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  • 12/03/13--04:11: 1947 500cc Start

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  • 12/03/13--09:00: Dean Jeffries Manta Car

  • "It’s the early 1960′s and Dean Jeffries wants to make a name for himself. He sees guys like Bill Cushenberry and George Barris winning big trophies and taking home big checks and realizes the bar has been set – all he has to do is leap over it. By 1963, Dean has perfected his craft and is confident enough to set a goal. Hell or high water, he was going to win the Oakland Show. Doing so would not only give him a name, but set him up with a large cash prize, a free trip to Europe, and a brand new car.

    Of course, none of that would come easy. Winning the Oakland Roadster Show was a kin to winning the Super Bowl. It took talent, a ton of hard work, and maybe even a little luck. None of that deterred Dean, however, and it wasn’t long before the Mantaray was under construction.

    As luck would have it, Dean’s father-in-law had a couple of pre-war Maserati Formula cars sitting in his back yard. Dean asked nicely, the man obliged, and when it was all said and done, the Mantaray had an extremely sophisticated foundation to begin life with. From there, Dean took a ton of quarter-inch rod and just started bending a shape he had in his head. Once finished, he dropped the whole lot off at California Metal Shaping and for $800, they formed the body.

    Mechanicals were next. Dean did some work with Carol Shelby on the Cobra and as trade, took a nicely prepared and webber inducted 289. It fit the car perfectly and gave the Indy inspired ride all of the required grunt. As mentioned earlier though, the frame and most of the remaining mechanicals are all Maserati – including the gorgeous drum brakes, beautifully proportioned rear-diff, and highly sophisticated (at the time) independent front suspension.

    The final touch was a typical one in the early 1960′s – a bubble top. Dean blew it himself and amazingly, only had to do the deed once. I’ve heard it said that Dean never really understood the bubble fad, thought they ruined drive ability, but did it anyway as he felt he needed the feature to compete. Whatever the case, you can’t argue the final look. Neither could the judges – Dean took the Roadster Show and all of the goodies that came with it.

    The car now sits fully restored in the Petersen Automotive Museum."

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  • 12/03/13--11:00: Fritz and John Robinson

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  • 12/04/13--09:00: Martin 187 Baltimore

  • "The Martin 187 Baltimore was a two-engined light attack bomber built by the Glenn L. Martin Company in the United States, originally ordered by the French in May 1940 as a follow-up to the earlier Martin Maryland, then in service in France. With the fall of France, the production series was diverted to Great Britain. Baltimore development was hindered by a series of problems, although the type eventually became a highly versatile combat aircraft. Produced in large numbers, the Baltimore was not used in combat by the United States forces, but eventually served with the British, Canadian, Australian, South African, Hellenic and the Italian air forces.

    Initially designated the A-23 (derived from the A-22 Martin 167 Maryland design), the Model 187 (company designation) had a deeper fuselage and more powerful engines. The Model 187 met the needs for a light to medium bomber, originally ordered by the Anglo-French Purchasing Commission as a joint project in May 1940. The French Air Force sought to replace the earlier Maryland; 400 aircraft being ordered. With the fall of France, the Royal Air Force (RAF) took over the order and gave it the service name Baltimore. To enable the aircraft to be supplied to the British under the Lend-Lease Act the United States Army Air Forces designation A-30 was allocated.

    With the passing of the Lend Lease Act two further batches of 575 and then 600 were provided to the RAF"

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  • 12/04/13--11:00: Randy Mamola at Imatra

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    "The Morgan Plus 8 is a sports car built by British car makers Morgan between 1968 and 2004. Its instant and enduring popularity has been credited with saving the company and keeping the company famous during the 36 years of its manufacture. Among Morgan enthusiasts, it is deeply associated with Peter Morgan, the owner-chairman behind its design.

    The development of the Plus 8 was led by Maurice Owen, a race car engineer taken on specifically for the role. The Plus 8 prototype was based on a modified version the chassis of the Plus 4, to which it added the Rover alloy block215 cu in (3.5 l) V8, purchased from GM-Buick in 1967. Plus 4's Moss gearbox was carried over and the Salisbury 7HA axle was uprated with a limited slip differential. The chassis was developed in stages to accommodate gearbox changes in 1973 and 1976, the body widened in 1976 to accommodate the widened chassis and the wings widened to accommodate larger tyres to handle the increasing power and trend for lower profile and wider tyres. The original 1968 Plus 8 was 57 inches (1,400 mm) wide and the last was 64 inches (1,600 mm) (with an optional "widebody" at 67 inches (1,700 mm)) For several years in the 1960s the Plus Eight was the fastest-accelerating UK production car."

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  • 12/05/13--11:00: 1967 IOM TT

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    "Powered by an 850cc V-twin the Le Mans Mark I produced 71hp and had a top speed of somewhere in the region of 130mph – depending on your level of commitment with the throttle. Revival Cycles removed the original wiring loom and added a modern, custom made loom centred around a Motogadget “M-unit” gauge, a Dynatek electronic ignition and a small Lithium-ion battery, this was intended to improve reliability and bring the Le Mans into the 21st century.

    The headlights and brake lights are both cleverly hidden LED units chosen for their small size and very small power-requirements, the headlight is currently sitting behind the front cowling though so don’t spend too much time searching for it. The rear suspension was replaced with vintage Marzocchi shocks to keep the bike looking period correct and clip-ons were added up front to give the bike a low, racy look.

    Perhaps the coolest feature on the bike is the RFID unit hidden under the seat that acts as a keyless ignition, so long as you have the RFID tag in your pocket."

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    "Milton was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on November 14, 1893. He began his career in racing in 1914, competing on dirt tracks in the Midwestern United States. By 1917, he was competing nationwide, and earned his first major win at a track in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1919, he was one of the dominant figures in American racing, winning five of the nine championship races including the International Sweepstakes at Sheepshead Bay, New York, and making his debut at the Indianapolis 500. Later that year he suffered severe burns when his car burst into flames during a race at Uniontown, Pennsylvania. He returned to the track the following year to win the Universal Trophy on June 19 before winning the 1920 United States National Driving Championship.

    Milton was a starter in the Indianapolis 500 eight times, earning the pole position once, and finishing in the top five on four occasions. He drove for Duesenberg his first time in 1919 and again the following year when he finished third. In 1921, the twenty-seven-year-old Milton won the celebrated race driving a straight-eight Frontenac built by Louis Chevrolet. In 1922 fuel tank problems forced Milton out of the race after only forty-four laps, but he came back in 1923 driving for the H.C.S. Motor Co. with a Miller 122 and won the race for the second time. His last was the 1927 Indianapolis 500 where he finished eighth.

    At the 1936 race, Milton returned to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to drive the Packard 120 Pace Car. At his suggestion, the tradition of giving the race winner the Pace Car began that year. In 1949 Milton was appointed chief steward for the Indianapolis 500. Health problems forced him to retire in 1957."

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  • 12/08/13--09:00: Reanult 5 Turbo Group B

  • "The Renault 5 Turbo was introduced as a road car in 1980 and won the Monte Carlo Rally on it's first competition outing in 1981 at the hands of Jean Ragnotti. It was a force to be reckoned with during the golden age of rally known as group B, even against the 4 wheel drive legends of the Audi Quattro and Lancia Delta S4."

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    "The Italians aren’t the only ones who can turn it on for a special birthday bike. When the Schwinn Paramount turned 50 in 1988, the Waterford factory produced a Limited Edition frame that was on par with any commemorative Colnago. This example was bought new by the preeminent collector Ray Dobbins in the early 90s, which explains the scrupulous level of care with which it has been presented.

    The frame was available in red, blue, white or the option selected by Ray, black. There is a barely-detectable gold fleck in the paint that, along with gold-plated forks, traditionally celebrate a 50th anniversary. Ray originally built it with Campagnolo’s 50th Anniversary groupset, but replaced it with similarly appropriate parts when he sold it in 2008.

    Ray is somewhat a perfectionist, sourcing a limited edition La Fausto Coppi saddle by Selle Italia with gold-plated rivets, which matches the gold-plated head on the Silca pump. There are far too many wonderful details to extoll in detail, including the limited edition Paramount headset, high-polished Cinelli cockpit and that flawless, as you’d expect, 24 karat gold-plated fork."

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  • 12/09/13--11:00: NSU Sportmax

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    "AMA roadracing was a backwater for much of the 1960s, a two-wheeled fiefdom dominated by America’s only remaining motorcycle manufacturer, Harley-Davidson. With success more or less guaranteed by archaic Class C rules that gave The Motor Company’s antiquated, side-valve KR750 motor a 50 percent displacement advantage over more modern engines from European manufacturers, racing in America was essentially an all-Harley affair. It wasn’t until the late-’60s, when the British brands began spending serious money in an effort to increase their U.S. sales, that the racing results began to change.

    Triumph was the first to strike, launching an all-out assault on the 1966 Daytona 200. The British firm developed a 500cc Daytona T100R racer that was as powerful as the 750cc Harleys, but much lighter at just 315 lbs. Buddy Elmore won the 200 that year for Triumph, and Gary Nixon won it for Triumph again in ’67. Harley retaliated by forming a huge, eight-rider “Wrecking Crew” led by the gifted Cal Rayborn, who defied all odds to win the 200 in ’68 and ’69 on the outdated, flathead KRTT.

    By ’69, however, not even the hyper-conservative AMA Competition Committee—which hadn’t even allowed fairings until ’64—could ignore technology’s forward march. Lightweight Japanese two-strokes had begun to make their presence known. Yamaha 350s finished second and third at Daytona in ’69, and Yvon DuHamel’s Yamaha became the first bike to qualify at over 150 mph (qualifying then consisted of a flying lap of the tri-oval). Meanwhile, multi-cylinder superbikes like BSA’s Rocket 3, Triumph’s Trident triple and Honda’s magnificent CB750 four were flying out of showroom doors. The AMA had no choice but to get with the times. For 1970, the rules were rewritten to allow 750cc displacement for all motorcycles regardless of valve location or number of cylinders.

    Triumph and BSA had joined forces in the mid-’60s, and by '70 the joint venture was desperate to boost sales of its premier triples, which were outsold 4-to-1 by Honda’s CB750 in the American market. The British firm thought a Daytona win would provide the perfect marketing boost, and spared no expense assembling a race effort for the 200. Seven racebikes were prepared, powered by 81-horsepower engines mounted in Rob North-built “highboy” frames wrapped in wind-cheating bodywork developed in a Royal Air Force wind tunnel. The company increased its odds with an all-star rider roster featuring nine-time World Champion Mike Hailwood joined by David Aldana on red-and-white BSAs, plus Don Castro, Gary Nixon and Gene Romero riding blue-and-white Triumphs. A full factory crew, including an aerodynamics specialist and support engineers from Dunlop Tires and Lucas Electrics, completed the effort.

    Rayborn—the defending Daytona champ—led another massive Harley effort aboard the new, OHV, iron-head XRTT. Honda, on the other hand, almost didn’t make the show. Its CB750 was the pinnacle of late-’60s performance, with a Grand Prix-inspired four-cylinder engine, disc front brake and excellent handling. Yet despite these advantages, Honda’s upper management was reluctant to race. It was only through the force of one man—Bob Hansen, American Honda’s national service manager—that Honda entered the 200 at all.

    When Hansen first proposed racing at Daytona, American Honda’s board of directors shot him down: “They said, ‘What if we don’t win?’” Hansen recalls. “I said, ‘Exactly. That’s why we need a full-fledged factory effort.’ I already distributed bikes to dealers, and I knew someone was going to race at Daytona. I said a first-class effort was the only way to ensure success.”

    Honda’s board wouldn’t budge. A few days later, however, Hansen received a phone call from Mr. Harada, the head of Honda R&D in Japan. Harada had just one question: What was the top speed necessary to win? “I picked a number a few mph faster than anyone had ever gone before, and he hung up,” Hansen says.

    Three days later, Harada called back and said Honda was preparing to enter the 1970 Daytona 200. “I asked how he made the decision,” Hansen says. “He said, ‘You told me necessary top speed. I know horsepower needed to achieve that speed. We can make that power, so we can win the race.’” If only it were that simple!

    Yoshio Nakamura, Honda’s famous Formula 1 team manager, was placed in charge of the Daytona effort. This decision didn’t sit well with Hansen, who was a veteran competitor. “What did he know about racing at Daytona?” Hansen asked. Apparently there was some uncertainty inside Honda, too, as Harada gave Hansen one bike as a contingency. Nakamura was responsible for three works-racer CR750s—the factory racing version of the production CB750. Hansen would field an identical fourth bike.

    Once the decision was made to compete, the Honda effort proceeded at full-throttle. Nakamura hired three star international riders: 125cc World Champion Ralph Bryans, fellow Irishman Tommy Robb and U.K. Honda dealer, racer and Isle of Man TT expert Bill Smith. For his entry, Hansen selected well-known AMA Grand National Champion and three-time Daytona 200 runner-up Dick “Bugsy” Mann.

    That year’s Daytona 200 was controversial from the start. Bickering began early in the week, when other teams learned that the factory Triumphs and BSAs were using non-homologated five-speed transmissions. Honda was drawn into the controversy mid-week when Bryans crashed his CR750 on the front straight, where it caught fire. Honda’s threats to protest the Britbikes’ illegal gearboxes went up in smoke when the other teams saw the CR750’s decidedly non-stock magnesium engine cases burning in the flames.

    Desperate to capture pole position—and the $1000 prize that went with it—Romero and his mechanic, Pat Owens, took a calculated risk for qualifying and installed skinnier, 3.5-inch-wide street tires run at very high pressure. Their gamble paid off when Romero’s Triumph logged a remarkable 157.342-mph lap, clocking 165 mph through the back-straight speed trap and chunking the tires in the process. Hailwood’s BSA qualified second with a 152.90-mph lap and Nixon held third at 152.82 mph. Mann’s Honda qualified fourth with an average speed of 152.67 mph, ahead of all three Nakamura-tuned CR750s.

    Honda had the speed, but Hansen was concerned about mechanical problems. Mann’s bike suffered a misfire that affected high-rpm performance. Bob Jameson, Hansen’s lead mechanic, did some investigating and discovered the hard-rubber cam-chain tensioner was disintegrating inside the motor, necessitating a full engine rebuild. Jameson alerted Nakamura’s other three crew chiefs, but they foolishly ignored his advice. Meanwhile, the BSA/Triumph mechanics had their own worries: Those new, full-coverage fairings didn’t flow enough air to keep the triples cool in the Florida heat, especially on the infield road course.

    When the green flag dropped, Mann got the start of his career and opened a 50-yard lead by Turn 1. Before exiting the infield, however, Hailwood and Nixon closed the gap. Romero was right behind until traffic forced him off-track, costing a precious, 15-second delay. By lap two Hailwood and Nixon had both ridden around Mann and were running away, until Hailwood’s bike overheated on lap six. Nixon led the race until the 110-mile mark, when he likewise retired with a burnt center piston. The factory Hondas of Bryans, Robb and Smith dropped out one by one, all suffering the same top-end problems. This left Mann, who built a tremendous lead after Nixon retired, as the only Honda rider in the race. Rayborn and the rest of Harley’s Wrecking Crew were non-factors. Not a single iron-head XR—soon to be nicknamed the “waffle iron” for its tendency to overheat—finished the race. The Motor Company’s best result that year came from Walt Fulton Jr., riding an “obsolete” KR.

    Even after a meticulous engine rebuild, Mann’s cam-chain tensioner was gone within the first 100 miles. With just 10 laps remaining, Mann’s lead over Romero had withered to just 12 seconds. Hansen did some quick calculations and figured they could safely lose 1 second per lap and still win—provided the bike stayed together. “Dick’s machine was smoking, missing, the whole thing,” Hansen remembers. “I had my doubts.” Still, Hansen kept his fingers crossed, and kept Mann informed of Romero’s progress lap by lap.

    With around five laps remaining, Nakamura jumped the pit-lane wall and stormed up to Hansen, demanding he tell Mann to increase his speed. “Nakamura pointed at his watch and said, ‘Must go faster, losing a second per lap,’” Hansen recalls. “I said, ‘Get back over that fence and mind your own business. I’m running this race now!’”—words Hansen would later regret. Hansen’s strategy worked—barely. Mann limped across the finish line first, just 2 seconds ahead of Romero. His bike was running on three cylinders, and Jameson later found less than a cup of oil left in the engine.

    Hansen is quick to credit others: “Bob Jameson won Daytona in 1970—it’s as simple as that. He went through that motor, and when he was done, it was fantastic.” Hansen is just as quick to praise Mann, whose calm, veteran attitude helped him keep the failing bike together right up to the final moments of the event. American Honda thanked Hansen by terminating his position, ostensibly over his insubordination toward Nakamura. Hansen immediately took a position with Kawasaki as director of technical service, managing a successful factory racing effort.

    For his part, Mann remains characteristically nonchalant. “That was a normal situation for Daytona,” he says. “It wasn’t a very complicated racetrack. They didn’t have the chicane in the backstretch, so the bikes were basically at maximum RPM for a very long time. Riding skill was important, but it was usually a battle of attrition. Hansen prepared the machine and I rode it as best I could, just like I was contracted to do. That was it.”

    With all due respect to Mann, Honda’s 1970 Daytona 200 win was an incredible result that foreshadowed the future of American roadracing. By the end of the decade, BSA was out of business, Triumph was headed that way and Harley-Davidson had abandoned sport motorcycles to become the cruiser juggernaut it is today.

    The year 1970 was not the first time Honda raced at Daytona. Team Hansen entered a trio of underdog CR450s in the 1967 Daytona 200—and nearly won. Bob Hansen worked closely with the factory to prepare the bikes, even sending color chips to Japan so these “privateer” bikes could be painted in the team’s official orange-and-white livery. “Honda only knew one way to go racing,” Hansen says. “It was first-class, and very expensive!”

    Hansen created quite a commotion at Daytona that year. The Triumph and Harley-Davidson racebikes barely revved beyond 6500 rpm, while the Honda twins made peak power at 11,000 rpm. “The first time Jimmy Odom passed the tower, it sounded like a jet buzzed the straightaway,” Hansen remembers. Everyone laughed at the “Little Hondas” until Odom lapped the tri-oval at 134 mph, besting all but one 750cc Harley KRTT and matching the well-developed 500cc Triumph T100Rs.

    Come race time, all eyes were glued to Odom’s Honda on the front row, with Walt Fulton Jr.’s Harley right beside. Odom, an expert dirt-tracker, had little roadracing experience. Hansen told him to stick to Fulton’s tail and “try to learn something”—advice Odom followed as best he could. The Honda was faster, but the Harley rider’s skill ruled the infield. Odom looked like a yo-yo attached to Fulton’s tail each time the pair headed up onto the banking.

    As Odom got faster, he began dragging the pipes. “Honda sent a note that read: ‘If pipe hits ground, okay to pound with hammer,’” Hansen laughs. A few laps from the finish Odom fell in the International Horseshoe, ending his run. Gary Nixon won that year for Triumph, while future Indycar racer Swede Savage was the top-finishing Honda in 11th place."


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  • 12/11/13--09:00: Dornier Do J "Wal"

  • "The Do J was a fairly modern (compared to those models of World War I), design with a high-mounted strut-braced monoplane wing. Two piston engines were mounted in tandem in a nacelle above the wing and in line with the hull; one engine drove a tractor and the other drove a pusher propeller. The Do J made its maiden flight on 6 November 1922. The flight, as well as most production until 1932, took place in Italy because of the restrictions on aviation in Germany after World War I under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. Dornier began to produce the Wal in Germany in 1931, production went on until 1936.

    In the military version (Militärwal in German), a crew of two to four rode in an open cockpit near the nose of the hull. There were one MG-position in the bow in front of the cockpit and one to two amidships. Beginning with Spain, military versions were delivered to Argentina, Chile and the Netherlands for use in their colonies; examples were also sent to Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union and to the end of production Italy and Germany. The main military users, Spain and the Netherlands, manufactured their own versions under licence. Several countries, notably Italy, Norway, Portugal, Uruguay, Great Britain and Germany, employed the Wal for military tasks.

    The civil version (Kabinenwal or Verkehrswal) had a cabin in the nose, offering space for up to 12 passengers, while the open cockpit was moved further aft. Main users of this version were Germany, Italy, Brazil and Colombia.

    The Do J was first powered by two 265 kW (355 hp) Rolls-Royce Eagle IX engines. Later versions used nearly every available engine on the market from makers like Hispano-Suiza,Napier & Son, Lorraine-Dietrich, BMW, and even the US-built Liberty Engine. The 10 to-Wal used by Deutsche Lufthansa for their mail service across the South Atlantic from 1934 to 1938 had a range of 3,600 km (2,200 mi), and a ceiling of 3,500 m (11,480 ft).

    Over 250 Wals were built by CMASA and Piaggio in Italy, CASA in Spain, Kawasaki in Japan, Aviolanda in the Netherlands and Dornier in Germany.

    Numerous airlines operated Wals on scheduled passenger and mail services with great success. The source Robert L. Gandt, in 1991, (pages 47–48) lists the following carriers: SANA and Aero Espresso of Italy; Aero Lloyd and Deutsche Luft Hansa of Germany; SCADTA of Columbia; Syndicato Condor of Brazil; Nihon Koku Yuso Kaisha of Japan. According to Nicolaou,1996 the Dornier Wal was "easily the greatest commercial success in the history of marine aviation".

    The Colombian Air Force used Wals in the Colombia-Peru War in 1932-1933.

    The Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen accompanied by Lincoln Ellsworth, pilot Hjalmar Riiser-Larsen, and three other team members used two Dornier seaplanes in his unsuccessful attempt to reach the North Pole in 1925. His two aircraft, N-24 and N-25, landed at 87° 44' north. It was the northernmost latitude reached by any aircraft up to that time. The planes landed a few miles apart without radio contact, yet the crews managed to reunite. One of the aircraft, the N-24, was damaged. Amundsen and his crew worked for over three weeks to prepare an airstrip to take off from the ice. They shoveled 600 tons of ice while consuming only one pound (454 g) of daily food rations. In the end, six crew members were packed into the N-25. Riiser-Larsen took off, and they barely became airborne over the cracking ice. They returned triumphant when everyone thought they had been lost.

    On 18 August 1930, Wolfgang von Gronau started on a transatlantic flight in the same Dornier Wal (D-1422) Amundsen had flown, establishing the northern air route over the Atlantic, flying from Sylt (Germany)-Iceland-Greenland-Labrador-New York 4,670 mi (7,520 km)) in 47 flight hours. In 1932 von Gronau flew a Dornier Wal (D-2053) called the "Grönland Wal" (Greenland Whale) on a round-the-world flight.

    In 1926 Ramón Franco became a national Spanish hero when he piloted the Plus Ultra on a trans-Atlantic flight. His co-pilot was Julio Ruiz de Alda Miqueleiz; the other crew members were Teniente de Navio (Navy Lieutenant) Juan Manuel Duran and the mechanic Pablo Rada. The 'Plus Ultra' departed from Palos de la Frontera, in Huelva, Spain on 22 January and arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 26 January. It stopped over at Gran Canaria, Cape Verde, Pernambuco, Rio de Janeiro and Montevideo. The 10,270 km journey was completed in 59 hours and 39 minutes.

    The event appeared in most major newspapers world wide, although some of them underlined the fact that the airplane itself, plus the technical expertise were foreign. Throughout the Spanish-speaking world, the Spanish aviators were wildly acclaimed, particularly in Argentina and Spain where thousands gathered at Plaza de Colón in Madrid.

    In 1929 Franco attempted another trans-Atlantic flight, this time crashing the airplane in the sea near the Azores. The crew was rescued days later by the aircraft carrier HMS Eagleof the British Royal Navy.

    The Portuguese military aviator Sarmento de Beires and his crew made the first night aerial crossing of the South Atlantic in a Dornier J named Argos. The crossing was made on the night of 17 March 1927 from Portuguese Guinea to Brazil.

    Two Dornier Wals (D-ALOX Passat and D-AKER Boreas) also played an important role in the Third German Antarctic Expedition of 1939."

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  • 12/11/13--11:00: Kennny #1

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