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Italo Balbo's mass flight round the Americas in the '30s


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by Sid Guttridge » Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:57 am
I am trying to find out the full itinerary of Balbo's mass flyingboat flight to South America in the early 1930s.

As I understand it, the Atlantic crossing to Brazil was made by all the flyingboats together, but a map I have seen seems to show them then splitting up into smaller groups to visit other Latin American countries.

Does anyone know how many of Balbo's aircraft went to which Latin American countries and when?

Many thanks,



by Gian » Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:34 am
There you go. The map marks four crash spots. First on takeoff at Bolama, where I-BOER was lost with all hands and I-RECA crashed killing Sergente Fois; second and third, I-BAIS and I-DONA ditched in the ocean with no casualties. That's 4 planes lost on a total of 14.


by Sid Guttridge » Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:52 am
Hi Gian,

Many thanks.

However, what I particularly want to know is what routes the aircraft then took across South and Central America, what countries they visited and when.

Do you have anything on these flights after the arrival in Brazil?




by Gian » Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:38 am
I have no other information as to what happened after their arrival in Rio. I suppose the aircraft were handed over to the Brazilian AF and the men came back to Italy by ship.
As per the other details, see my PM to you.


by Sid Guttridge » Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:44 am
Hi Gian,

The aircraft did a circuit of the Americas, flying back to Europe from Newfoundland.

The map I have, which appears to be off an advertising poster for Savoia-Marchetti and Isotta-Fraschini, is not very detailed and I cannot read the place names.

However, it appears that the aircraft continued together to Montevideo or Buenos Aires. From there some seem to have flown to perhaps Valdivia and then Valparaiso in Chile. They then perhaps returned to Buenos Aires or Montevideo by the same route. It then looks as though all aircraft flew to the region of Paraguay, then to the region of Manaos in Brazil, then to the mouth of the Amazon. Thereafter they hopped along the coast northwards to the western end of Venezuela, then to Cuba and New Orleans. They then took two routes to Chicago before going to New York and up to Newfoundland.

I am after more accurate details of the route, dates, and numbers of aircraft.

Many thanks for your assistance.



by Gian » Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:50 am
I am quite confused because I was not aware of a longer course beyond the arrival to Rio. The info I have boiled down the contents of the Italian Air Force Museum information boards, however, I don't claim to be absolutely right.
New York was one of the legs in the next transatlantic flight (the Decennial Cruise, 1933), as well as locations in Labrador and New Brunswick: are you may be misreading the map?
Anyway, I find this interesting and I would love to have a scan of it.


by Sid Guttridge » Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:42 am
Hi Gian,

It is on the front cover of Fascisti in Sud America by Eugenia Scarzanella. (Enrico Cernuschi generously sent me a copy several years ago.) However, I don't have scanning facilities and I can't find a detailed copy of this front cover on the internet.

Besides the tentative routes I have mentioned earlier, it is labeled "Circuito dell' Atlantico", which implies more than just a flight to Rio.



by Gian » Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:48 am
Sid Guttridge wrote:However, I don't have scanning facilities and I can't find a detailed copy of this front cover on the internet.
Well, if you have a digital camera you might try using it.


by Sid Guttridge » Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:41 am
Hi Gian,


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