An unusual monument in Lisbon reminds us of a peculiar flight, or should we rather say - a series of Atlantic flights from the Portuguese capital to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil that took place in 1922.
Almost seven decades later, an extremely realistic monument was erected right next to the famous Belém Tower. There are two sculptures sitting in the steel "replica" of the Fairey III D hydroplane, commemorating the pilots Artur de Sacadura Cabral and Carlos Viegas Gago Coutinho, who crossed the Atlantic Ocean.
However, they needed three planes to actually do that! Out of the 79 days it took to successfully carry out the endeavour, only 62.5 hours were spent in the air. The first Fairey reached Brazilian waters in 19 days but sunk close to the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago (which lies 940 km from the nearest Brazilian town of Touros). The second hydroplane was delivered by a fast naval vessel but was also lost shortly after take-off!
The navy again supplied Cabral and Coutinho with a Fairley, and the two finally reached their end destination - with stopovers in Recife, Salvador, and Vitória. It seems, therefore, that the monument first and foremost reveres the aviators' good luck as well as the persistence (and deep pockets) of their sponsors. Saudação!