Round-the-World Flights

MacLaren/Plenderieith Round-the-World Flight Attempt

Page 1c (rev: 1001)

A. Stuart MacLaren W.H. Plenderleith Their Plane MacLaren Autograph MacLaren Letter
Pix #1 Pix #2 Pix #3 Pix #4 Pix #5

	Three serving members of the British Royal Air force attempted to fly round-the-world 
in a Vickers Vulture amphibius bi-plane (G-EBHO) in 1924. The Vulture was a Mark VI varient 
powered by a single 450 HP Napier Lion engine with a four blade pusher propeller. The leader 
of this expedition was Squadron Leader Archibald Stuart MacLaren, the pilot was Flying Officer 
William Noble Plenderleith and the flight engineer was Sergeant W.H. Andrews. A fourth member 
of the team was Lt.Colonel L.E. Broome who stayed behind supporting the flight with logistics 
and planning. This flight round-the-world was expected to cover 23,254 miles in an estimated 
293 hours of flying. It was to start at Calshot Spit, an RAF Seaplane Base near Southampton 
and would proceed eastward through France, Italy and the Mediterranean to Cairo. It would 
then cross India, Burma and China and continue through Japan and Russia via the Aleutian 
Islands to Alaska. It would then cross Canada and Newfoundland before crossing the Atlantic 
to Portugal, Spain, back through France to Southampton. This flight effort had the blessings 
of the King of England.
	The flight was beset by bad weather and several mishaps. In Civitavecchia, Italy they 
hit some floating driftwood damaging the plane. Their landing in Lake Korissia, Greece was 
unplanned as engine failure forced them to replace the original engine (sent from England). 
Later the replaced engine failed and they made an emergency landing at Kornra/Parlu, India 
to wait for yet another replacement engine (sent from England). In Allahabad, India they 
replaced the engine radiator and made a forced landing in Akyab Island, Burma due to severe 
weather. Soon after take off from Akyab they crashed into Akyab Harbour destroying Vulture 
G-EBHO. A replacement Vulture (G-EBGO) was shipped to them and on June 25, 1924 they resumed 
their flight. Bad weather continued to plague them and in Shanghai, Andrews fell sick to 
heatstroke. He was replaced by Lieutenant Bryant unitl Andrews rejoined the crew at 
Kasumigaura Naval Station in Tokyo. They flew north along the uncharted wilderness of the 
Russian coast having no meteorological weather forecasts to guide their decisions and lost 
radio contact with the watching world. Fog, high winds and MacLaren and Andrews falling ill 
to high fever hampered their progress. They departed West Kamchatka on August 4, 1924 and 
while nearing Bering Island fog dropped to the sea surface forcing Plenderleith to make a 
forced sea landing ending their round-the-world flight attempt. They survived, were able to 
beach the plane and were rescued by a Russian vessel. The flight of the Vulture had ended.   

Flight Itinerary
England: Calshot Spit (Southampton) [Departed March 24, 1924]
France: Le Havre & Lyon
Italy: Civitavecchia, Rome & Brindisi
Greece: Lake Korissia (Corfu) & Athens
Egypt: Cairo [April 19, 1924] & Abu Seuir
Jordan: El Ziza
Iraq: Baghdad & Basra
Iran: Tazireh, Bushire, Bander Abbas [April 23, 1924] & Chah Bahr
Pakistan: Karachi
India: Kornra/Palu [May 13, 1924], Nasirabad, Allahabad & Calcutta [May 21, 1924]
Burma: Akyab Island, Rangoon [June 27, 1924] & Tavoy
Thailand: Donmuang & Bangkok
South Viet Nam: Vinh
North Viet Nam: Haiphong
Hong Kong:
China: Foochow & Shanghai
Japan: Kagoshima, Kushimoto, Kasumigaura Naval Station Tokyo [July 8, 1924], Minato & Kushiro [July 14, 1924]
Russia: Iterup, Kamchatka, Yeterufu [July 16, 1924], Tokatan Bay, Broughton Bay, Paramushir, Petropavlovsk,
Oust, West Kamchatka & crashed off Bering Island [August 4, 1924]

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