In the early morning of 12 February 1925 navigator Edmond Thieffry, master engineer Jef de Bruycker and pilot Leopold Roger leave from Haren nearby Zaventem with Congo as their destination. The Handley Page, that weighs 6 tons, has an 8.124-kilometer distance ahead. The journey would lead them via Marseille, Oran, Colomb-Bechar, Gao, Fort-Lamy, Bangui, and Coquilhat Ville to Congo. 51 days later, with 75 hours of flight on the meter, the Handley Page landed at N’Dola airport, in the heart of Lepoldville (today: Kinshasa). A remarkable adventure that immediately showed it was still too early to organize regular services between Brussels and Congo. The regular service did not start before 23 February ’35, almost 70 years ago.View Large View Medium
Today SN Brussels Airlines connects the European capital 5 times a week with Kinshasa. While it took Thieffry 51 days to reach the country, the modern Airbus 330-300 is able to arrive in Kinshasa in less than 8 hours.
Photo © Guy Daems - Brussels Aviation Photography
[Edited 2005-02-13 20:39:25]