Two French Pilots Establish a New Long-Distance Flight Record

August 7, 1933

About 56 hours after flying out of New York City, French aviators Maurice Rossi and Paul Codos completed their airborne journey of 5,657 miles (9,105 kilometers) in the town of Riyaq (also known as Rayak) in the present-day Republic of Lebanon. (At the time of this flight, Lebanon was part of the League of Nations mandate of Syria and under French rule.) Rossi and Codos’ journey set a new straight-line distance record for a non-stop flight.

This flight began on August 5, 1933, when the two Frenchmen departed from New York City’s Floyd Bennett Field early that morning in a Blériot 110 F-ALCC plane. (That type of aircraft is featured in the above photo.) The New York Times reported, “Their speed averaged just over 100 miles [161 kilometers] an hour, despite the slow going during storms over the Atlantic and their heavily loaded plane.” The New York Times also noted, “Across Europe they flew north of the Alps over Munich and Vienna and then turned southeast across the Balkans and the Aegean Sea, being sighted over the Island of Rhodes at midday. From there they crossed the sea to Aleppo and decided to land before nightfall.”

Rossi and Codos landed their plane at the airfield in Riyaq at 4:25 p.m. on August 7. This trip, while encompassing less than the 5,900 miles (9,495 kilometers) or so initially calculated by Rossi and Codos, handily broke the record for the greatest straight-line distance covered on a non-stop flight. That previous record of 5,309 miles (8,544 kilometers) had been set six months earlier when O.R. Gayford and Gilbert Nicholetts of the British Royal Air Force flew a Fairey Long-range Monoplane K1991 from England to South Africa.

The record established by Rossi and Codos would be broken in 1937, when Soviet military aviator Mikhail Mikhailovich Gromoy and members of his crew covered 6,306 miles (10,148 kilometers) while piloting a Tupolev ANT-25 aircraft from Moscow to San Jacinto, California, via the North Pole.

For more information on the 1933 long-distance flight of Maurice Rossi and Paul Codos, please check out the article “Record by Frenchmen” in the 9 August 1933 edition of the Australian newspaper Barrier Miner at https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/48439845

A video about that flight is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmYN-NB02N8

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