Francesco de Pinedo – Italian aviator – lands in HK 1925
HF: Added information “Another adventurer was the Neapolitan aviator, Francesco de Pinedo (1890-1933) who, in 1925, landed his Savioa S-16ter two-seater hydroplane (nicknamed Gennariello) in Hong Kong harbour.|Engineer Ernesto Campanelli from Oristano was his co-pilot. After Hong Kong they flew on to Shanghai, Japan and Australia before returning to Rome landing on the Tiber River.
It was truly a remarkable expedition, considering that their seaplane had an open cockpit and a compass as its only on-board instrument.”(1)
This photo is suppose to be of the Gennariello. Is it? The source provides no further information. And is this Hong Kong harbour? That could be the Peak rising in the background on the left. But what is the hill/island on the right behind the plane’s tail?
Wikipedia has a different route and more seats, “In 1925 [de Pinedo] flew a SIAI s.16ter single-engine, five-seat, biplane flying boat named Gennariello for 55,000-miles in six months, from Rome to Australia to Tokyo and back to Rome. He was accompanied by engineer Ernesto Campanelli. During the expedition, he had to replace one wing and one engine. They carried, but did not use, a jib sail and rudder to negotiate unknown harbours in awkward winds. (2)
Mike T’s comment below includes: The confusion regarding the number of seats is explained here,”The aircraft he selected was a Savoia S-16ter, a five-seater biplane of the type being built at the time for the Royal Italian Navy. He removed three of the seats to make room for additional supplies and fuel, and christened the plane the Gennariello, after San Gennaro, patron of his beloved Naples.” (3)
De Pinedo was killed when his Bellanca monoplane crashed on takeoff at Floyd Bennett Field in New York City on September 2, 1933, as he began a flight to Baghdad in an attempt to set a new nonstop solo distance flight record of 6,300 miles (10,143 km).
(1) 500 years of Italians in Hong Kong and Macau, pub. Societa Dante Alighieri di Hong Kong, 2013
(3) http://www.italystl.com/pride/page11.htm – complete website linked below
See: The Lord of Distances – the life and deeds of Francesco de Pinado by Don Fiore who provides considerable information about the man and his flights
This article was first published on 11th March 2015.
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