In addition to having given its name to the Aeroparque de la ciudad de Buenos Aires, Jorge Alejandro Newbery He is also the man for whom in the Argentina the Transportation Day, in a tribute to who was an outstanding political, social and sports personality in the early 20th century.
Is he March 1 of each year that is remembered Jorge Newbery as a tribute to the contribution he made in the founding times of the transport on the Argentina, with bold undertakings that paved the way especially in aeronautics more than a hundred years ago.
In fact, since he was a pioneer in the country’s aviation, Newbery was founder of the Argentine Military Aeronautics, although that was only one of the public profiles that were recognized, since he was also a notable athlete, public official, engineer and a man close to science.
Jorge Newbery before facing one of his balloon trips.
Jorge Newbery He was born in the center of the City of Buenos Aires, in a house on Calle Piedras 55, on May 27, 1875. When he finished high school he traveled to the United States, where he studied Engineering at Cornell University and, at 18 years of age , at the Drexel Institute in Philadelphia, was a student of Thomas Alva Edison.
In addition, in North America he trained in various sports: boxing, Greco-Roman wrestling, rowing, swimming, horse riding, shooting, fencing, running, soccer, rugby, polo and even the incipient motorsport.
Upon returning to the country, at the age of 22 he worked in the Luz y Tracción del Plata Company, to enter two years later, at the gates of the 20th century, in the Argentine Navy with the rank of Frigate Captain. There he trained the cadets in compulsory swimming practice.
Jorge Newbery in the uniform of the Argentine Navy.
In 1900, the Centennial celebrations were the opportunity to show the world that Argentina had become a modern country. Jorge Newbery He was in charge and the lights of the centenary remained in the retina of different generations.
Transport Day arises from a tragedy
On December 25, 1907 he was invited by Aaron de Anchorena to get on an aerostat named “Pampero” to cross the Río de la Plata: he left from Palermo and descended in Conchilla (Uruguay), a location near Colonia, in what was considered the first crossing on the water.
The exploits of Newbery they had a huge popular impact. In 1909, the Club Atlético Huracán asked him if he could use the image of the balloon as the club’s insignia. Since then, the popular institution of Parque Patricios adopted the stamp that gave the historic name.
Although his brother disappeared in a hot air balloon – and his body was never found – he made forty trips of this style and built the “Eduardo Newbery”, measuring 2,200 cubic meters, being the largest that has ever been traced in Argentina.
Jorge Newbery was a very popular personality in the early years of the 20th century.
Those first balloon experiences brought together other personalities interested in the organized development of air activity. Thus, on February 13, 1908, he founded the Aeroclub Argentino, cradle of Civil Aviation and bastion of Argentine Military Aviation.
On March 3, 1910 he began his airplane pilot course and obtained his brevet, on June 20, 1910. He maintained great air activity, achieving several national and international records and on November 12, 1913, in recognition of his services rendered , the government of Roque Sáenz Peña He was awarded the military pilot patent.
On November 24, 1912, Newbery crossed the Río de la Plata in the Centenario monoplane, a 50 HP Bleirot Gnome. He was the first to cross the river and return on the same day.
Image of the plane in which Newbery performed pirouettes, destroyed in Mendoza.
Influenced by Newbery, Teodoro Fels, a young man who was doing military service, took one of the planes from the Military Aviation School without permission and arrived in Montevideo to break the world record for flight over water. Upon his return, the president Roque Sáenz Peña He arrested him for disobedience and at the same time promoted him out for the deed.
February 10, 1914 Newbery, in a Morane-Saulnier monoplane, exceeded the world record for height reaching 6225 meters. The brand was not approved by the international commission because the regulations then established that it was necessary to exceed the previous record by a minimum of 150 meters, and Newbery only exceeded it by 65 meters.
Cross the Silver river It was no longer sufficient motivation, but his desire was to reach Chile flying above the Andes mountains. To do this, he carried out high-altitude training flights. He traveled to Mendoza to finalize the details of the flight and traveled on the back of a mule the mountain range to learn cartographic and meteorological data.
After having carried out those topographic studies and when he was about to return to Buenos Aires, Newbery received a request from a lady that she wanted to see him fly. He asked his friend Teodoro Fels for the plane, who warned him that the plane had a wing problem.
He got on the Morane-Saulnier anyway and invited his friend Benjamin Jiménez Lastra. He began prancing and demonstrating, and at 6:40 p.m., in a risky maneuver, the monoplane fell violently.
There he met his death on March 1, 1914, at the Estancia “Los Tamarindos” of Mendoza, as the current area of El Plumerillo in the district of Las Heras was known at the time. He was 38 years old.
That was the date he passed away Jorge Newbery and then he took it to commemorate the National Transportation Day in homage to this pioneer of Argentine aviation.
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