Bellonte was born in Méru in the Oise department of France in October 1896.
After an illustrious flying career,
setting numerous world records including a long distance record in
Siberia. Maurice Bellonte, together with Dieudonné Costes,
became the first people to
make a direct nonstop flight between Paris and New York on Sept
1–2, 1930. Bellonte was the
navigator and co-pilot
They set off in a red Breguet 19
aeroplane named "Point
d'Interrogation "- Question
Mark, from Paris Le Bourget Field aerodrome on 1st September
1930 and arrived 37 hours and 18 minutes later at Curtiss Field
aerodrome in Valley Stream, Long Island New York, after covering
5,953 kilometres at an average speed of 168 kph.
As they circled the airfield before
landing, it was to their amazement that they realised that their arrival
had not gone unnoticed! They were met by an enormous crowd
including Charles Lindbergh and his wife and greeted with fabulous
celebrations, including a ticker-tape reception and a meeting with
President Hoover on 8th September.
is a testament to the advances in world aviation that before
his death, Bellonte was invited by Air France to fly on the
first commercial supersonic Concorde flight between Paris
and New York in 1977. That flight took only 3 hours 30 minutes!.
What a contrast between his own achievements , braving fatigue,
cold, storms and governmental red-tape in order to attain
world records and the most advanced passenger aircraft of
its own time.
Bellonte passed away on the 17 January 1984 at the age of
87 and he is buried at Le cimetière de Passy in Paris.
items of memorabilia of Maurice Bellonte's life and his aviation
exploits, including a life raft with hand bellows, reputedly from
his Breguet aircraft, are still retained at the Mas.