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MrBlueSky1960
06-09-2006, 06:43 AM
Conquest of Everest by air; article from The Times, April 4, 1933


The Times, April 4, 1933



LORD CLYDESDALE€S REPORT

TWO AEROPLANES 100 FEET OVER SUMMIT

CLOSE-RANGE PHOTOGRAPHS

PILOTS€ TRIBUTE TO ENGINES AND AIRCRAFT

Mount Everest was conquered yesterday when the two machines of the Houston Expedition flew over the summit, and cleared it by 100 feet. The flight was completed in exactly three hours.

The flight is described below in the official report of Lord Clydesdale, the chief pilot, by Colonel Blacker, who was in the same machine as Lord Clydesdale, and in a message from our Aeronautical Correspondent, who is with the Expedition.

FULL STORY OF FLIGHT
15 MINUTES ROUND THE CREST

World Copyright Reserved

From Our Aeronautical Correspondent

PURNEA (BIHAR), April 3

http://1000aircraftphotos.com/Contributions/Braas/4081L.jpg

The summit of Mount Everest was flown over to-day by both the Houston-Westland and Westland-Wallace aeroplanes (Bristol Pegasus, SIII. Engines). The following is the official report drawn up for The Times by Squadron Leader Lord Clydesdale, chief pilot of the Houston Everest Expedition:-€œThis morning (April 3) the Indian meteorological officer at Purnea, Mr S. N. Gupta, whose information and advice have been of very great value to the Expedition, reported from balloon observations that the wind, which previously had been unsuitable, had dropped to a velocity of 57 m.p.h. at 33,000ft., which altitude we had decided would be the most suitable working height for photographic survey.

€œOur two machines took off at 8.25 from Lalbalu aerodrome (near Purnea) in still air, the Houston-Westland crewed by Colonel L. V. S. Blacker and myself and the Westland-Wallace piloted by Flight Lieutenant D. F. McIntyre, with Mr. S. R. Bonnett, who is aerial photographer of the Gaumont-British Film Corporation, as observer. Our direct route to the summit meant flying on a track of 342 deg. This necessitated changing the compass course at intervals more to the west on account of the increase of wind velocity with height according to our weather report. We had relied on overcoming to some extent the difficulty of accurate compass navigation caused by this frequent change of wind speed by the good landmarks near and along our track.

HEAVY DUST HAZE
€œA heavy dust haze, rising to a considerable height, almost completely obscured the ground from Forbesganj to the higher mountain ranges. This made aerial survey work impossible. We climbed slowly at low engine revolutions to a height of 10,000ft. By this height the crews of both machines had tested their respective electrical heating sets, and McIntyre and I signalled to each other that everything was satisfactory.

€œAfter 30 minutes€ flying we passed over Forbesganj, our forward emergency landing ground, 40 miles from Purnea, and at a height of 19,000ft. Everest first became visible above the haze. We flew lower than our intended working height in order to make every endeavour to pass over Komaltar, close to which is the ground control from which we were to begin our survey. It proved impossible to identify any landmarks at all until approximately within 20 miles of the summit.

€œAt 9 o€clock we passed over Chamlang at an altitude of 31,000ft. On approaching Lhotse, the southern peak of the Everest group, the ground rises at a steep gradient, and both machines experienced a steady down current due to deflection of the west wind over the mountain, causing a loss of altitude of 1,500ft., despite all our efforts to climb.

OVER THE SUMMIT
€œBoth aeroplanes flew over the summit of Everest at 10.05, clearing it by 100ft. The wind velocity was noticeably high near the summit, but no bumps were felt by either aircraft. Fifteen minutes were spent flying in the neighbourhood of the summit, and on account of the smooth flying conditions the taking of close-range photographs was rendered possible.

€œThe visibility of distant high peaks was very good. The great Himalaya range could be seen extending to great distances and provided a magnificent spectacle.

€œThe return journey was carried out at a slightly lower altitude, so as to secure better conditions for oblique photography.

€œBoth machines landed at Lalbalu at 11.25. Both pilots pay the highest tributes to the splendid performance of the engines and aircraft.€

The flight over Everest to-day was carried out with no more fuss than an ordinary Service flight at home and was completed in exactly three hours.

The only mishap was a fracture to Mr. Bonnett€s oxygen pipe over the mountain top, unnoticed until the cinematographer became faint with violent pains in the stomach. He had to sit down in the cockpit, and eventually noticed the fracture. He tied a handerkchief round the broken part, and soon recovered sufficiently to continue his photographic work.

Apart from this and a blister from a glove heating on one of Flight Lieutenant McIntyre€s hands, the crews were entirely comfortable.

The result of the flight is probably not very satisfactory as to air survey, because both cameras failed to operate over part of the flight, but still the cameras have produced magnificent photographs of the crest of Everest and the surrounding peaks, including one fine close-up of the whole mountain peak, showing the main southern slopes, the final ridge where Mallory and Irvine lost their lives, and the great peak itself.

The product of the cinema cameras has not yet been ascertained.

THREE MILES OF HAZE
It was a still morning, with the sun climbing late above the haze. Air Commodore P. F. M. Fellowes, leader of the Expedition, went up into the haze in a Puss Moth for reconnaissance at 5.30 and climbed to 17,000ft. over the Nepal frontier, but failed to clear the haze. Nevertheless, wind strengths were reported reasonably good, and hopes that the haze would subside led to the decision to make the attempt. A balloon sent up at dawn had been watched to 16,000ft., where it indicated a wind speed of 22 miles.

The aeroplanes were brought out at 7 o€clock and were fitted with the cameras. The engines were started at 8 o€clock at the first attempt, and, after running up, the machines left the ground at 8.25. They made a quarter circuit of the aerodrome, then headed north flying in formation, Lord Clydesdale leading. They climbed steeply, and in a few minutes were lost to sight in the haze.

Thereafter no word was heard of them for three hours, during which period they climbed through three miles of haze, travelled the double journey of 160 miles, and reached a maximum height of about 30,000ft., right over the crest of Everest itself.

A LETTER TO THE KING
On landing after the flight Mr. Bonnett was examined by Captain R. A. Bennett, the doctor attached to the Expedition, who found him still shaken but suffering no serious harm. He also examined the others. There was no sign of strain in the pilots, though Flight Lieutenant McIntyre€s mask had come unfastened for a short period over the summit and had been replaced with some difficulty. He found Colonel Blacker pale and tired, but not suffering from exhaustion.

A number of letters were carried over the top in Flight Lieutenant McIntyre€s machine. Bearing a special cancelling stamp, they are being sent on by Air Mail. They include letters to his Majesty the King, the Prince of Wales, Lady Houston, and the Editor of The Times.

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MrBlueSky1960
06-09-2006, 06:43 AM
Conquest of Everest by air; article from The Times, April 4, 1933


The Times, April 4, 1933



LORD CLYDESDALE€S REPORT

TWO AEROPLANES 100 FEET OVER SUMMIT

CLOSE-RANGE PHOTOGRAPHS

PILOTS€ TRIBUTE TO ENGINES AND AIRCRAFT

Mount Everest was conquered yesterday when the two machines of the Houston Expedition flew over the summit, and cleared it by 100 feet. The flight was completed in exactly three hours.

The flight is described below in the official report of Lord Clydesdale, the chief pilot, by Colonel Blacker, who was in the same machine as Lord Clydesdale, and in a message from our Aeronautical Correspondent, who is with the Expedition.

FULL STORY OF FLIGHT
15 MINUTES ROUND THE CREST

World Copyright Reserved

From Our Aeronautical Correspondent

PURNEA (BIHAR), April 3

http://1000aircraftphotos.com/Contributions/Braas/4081L.jpg

The summit of Mount Everest was flown over to-day by both the Houston-Westland and Westland-Wallace aeroplanes (Bristol Pegasus, SIII. Engines). The following is the official report drawn up for The Times by Squadron Leader Lord Clydesdale, chief pilot of the Houston Everest Expedition:-€œThis morning (April 3) the Indian meteorological officer at Purnea, Mr S. N. Gupta, whose information and advice have been of very great value to the Expedition, reported from balloon observations that the wind, which previously had been unsuitable, had dropped to a velocity of 57 m.p.h. at 33,000ft., which altitude we had decided would be the most suitable working height for photographic survey.

€œOur two machines took off at 8.25 from Lalbalu aerodrome (near Purnea) in still air, the Houston-Westland crewed by Colonel L. V. S. Blacker and myself and the Westland-Wallace piloted by Flight Lieutenant D. F. McIntyre, with Mr. S. R. Bonnett, who is aerial photographer of the Gaumont-British Film Corporation, as observer. Our direct route to the summit meant flying on a track of 342 deg. This necessitated changing the compass course at intervals more to the west on account of the increase of wind velocity with height according to our weather report. We had relied on overcoming to some extent the difficulty of accurate compass navigation caused by this frequent change of wind speed by the good landmarks near and along our track.

HEAVY DUST HAZE
€œA heavy dust haze, rising to a considerable height, almost completely obscured the ground from Forbesganj to the higher mountain ranges. This made aerial survey work impossible. We climbed slowly at low engine revolutions to a height of 10,000ft. By this height the crews of both machines had tested their respective electrical heating sets, and McIntyre and I signalled to each other that everything was satisfactory.

€œAfter 30 minutes€ flying we passed over Forbesganj, our forward emergency landing ground, 40 miles from Purnea, and at a height of 19,000ft. Everest first became visible above the haze. We flew lower than our intended working height in order to make every endeavour to pass over Komaltar, close to which is the ground control from which we were to begin our survey. It proved impossible to identify any landmarks at all until approximately within 20 miles of the summit.

€œAt 9 o€clock we passed over Chamlang at an altitude of 31,000ft. On approaching Lhotse, the southern peak of the Everest group, the ground rises at a steep gradient, and both machines experienced a steady down current due to deflection of the west wind over the mountain, causing a loss of altitude of 1,500ft., despite all our efforts to climb.

OVER THE SUMMIT
€œBoth aeroplanes flew over the summit of Everest at 10.05, clearing it by 100ft. The wind velocity was noticeably high near the summit, but no bumps were felt by either aircraft. Fifteen minutes were spent flying in the neighbourhood of the summit, and on account of the smooth flying conditions the taking of close-range photographs was rendered possible.

€œThe visibility of distant high peaks was very good. The great Himalaya range could be seen extending to great distances and provided a magnificent spectacle.

€œThe return journey was carried out at a slightly lower altitude, so as to secure better conditions for oblique photography.

€œBoth machines landed at Lalbalu at 11.25. Both pilots pay the highest tributes to the splendid performance of the engines and aircraft.€

The flight over Everest to-day was carried out with no more fuss than an ordinary Service flight at home and was completed in exactly three hours.

The only mishap was a fracture to Mr. Bonnett€s oxygen pipe over the mountain top, unnoticed until the cinematographer became faint with violent pains in the stomach. He had to sit down in the cockpit, and eventually noticed the fracture. He tied a handerkchief round the broken part, and soon recovered sufficiently to continue his photographic work.

Apart from this and a blister from a glove heating on one of Flight Lieutenant McIntyre€s hands, the crews were entirely comfortable.

The result of the flight is probably not very satisfactory as to air survey, because both cameras failed to operate over part of the flight, but still the cameras have produced magnificent photographs of the crest of Everest and the surrounding peaks, including one fine close-up of the whole mountain peak, showing the main southern slopes, the final ridge where Mallory and Irvine lost their lives, and the great peak itself.

The product of the cinema cameras has not yet been ascertained.

THREE MILES OF HAZE
It was a still morning, with the sun climbing late above the haze. Air Commodore P. F. M. Fellowes, leader of the Expedition, went up into the haze in a Puss Moth for reconnaissance at 5.30 and climbed to 17,000ft. over the Nepal frontier, but failed to clear the haze. Nevertheless, wind strengths were reported reasonably good, and hopes that the haze would subside led to the decision to make the attempt. A balloon sent up at dawn had been watched to 16,000ft., where it indicated a wind speed of 22 miles.

The aeroplanes were brought out at 7 o€clock and were fitted with the cameras. The engines were started at 8 o€clock at the first attempt, and, after running up, the machines left the ground at 8.25. They made a quarter circuit of the aerodrome, then headed north flying in formation, Lord Clydesdale leading. They climbed steeply, and in a few minutes were lost to sight in the haze.

Thereafter no word was heard of them for three hours, during which period they climbed through three miles of haze, travelled the double journey of 160 miles, and reached a maximum height of about 30,000ft., right over the crest of Everest itself.

A LETTER TO THE KING
On landing after the flight Mr. Bonnett was examined by Captain R. A. Bennett, the doctor attached to the Expedition, who found him still shaken but suffering no serious harm. He also examined the others. There was no sign of strain in the pilots, though Flight Lieutenant McIntyre€s mask had come unfastened for a short period over the summit and had been replaced with some difficulty. He found Colonel Blacker pale and tired, but not suffering from exhaustion.

A number of letters were carried over the top in Flight Lieutenant McIntyre€s machine. Bearing a special cancelling stamp, they are being sent on by Air Mail. They include letters to his Majesty the King, the Prince of Wales, Lady Houston, and the Editor of The Times.

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Low_Flyer_MkVb
06-09-2006, 09:08 AM
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