Tuesday, 22 January 2019

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The German hydroplane Dornier X anchored in Antilla, today's Cuban province of Holguin. Photo: archive Radio Banes

A Flying Vessel in Nipe Bay, Cuban Province of Holguin

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The biggest and most amazing of the hydroplanes ever built, the celebrated Dornier Do X, descended majestically at 11:45 of the morning of the 21 of August, 1931, in Nipe bay; thus marking for history one of the biggest events for aviation in Cuba, an event that turned 85 some days ago.

The people living in the small town of Antilla, in Cuba's northeastern area, eager to know of the event packed the littoral region to never forget it.

Joy overwhelmed the public, it was indeed infectious. Wide opened eyes admired the colossal German vessel, anchored there and softly waving at the waves.

The construction of the Dornier X was an audacity for the time; indeed a winged ship, with a solid hull, 42 meters long and capable of carrying on board 170 passengers. It was called the "King of the Air."

It was endowed with huge fuel tanks to allow the airship fly about 2 500 kilometers, its speed was estimated on 220 kilometers per hour.

The Dornier X had 12 engines for a total of 7 500 horsepower. The engines were found in two floors. The control of the engines and the command control were there too. The cabins for passengers were in the third floor.

Previously, the Dornier X had crossed the Atlantic Ocean and had landed in the sea in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; in Puerto Rico, and for the last stay in Antilla, in Nipe bay.

Commandant Paul Berner was at the command of the colossal airship. Moritz Dornier was the mechanics expert, who was the representative of the manufacturer of the plane. They picked on Nipe bay for its exceptional natural conditions.

Eight passengers traveled on board Dornier X; among them notable US writer and lecturer Clara Adams – the only woman in the voyage – who also had the exclusive privilege of flying from New York to Germany in the famous dirigible "GraffZeppelin.

The Dornier X was anchored in the port of Antilla for about 20 hours; time enough to admire the amazing ship for the only time in life.

On the 22 of August, 1931 the Dornier X took off at six in the morning to head for Miami en route to New York. The event is written in the history of aviation for its impact on the people and taking place for the only chance ever. / By Alberto Santiesteban Leyva – Radio Banes / Translated by Radio Angulo.
Radio Angulo
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