Gustav Hamel

Mr. Gustav Hamel

Aviator, Flight, 1912 #310
Photo Courtesy of
The Vanity Fair Print Company

Gustav Hamel
Mr. G. Hamel and Miss Trehawke Davies
"A British woman, Eleanor Trehawke Davies became the first woman to cross the English Channel in an aeroplane when she flew across 2 April 1912, as a passenger with pilot, Gustav Hamel."
Newpaper interview clipping courtesy of Régis Gatineau, grandson of Mme Driancourt.
Written and published sometime between 2 April and 16 April 1912. Paris.

Photo Courtesy of Helena Aldis

Gustav Hamel
Photo from Reg Watkiss
Comments from Kevin Parkyn
     Hamel is seen flying over the centre of Penzance town, in 1913, heading towards Lands End , today the site of our local flying club:
Lands End Aero Club.
     I understand Hamel made more than one attempt to reach Lands End field and was beaten by headwinds, and eventually actually landed at Lower Botrea Farm, in Newbridge, Penzance, about half a mile from the Lands End Field. Lower Botrea Farm is also still in use today as a private airstrip!
     Wadebridge field's site is still in use today as a private airstrip, although part of farm land, mostly used by Microlights (ultralights) and Bodmin is still well used by both rotary wing and fixed wing general aviation aircraft. Lands End is in use by a regional airline, a flying school and a flying club! All these fields are still grass, as they were in the days of the Bleriots, which is a kind of nice thing.
Editor's Note: This photo is from the Reg Watkiss archive, (Penzance Photo Archive), and was hand printed by him from the original glass plate, It is by virtue of his professional skill and his generosity that the photo is made available to us. Our sincere appreciation goes to him and to his friend Kevin Parkyn who arranged for the contribution.
     Kevin Parkyn of Moonshine Framing in Penzance has a wonderful site with many pictures of Penzance and Western Cornwall. If time permits, I heartily recommend that you visit his website by clicking on his name above. 7-30-04

Gustav Hamel
Mr. Gustav Hamel, At Cirencester
AVIATOR MR. GUSTAV HAMEL, 1913. German pilot Gustav Hamel is being held back while revving his engine prior to take off for his display in 1913
Collection of David Sainsbury, 12-28-05

Dover to Colonge and 500 Miles Over Sahara
[By Cable to the Tribune.]
The New York Herald
April 18, 1913
LONDON, April 18.---A record aeroplane flight from England to Germany was made yesterday by Gustav Hamel, who flew with a passenger from Dover to Cologne, without a stop, covering the 245 miles in 258 minutes, passing over four frontiers and encountering five rainstorms on the journey.
     "The Standard," which organized the flight in connection with the Imperial Air Fleet Committee, with the object of demonstrating the enormous military value and importance of the aeroplane, says:
     "This flight demonstrates, as nothing hitherto undertaken has yet done, the possibilities of aviation in war time. Observations could have been taken of military defenses and their dispositions in Holland, France, Belgium and Germany. Explosives could have been dropped at a dozen points, the potentialities under this head alone being almost illimitable. What, then, is proved is that the country which possesses an aerial fleet is in the position of almost overwhelming strength against that country which neglects these modern weapons, and that the latter's defense is in a position of peril and gravity which it almost defies language to describe at all adequately.

BISKA, ALGERIA, April 17.---Four military aeroplanes, piloted by Lieutenants Reimbert, Cheutin, Jolain and Benoist, of the French army, arrived here today after a 500-mile round trip over the Sahara Desert. One of the machines carried Colonel Boutteaux as a passenger. The entire flight was made without an escort.
Transcribed by Roy Nagl, 12-28-05

"Aviators Are Eager to Essay Globe Circling"
Knoxville Journal and Tribune,
Knoxville, Tennessee: February 27, 1914,
Transcribed by Bob Davis - 2-20-07
"The accompanying illustration showed Harry Kanter explaining his monoplane to a group of naval officers. In the circle is shown the well known aviator Lincoln Beachey and on the right (left) is Gustav Hamel.
      Aviators express every confidence of the proposed "round-the-world" flight becoming a realization. The stupendous race project in connection with the Panama-Pacific Exposition in 1915 has aroused much interest and comment in New York, and included in the discussion is the opinion that American aviators are handicapped and that aviation as science and sport needs the stimulus of reawakened public interest.
      Harold Kanter, of Newtown, Queens county, N. Y., is one of the aviators mentioned by Mortimer Delano, secretary of the Aero Club of America, as being likely to take part in the flight.
      Gustav Hamel, of England, who flew upside down for the especial benefit of the King and Queen, is most enthusiastic. "Provided they are able to overcome financial difficulties," he said, "I am sure that many will jump at the chance to make th eattempt."
      Raymond V. Morris, of New Haven, Conn., has also given notice that he has begun the plans for a new machine for transatlantic flight and would enter the competition. Word received in New York from Los Angeles stated that Lincoln Beachey has decided to enter the race."

     If you search for "Gustav Hamel", using the Google search engine, (8-15-05), you will find 451 links!. I have selected the following website from among the wealth of sites which are available as an example.

Gustav Hamel Loops the Loop
as George V watches
     This summary of his exploit in 1914 offers several nice photographs and several quotations from contemporary articles from the periold. You can access the page by clicking on the title above.
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