Transatlantic crossing


Transatlantic crossing

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. The United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy built the most famous ocean liners. Transatlantic crossings through water are still slow compared to aircraft crossings, taking anywhere between one week and several months to complete. Examples of some famous transatlantic liners are RMS Lusitania, RMS Mauretania, RMS Olympic, RMS Titanic, SS Rex, SS United States, RMS Queen Mary, SS Normandie, SS Andrea Doria, SS France, RMS Queen Elizabeth 2, and RMS Queen Mary 2.

The current eastbound transatlantic sailing record was set by the American ocean liner United States in July 1952: the ship made the crossing in 3 days, 10 hours, 40 minutes.

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.

Contents

Transatlantic flights

Transatlantic flight surpassed 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[1] 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.[2]

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.[citation needed]

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.[3] 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 1990s

Transatlantic tunnel

The Transatlantic Tunnel is a fictional 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.[4]

See also

Citations

  1. ^ http://www.warwingsart.com/LTA/zp-14.html
  2. ^ Kline, R. C. and Kubarych, S. J., Blimpron 14 Overseas, 1944, Naval Historical Center, Navy Yard, Washington, D. C.
  3. ^ "Milestones:Transmission of Transatlantic Radio Signals, 1901". IEEE Global History Network. IEEE. http://www.ieeeghn.org/wiki/index.php/Milestones:Transmission_of_Transatlantic_Radio_Signals,_1901. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  4. ^ "Son of Town Hall, First Raft made of Scrap to Cross the North Atlantic Ocean". The Floating Neutrinos. May 30, 2006. http://www.floatingneutrinos.com/son%20of%20town%20hall/chronology.htm. Retrieved Sept. 30, 2010. 

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • crossing */ — UK [ˈkrɒsɪŋ] / US [ˈkrɔsɪŋ] noun [countable] Word forms crossing : singular crossing plural crossings 1) a journey by boat across a river or sea This was my third transatlantic crossing. 2) a place where you are allowed to cross something such as …   English dictionary

  • crossing — cross|ing [ krɔsıŋ ] noun count * 1. ) a trip by boat across a river or ocean: This was my third transatlantic crossing. 2. ) a place where you are allowed to cross something such as a road or border: a pedestrian crossing …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • crossing — [ˈkrɒsɪŋ] noun [C] 1) a place where you are allowed to cross something such as a road or border a pedestrian crossing[/ex] 2) a journey across a river or sea a transatlantic crossing[/ex] …   Dictionary for writing and speaking English

  • Transatlantic flight — is the flight of an aircraft, whether fixed wing aircraft, balloon or other device, which involves crossing the Atlantic Ocean mdash; with a starting point in North America or South America and ending in Europe or Africa, or vice… …   Wikipedia

  • Transatlantic — Trans at*lan tic (tr[a^]ns*[a^]t*l[a^]n t[i^]k), a. [Pref. trans + Atlantic: cf. F. transatlantique.] 1. Lying or being beyond the Atlantic Ocean. [1913 Webster] Note: When used by a person in Europe or Africa, transatlantic signifies being in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transatlantic — ► ADJECTIVE 1) crossing the Atlantic. 2) concerning countries on both sides of the Atlantic, typically Britain and the US. 3) relating to or situated on the other side of the Atlantic; Brit. American; N. Amer. British or European …   English terms dictionary

  • transatlantic — [trans΄at lan′tik, tranz΄ət lan′tik] adj. 1. crossing or spanning the Atlantic 2. on the other side of the Atlantic …   English World dictionary

  • Transatlantic — The term transatlantic refers to something occurring all the way across the Atlantic Ocean. Most often, this refers to the exchange of passengers, cargo, information, or communication between North America and Europe.Transatlantic… …   Wikipedia

  • transatlantic — adjective Date: 1779 1. a. crossing or extending across the Atlantic Ocean < a transatlantic cable > b. relating to or involving crossing the Atlantic Ocean < transatlantic airfares > 2. a. situated or originating from beyond the Atlantic Ocean b …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • crossing — noun 1 trip across a stretch of water ADJECTIVE ▪ rough ▪ smooth ▪ ferry (esp. BrE) ▪ There are six ferry crossings a day. ▪ ocean …   Collocations dictionary


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