alcock and Brown made the first non-stop transatlantic flight from Newfoundland to Ireland. Also in 1919, the British were the first to cross the Atlantic in an airship when the R34 captained by Major George Herbert Scott of the Royal Air Force with his crew and passengers flew from East Fortune, Scotland to Mineola, Long Island, covering a distance of about 3,000 statute miles (4,800 km) in about four and a half days; he then made a return trip to England, thus also completing the first double crossing of the Atlantic (east–west–east). In 1927, Charles Lindbergh made the first solo non-stop transatlantic flight in an airplane (between New York City and Paris). The second solo piloting, and the first to carry a passenger, was Clarence Duncan Chamberlin on June 6, 1927. Edward R. Armstrong proposed a string of anchored "seadromes" to refuel planes in a crossing.

The first serious attempt to take a share of the transatlantic passenger market away from the ocean liners was undertaken by Germany. In the 1930s, Germany crossed the Atlantic with Zeppelins that could carry about 60 passengers in relatively the same luxurious style as the ocean liners. However, the Hindenburg disaster in 1937 put an end to transatlantic Zeppelin flights.

On June 1, 1944, two K-class blimps from Blimp Squadron ZP-14 of the United States Navy (USN) completed the first transatlantic crossing by non-rigid airships. The two K-ships (K-123 and K-130) left South Weymouth, MA on May 28, 1944 and flew approximately 16 hours to Naval Station Argentia, Newfoundland. From Argentia, the blimps flew approximately 22 hours to Lagens Field on Terceira Island in the Azores. The final leg of the first transatlantic crossing was about a 20-hour flight from the Azores to Craw Field in Port Lyautey (Kenitra), French Morocco.

Beginning in the 1950s, the glory and predominance of ocean liners began to wane when larger and larger passenger airplanes began whisking passengers across the ocean in less and less time. The speed of crossing the ocean became more popular than the style of crossing it. By the 1970s, supersonic Concorde airplanes could cross the Atlantic in under four hours and only one ocean liner remained on the transatlantic route for those who favored the slower style of travel.

Transatlantic cables

Transatlantic cables are cables that have been laid along the ocean floor to connect North America and Europe. Before the advent of radio, the only means of communication across the Atlantic Ocean was to physically connect the continents with a transatlantic telegraph cable, the first of which was installed from Valentia, Ireland to Heart's Content, Newfoundland in 1858. The first transatlantic telephone cable, TAT-1, was installed in 1955. The first transatlantic fiber optic cable, TAT-8, was installed in 1988. The exchange rate between the United States dollar and British pound is still colloquially known as "cable" by financial marketeers on account of the fact the rate of exchange was one of the early uses of the transatlantic cable.

Transatlantic radio

Transatlantic radio communication was first accomplished on December 12, 1901 by Guglielmo Marconi who, using a temporary receiving station at Signal Hill, Newfoundland, received a Morse code signal representing the letter "S" sent from Poldhu, in Cornwall, United Kingdom. Guglielmo Marconi initiated commercial transatlantic radio communications between his high power long wave wireless telegraphy stations in Clifden Ireland and Glace Bay, Nova Scotia on 17 October 1907.

Amateur radio operators are usually credited with the discovery of transatlantic radio communication in the shortwave bands. The first successful transatlantic tests were conducted by radio amateurs in December 1921 operating in the 200 meter mediumwave band, the shortest wavelength then available to amateurs. In 1922 hundreds of North American amateurs were heard in Europe at 200 meters and at least 20 North American amateurs heard amateur signals from Europe. The first two way transatlantic shortwave radio contacts were completed by radio amateurs in November 1923, on 110 meters.

Marconi initiated the first commercial shortwave transatlantic radio communication between the UK to Canada using his "Beam Wireless Service" which went into commercial operation on 25 October 1926. Shortwave radio vastly increased the speed and capacity of transatlantic communications at dramatically reduced cost compared to telegraph cable and long wave radio.

Telstar was the first communications satellite to provide commercial transatlantic communications. It was launched by on July 10, 1962, the first privately sponsored space launch. Communications satellites vastly increased the speed and quality of transatlantic communication, but transatlantic fiber optic cables have carried the vast majority of transatlantic communications traffic since the early 1990ss

Transatlantic tunnel

The Transatlantic Tunnel is a structure proposed by one of the engineers involved in the construction of the Channel Tunnel beneath the English Channel. It would be a tunnel that spans the Atlantic Ocean between New York City and the United Kingdom or France. There have been plans for such a tunnel, but no substantial action towards its construction.

Transatlantic rowing race

The first East–West Atlantic Rowing Race took place in 1997 from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean. It now runs once every two years or so.

The first West–East 'North' Atlantic Rowing Race took place in 2006 from New York to Falmouth UK.

Transatlantic raft crossing

The first Atlantic crossing by junk raft was the Son of Town Hall, in 1998.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Transatlantic crossing" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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