Centenary of first flight across Mediterranean Sea by Roland Garros


The world of aviation is today celebrating the 100 jubilee of an event which became a milestone in the history of aviation: the first non-stop flight across the Mediterranean Sea by Frenchman Roland Garros.

On 23 September 1913, Garros took off from Fréjus in the south of France onboard a Morane-Saulnier monoplane. He landed 7 hours and 53 minutes later in Bizerte in Tunisia, after a flight of almost 800km. Having left France with more than 200 litres of full in his tank, less than 10 litres were left on arrival the other side of the sea !

Born in the French island of Reunion in 1888, he participated in aviation competitions and airshows and broke the world record of altitude in a powered aeroplane in 1912 (see below). He enrolled in the French army as a fighter pilot at the outbreak of World War I and died after his plane was shot down by the Germans in 1918.



FAI Record File Num #15888  
Status: ratified - superseded since approved
Region: World
Class: C (Powered Aeroplanes)
Sub-Class: C (Aviation with engine)
Category: Not applicable
Group: Not applicable
Type of record: Altitude
Performance: 5610 m
Date: 1912-09-11
Course/Location: Saint-Brieuc (France)
Claimant Roland Garros (FRA)