Original wood engraving by Eppo Doeve of the KLM flight Amsterdam-Batavia, signed by Albert Plesman.
Item ID 70901
Amsterdam, [not published], 1949. Original print, signed (37.6 x 20.1 cm). Printed surface oblong, 32.5 x 14.5 cm. Signed in the right lower margin. Framed. A print made by the Dutch illustrator Eppo Doeve (1907-1981), who, for instance, also designed Dutch bank notes. The print depicts the itinerary of the new flight between Amsterdam and Batavia (now: Djakarta), with stops in Khartoum and Mauritius. KLM was forced to fly the Amsterdam-Batavia route via Khartoum and Mauritius after India, Pakistan and Ceylon closed their airspace to Dutch aviation in support of the Indonesian struggle for independence. Between January and July 1949, KLM flew this route more than 100 times, all without incident. The 3,000-nautical-mile Mauritius-Batavia stretch was the longest scheduled flight of any airline until then and demanded great effort of man and machine, taking more than 15 hours. (see: calclassic.proboards thread 7997). If headwinds were too strong, the plane had to return to its starting point. The design by Doeve includes the plane used, namely the Lockheed Constellation, named Vliegende Hollander (Flying Dutchman). The print is signed by Albert Plesman (1889-1953), co-founder and first CEO of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. Slightly age-toned, the autograph slightly weakened; tiny, semi-circular damp stain in the very upper margin, otherwise fine, clean. A unique item. Announcing and commemorating the world's longest passenger flight