Lord of Distances
A commemorative tribute to the life and
achievements of Francesco de Pinedo
An important milestone in intercontinental flight was achieved on March 20, 1927, as thousands of Americans gathered in New Orleans to cheer the arrival of the first foreign aircraft to fly to the United States.
Appropriately, the plane was christened the Santa Maria, and like Columbus, its captain was an Italian. The event marked only one of the many accomplishments logged by Col. Francesco de Pinedo as he and his crew soared across the Western Hemisphere in a marathon, 34,000 mile
goodwill tour sponsored by the Royal ItalianAir Force. Before their arrival here, the Italians had managed to conduct the first aerial crossing of the Brazilian jungles, and would soon complete the first round trip flight over the Atlantic.
The venture was a bold demonstration of technical skill and remarkable courage. And de Pinedo was universally hailed as one of the world’s premier pilots and aeronautical trailblazers of his era.
As history took its normal course of purging and selectivity, the life and achievements of this outstanding aviator have since been largely forgotten. It is hoped that the facts presented here will help restore the richly deserved recognition that the name of Francesco de Pinedo has been so long and unjustly denied.