Monday, March 30, 2009

A Historical Note on the First Water-to-Water Flight

“One cannot truly admire God as an artist, until they have seen the earth from 30,000 feet.”
- Charles Lindbergh

The water as runway has captivated many aeronautical engineers. But sustained flight with a pontoon legged twin-engine propped aircraft was simply out of the question. An emergency landing over land was a sure death sentence to any brave pilot. Enter M.A. Rydell, a test pilot for Meyers Aircraft, based in Allenhurst, New Jersey. Fresh out of the Army, young Rydell tested the first pontoon aircrafts that Allen H. Meyers and his apprentice Glenn Martin built in the early 1950s. Most flights originated from Point Pleasant Beach and landed in nearby Sandy Hook Bay. But if these water-to-water aircraft were to be manufactured in bulk to the Navy (which was in need for long flight water-to-water aircraft to deliver supplies to battleships in the Pacific), a sustained flight with ample fuel reserves had to be tested. Meyers took on this challenge and created the PK-3600, a long range water-to-water aircraft that could fly across the US without refueling and carrying one metric tonne of cargo. In April of 1952, Rydell took off from Point Pleasant and sustained the longest water-to-water flight in history; he landed some 2,800 miles in Dana Point, CA. The flight was a success and Meyers was contracted to provide the Navy with 186 aircraft.


  1. Someone needs to learn Charles Lindbergh some grammar.

  2. Sandy Hook Bay is beautiful this time of year.

  3. The "first water-to-water flight" is credited to aviation pioneer Glenn Martin in 1912, from Newport Beach to Catalina Island in California.