WHAT: Cukurs flight to Tokyo

WHEN: October 21, 1936 - July 16, 1937

WHO: Herberts Cukurs

A.Vercamer Profile Cukurs aircraft in Tokyo Cukurs aircraft in Tokyo Aviation Regiment Commander Lt.Col.Kandis greets Cukurs in Riga Lt.Col. Bulmanis greets Cukurs in Riga

  • On October 21, 1936 Cukurs embarked on his second epic flight, this time to Tokyo, Japan. Once again, the destination was selected because of others' failures - at least four other aviators from other European nations had tried a similar flight and failed.
  • This flight was much longer than his first, with stopovers in Lithuania, Germany, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, India, Burma, China, Viet Nam, Korea and, finally, Japan. The total round trip was 40,350 km (twice that of the Gambia trip) and, aside from an incident in Hong Kong, was relatively free of mechanical difficulties.
  • The aircraft was his new C.6 "Tris Zvaigznes" (Three Stars) which he had completed in the spring of 1936. It was assigned the registration number YL-ABA and, while it was a two-seater, he made the flight alone.
  • He damaged the undercarriage when taking off from Hong Kong. He flew to Hanoi but had to wait there through the winter of 1936-37 while replacement parts were sent from France.
  • After the undercarriage was repaired, he completed the journey returning to Spilve, Riga without further incident, arriving on July 16, 1937.

Cukurs Arrives in Hong Kong Translated from "Jaunakas Zinas"


Cukurs Crashes at Hong Kong "South China Morning Post" November 21, 1936


Cukurs in Hong Kong Translated from "Jaunakas Zinas" November 24, 1936


Cukurs lands at Foochow "South China Morning Post"
May 26, 1937

Irbitis, Karlis Of Struggle and Flight pg.73
Sparnota Latvija, No. 37, July 1937, pg.234

Many thanks to Ian D. Johnson for providing materials pertaining to the Hong Kong leg of the flight.
Profile courtesy of Arvo Vercamer

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