Early Aviation Viceroy’s Flight From Delhi To Calcutta, 1934 Print.

Viceroy's Flight From Delhi To Calcutta, 1934 Print

An unusual old newspaper clip of early aviation, Viceroy Lord Willingdon flight from Delhi to Calcutta in 1934. It gives a fascinating insight into early Indian aviation. The aircraft is very likely to have landed on the vast grounds of the Calcutta Maidan (or Esplanade) in 1934. The best landing places during the early aviation period were simply level grounds. Since airports or airfields were yet to be properly developed.

Airliners were then largely designed to land on level ground or water bodies (for flying boats). It is for this reason an almost equal number of flying boats were also in use. Because it could land even on small inland water bodies. The image shows the viceroy’s partly visible aircraft, it was conceivably a British-made Avro-642. Only two of them were ever built, one with twin engines and the other with four engines.

The four-engine model was ordered during Viceroy Lord Willingdon’s time as an official aircraft. Known as the “star of India”, the aircraft was operated and maintained by the Indian National Airways, when not in use by Viceroy Lord Willingdon. The caption gives an interesting insight about “The decision of the viceroy to travel by aeroplane instead of using the State train meant a great saving of government money.” Implying flight was cheaper than train then. Nevertheless, India did have an active early stage of aviation spanning from 1910 to the 1940s.

Did you know – the viceroy’s Avro 642 did not perform well and became a little too risky to operate, unlike the two-engine model which was believed to be safer. Thus by 1937, the Royal Air Force grounded the Star of India and dismantled it in 1940 in Delhi.

From the collection – Vintage Raja Ravi Varma “Shivaji” Oleograph Print., Viceroy’s House Delhi British India, Panoramic Photo 1930., Fishing Boats At Chowpatty Bombay, 1900 Postcard., Central Province Railway or Shakuntala Railway – Old Photo.