Investigations

NC-4: First Across The Atlantic

The Case:

Almost ten years before Charles Lindbergh’s famous solo flight across the Atlantic, the NC-4 was the first aircraft to make the transatlantic journey in May, 1919. 

Now, a woman in Saratoga, CA,  has a small square of canvas-like fabric that she believes comes from the NC-4, one of four U.S. Navy “flying boats” that had originally been commissioned to alert American destroyers to the locations of German U-boat submarines that were wreaking havoc on merchant ships along the U.S. coast during World War I.

Interestingly, due to early mechanical problems, the NC-4 was considered by many aviation insiders to be the least likely candidate to complete the trek across the Atlantic.

History Detectives investigates the little-known story of the NC-4 and its historic voyage.


Discuss this story

Aired:
Season 5, Episode 6
Season 6, Episode 8

Detective:
Elyse Luray Location:
Pensacola, Florida and Hammondsport, New York

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