A major Newfoundland port for centuries, Harbour Grace has had a long connection to the sea. However, in the early twentieth century, the community would turn its attention to the skies above. In 1919, the Handley Page Atlantic, a competitor in the Great Atlantic Air Race, was assembled in Harbour Grace on agricultural land.
Eight years later, in 1927, the townspeople constructed Newfoundland’s first permanent airstrip to facilitate the around-the-world flight attempt of the Pride of Detroit. After a financial downturn, the community saw aviation as an avenue to potentially better economic fortunes.
The pursuit of aviation, specifically daring transatlantic endeavours, brought many famous international aviators to this coastal community, which benefited from its location as a strategic easterly point.
Twenty transatlantic flights left Harbour Grace over a period of nine years. Some were successful, some unsuccessful. No flight was more famous than Amelia Earhart’s solo transatlantic journey from the Harbour Grace airstrip to Londonderry, Northern Ireland, on May 20, 1932.
This exhibit showcases Harbour Grace’s history of flight and its airstrip’s enduring legacy as a landmark of Canadian aviation history.Start reading the story
Alone Among the Stars: Aviation in Harbour Grace, NL
Conception Bay Museum
Harbour Grace, NL