Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fly this 27,460 kilometers over Africa


I wrote earlier about how agricultural machinery to start up Mzuzu’s Tung oil plantation was brought over to Nkhata Bay by flying boat.  Well it turns out that this was not the first time that a flying boat came to Lake Malawi.  The story of that first boat is amazingly captured by Colin Baker in this article, unfortunately gated.  In short two Frenchmen in 1928 flew from France in  Loire and Olivier H-18 flying boat down and across Africa to Madagascar, passing through Lake Malawi and back again.  That must have been an incredible journey to put it mildly.  Here is a picture of the plane they did it in.  It only had the one engine as you see in the picture that was positioned directly above the cockpit.  Holy crap! It looks like a toy.  (the wheels shown in the picture are only there because it is not in the water)





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