American Trans-Oceanic Company

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American Trans-Oceanic Company
Founded 1914
Hubs Port Washington, New York
Palm Beach, Florida
Headquarters New York City [1]
Key people Rodman Wanamaker
Glen Curtiss
Grover Whalen

American Trans-Oceanic Company was an airline based in the United States.

History[edit]

Rodman Wanamaker published a letter in 1916 stating the founding of the American Trans-Oceanic Company to capitalize on the 1914 effort to fly across the Atlantic non-stop. A Curtiss H-16 aircraft was ordered for the company. Wanamaker claimed that if the trans-Atlantic flight could be accomplished once, then it could be accomplished over and over with commercial transports shortly thereafter.[2]

Curtiss H-16 Big Fish overhead

Forming just prior to America's full involvement in World War I, American Trans-Oceanic Company became one of the earliest commercial airlines in the United States. Operations also included a full-time flight school in Long Island and Palm Beach using Curtiss aircraft.[3] New innovations were deployed, such as a Sperry autopilot.[4] Rates varied from $15 for a 15-minute flight to $250 for a 320-mile flight to Cuba. Four five-hour flights a week were flown to Bimini at night.[5] By 1918, the company carried four to five thousand passengers without incident.[6]

The company's most distinctive aircraft was Big Fish, A Curtiss H-16 painted as a fish that flew between Palm Beach, Havana, Nassau, and New York.[7]

In 1927, Wanamaker sponsored Richard E. Byrd through the American Trans-Oceanic Company to make the Transatlantic attempt again in a Fokker Trimotor, the America. The company put up nearly $150,000 to fund the effort.[8] The aircraft crashed on the attempt to win the Orteig Prize, losing to Charles Lindbergh. The team attempt was accomplished on July 1, 1927, crashing in Ver-sur-Mer.[9]

Wanamaker died in May 1928. Without Wanamaker's involvement, American Trans-Oceanic Company's sponsorships did not continue.

Destinations[edit]

Country/Continent

Fleet[edit]

The American Trans-Oceanic Company fleet consists of the following aircraft as of 1918:[10]

American Trans-Oceanic Company Fleet
Aircraft Total Routes Notes
Curtiss Model F Short Routes 5-6 place open flying boats
Curtiss H-16 Long Routes 14-16 place flying boats

Incidents and accidents[edit]

In January 1917, one of the Twin engine Curtiss flying boats was destroyed when it was torn from its hangar in a gale storm in Long Island.[11] In 1921 the Big Fish, Curtiss H-16 was destroyed in a crash.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "none". Flying: 354. September 1916. 
  2. ^ "none". Flying: 99. April 1916. 
  3. ^ "none". Flying: 354. September 1916. 
  4. ^ "aerial age weekly". 4 December 1916. 
  5. ^ "High over Palm Beach". Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  6. ^ Aerospace Industries Association of America, Manufacturers Aircraft Association, Aircraft Industries Association of America, Aeronautical Chamber of Commerce of America. Aircraft year book. p. 12. 
  7. ^ Lynn Lasseter Drake; Richard A. Marconi. West Palm Beach: 1893 to 1950. 
  8. ^ Richard Bak. The Big Jump: Lindbergh and the Great Atlantic Air Race. 
  9. ^ Richard Evelyn Byrd; Raimund Erhard Goerler. To the Pole: the diary and notebook of Richard E. Byrd, 1925-1927. 
  10. ^ Aerospace Industries Association of America, Manufacturers Aircraft Association, Aircraft Industries Association of America, Aeronautical Chamber of Commerce of America. Aircraft year book. p. 12. 
  11. ^ The Rudder, Volume 33. p. 94. 
  12. ^ "High over Palm Beach". Retrieved 3 January 2012. 

External links[edit]