85th anniversary of first flight over Mount Everest

Incredible images show how two daredevil British pilots became the first people to fly over Mount Everest as the feat hits its 85th anniversary.

First flight over Mount Everest

This 1933 image of Everest is taken from footage captured by the first people ever to fly over the summit (Image: Public Domain /mediadrumworld)

Aviation experts told Lieutenant David McIntyre and Sir Douglas Douglas-Hamilton the flight was impossible and it could be up to a century before planes were up to it.

But using two Westland biplanes that took 15 years to modify, they proved them wrong – conquering the summit by air 20 years before the first mountaineers got there.

Footage shot on April 3, 1933, shows McIntyre and Douglas-Hamilton, who had planned to film their flights for a geographical survey, taking off in Nepal.

First flight over the summit of Mount Everest

This 85-year-old footage has re-emerged this week and was taken by Lieutenant David McIntyre and Sir Douglas Douglas-Hamilton (Image: Public Domain /mediadrumworld)

First flight over the summit of Mount Everest 1933

The plane had open cabins and the pilots had been told that flying it at such a height was a death wish (Image: Public Domain /mediadrumworld)

With open cabins, they were vulnerable to issues of cold, air pressure, oxygen and altitude.

But they managed to fly higher than anyone previously and were recorded taking in the north-east ridge of the world’s highest mountain, a route long used by climbers.

1933 First flight over the summit of Mount Everest

The record-making flight saw the tiny plane clearing the 29,000ft summit by a hare’s breadth (Image: Public Domain /mediadrumworld)

The pair then passed over its 29,000ft summit – each plane clearing it by just a matter of feet.

Speaking afterwards Douglas-Hamilton, the Marquis of Douglas and Clydesdale, said: “After 30 minutes’ flying we passed over Forbesganj [in India], our forward emergency landing ground.

And, at a height of 19,000 feet, Everest first became visible above the haze.”

The first mountaineers to conquer Everest were Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, a Sherpa, on May 29, 1953.

Source: Daily Mirror