Today in History: The First Westbound Flight Across the Atlantic

On this day in 1919, the British airship R34 completed the first westbound fight across the Atlantic in history.

Because of the prevailing westerly winds, this feat would not be matched by an airplane for almost a decade.

R34 arriving in Mineola, New York after the first Westbound crossing of the Atlantic by Air (1919)

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Those prevailing winds almost made this trip in the R-34 a incomplete mission as they landed with very little fuel remaining in their tanks from battling headwinds in the western Atlantic. Her stay on Long Island was a brief one as the Lakehurst hanger one was still incomplete and there was no facilities in the USA for sheltering large rigid airships at the time. She stayed a few days tethered to the field where she landed in what is now Roosevelt Shopping Mall in Mineola, New York. Lindbergh took off for his famous transatlantic flight from that very same field.