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Friday, August 17, 2018
Monday, June 11, 2018

At 85 years of the flight Seville-Camagüey, first without scale Spain - Cuba (+ Photos)



By Manuel Cano Iglesias / Collaborator of Radio Agramonte.

The Spanish aviators, captain Mariano Barberán and the lieutenant Joaquín Collar went out on June 9, 1933 of the city of Seville, Spain, and on the 11 they landed on Cuban soil, especially in the city of Camagüey, which constituted an exploit for the epoch.

Both pilots proposed, and achieved it, to do the first longest flight on the sea, in the plane Four Winds and finally they covered more than four thousand miles (more than 7 895 km) in 39 hours and 55 minutes. In the deposits there were staying scarcely 100 liters of fuel, of the five thousand 300 with which they began the passage.

In Camagüey, they rested for 24 hours later to continue their trip up to Mexico. The pilots traveled to Havana, where they had a big reception of the people and deposited a floral gift before the statue of José Martí in the Central Park of the capital, like brotherhood gesture.

In the stage Havana - Mexico happened the catastrophe: Four Winds and its crew members disappeared, but this exploit remained inscribed into the world aeronautics like the most important advance into the conquest of the flights on the sea.

The exploit of these Spanish pilots is well-known in Cuba, and there is in Camagüey a monument that perpetuates the fact. In a flight without scale, they crossed the Atlantic Ocean for its central part, the longest, widest and lonest, something not tried up to that occasion, when the ocean had been already conquered in direct flights by the north and by the south.

They were trying to come to Havana, but the scarcity of fuel and the bad weather forced them to land in the field of aviation of the city of Camagüey, that always foresaw like alternative airport.

In 1933, Camagüey was one of the biggest territories of Cuba, which it was including to the current province, that of Ciego de Avila and part of Las Tunas.

Compared with the monsters of the current aviation, Four Winds it will be able to look like to us now a little airplane. It was, in its time, a powerful plane. A Breguet XIX Superbidón, made completely in Spain with French patent.

With his 38 years of age, captain Mariano Barberán was the whole authority in what it refers to the aeronautics and a very qualified pilot; and the lieutenant Collar (26 years) the most skillful test-pilot of the Spanish aviation.

They were got by very much enthusiasm, in the same aviation field, for the local authorities and personalities, between which there were the director of the newspaper El Camagüeyano and the president of the Spanish Cologne in the demarcation.

The crew members of Four Winds expressed their greetings from the hotel and across the local broadcasting station CMJK, La Voz del Camagüeyano, message that was transmitted in chain by the radio stations of the whole country. In the same place, and in hours of the night, they were entertained by a big banquet.

In June, 1934 there began to grow the construction of a monument that was perpetuating the heroism of the Spanish crew, therefore to instances of the above-mentioned radial plant the Spanish societies and the Chamber of Commerce taken root in this city, summoned to a public collection that had a strong popular reception.

 The work finally was inaugurated on January 19, 1941, in act presided by the Minister of Public Works of the Cuban Government, officials of the embassy of Spain and officials of the Cuban and Spanish aviation.

The monument was located in one of the most important spaces of this city, the Casino Campestre, which it receives perhaps of the commemorative sculpture of the province. (Photos: File / Taken from www.granma.cu)