|If the 1800´s was the century of the steamship and the railway, the aeroplane became the icon of the first part of the 20th century. In the Sound region it already started in 1906 with Ellehammer´s famous flight, in 1910 the Sound was crossed in aeroplane and the development of aeroplane types and airports picked up speed on both sides of the Sound.
If the 1800´s was the century of the steamship and the railway, the aeroplane became the icon of the first part of the 20th century. In the Sound region it already started in 1906 with Ellehammer´s famous flight, in 1910 the Sound was crossed in aeroplane and the development of aeroplane types and airports picked up speed on both sides of the Sound.
From Steam to Plane
Steam ships and railways had revolutionized the communications in the 19th century and in the Sound region the new transportation systems became very important. The North Railway/Coast Railway in Zealand and the Main Railway (West Coast Railway in Scania were tied together with the train ferry connection between Helsingborg and Elsinore.
Another invention helped revolutionize the communications of the 20th century. The internal combustion engine did not only make motoring possible, but also a new collective means of transport – the air transport. The light internal-combustion engine could be used in aircrafts. But the road to the collective air transport was complicated and fantastic.
Ellehammer – The First in the North
The American Wright was the first to really take off from the surface of the earth in December 1903, but as early as three years later, September 12th 1906, the Dane, Ellehammer, flew ca.42 metres ca. 30 centimetres above the ground. In 1912 he constructed a helicopter, but in 1916 he crashed and did not revive his interest in aviation until the 1930´s, where he took part in the planning of Kastrup Airport, which opened in 1925.
The Sound in the Centre
In Europe France became the centre of aviation and enthusiasts form all over came to learn. Perhaps the temptation was the adventure, the venture or the joy of the novelty, but also the enormous attention, which the pilots were granted. Air shows gathered huge crowds, the pilots were considered heroes and was worshipped like idols. In Stockholm the “aviation Baron”, Carl Cederström was constantly cheered, but it was in Scania and Denmark that the aeroplane first took hold.
As early as 1909 the Dane Folmer Hansen tried to fly from Sofiro North of Helsingborg in Scania to Marienlyst outside Elsinore, but he had to cancel because of bad weather. In 1910 a price of 5.000 kroner was offered to the one, who could cross the Sound first. Carl Cederström loaded his aeroplane on to a goods wagon for Copenhagen in order to take this price. But a Danish aviator, Svendsen, came first, when he flew from Copenhagen to Malmo July 17th, 1910. Carl Cederström first crossed the Sound August 24th, 1910.
The Sandfangeren in Stockholm
The First Swedish Aeroplane
In Stockholm the Swedish Aeronautic Society (SAS) arranged aviation weeks in the autumn of 1910. As usual big crowds gathered to get a glimpse of the aviator idols, especially Carl Cederström. But the big sensation came from the Sound region. Two aviator enthusiasts and engineers from Landskrona, Oscar Ask and Hjalmar Nyrop, who already in April had displayed the first Swedish built aeroplane on the City Hotel in Landskrona.
The aeroplane only had one problem. It could not fly very far and it hopped more than it flew. Nyrop and Ask had collegial difficulties and split up Nyrop continued his work with improving the machine and replaced the two-cylindered boxer motor with a three-cylindered fan engine. The test flights in Ljungbyhed, the first airport in Sweden, were not very promising and the aeroplane was called the grasshopper.
In the beginning of September 1910 he finally succeeded in getting the aeroplane in the air. It was the first time a Swedish aeroplane flew – and stayed in the air for almost five minutes.
The First Swedish Aeroplane
The News in a Hotel
It was this Ask-Nyrop aeroplane, which was presented in Stockholm. The Scanian, Oscar Ask and the Danish descendant, Hjalmar Nyrop constructed the engine and the plane´s pilot was the Dane Knud Thorup. The presentation of the first functioning Swedish aeroplane was an example of Scanian-Danish cooperation.
After a crash Nyrop gave up his work with aeroplanes, but Ask developed his company in Landskrona further and built more planes, until he joined forces with Enoch Thulin, who became a giant in early Scandinavian aviation industry.
Thulin, the Pioneer
The Scanian Thulin started as early as 1908 to study aviation technique and the art of aviation in France and in 1912 in Lund he defended his thesis, “On Air Resistance in Flat Surfaces”. September 24th 1913 he became the first to fly across and back the Baltic, when he flew the distance Landskrona-Stralsund-Trelleborg. In 1914 he flew the distance Paris-Landskrona.
Thulin managed to get through hundreds of spectacular aviation shows and he built Scandinavia´s first real aviation industry in Landskrona, AB Enoch Thulin´s Aeroplane Factory, a further development of the company he ran earlier with Oscar Ask.
Aviation Industry in Landskrona
During the First World War Thulin´s aviation factory grew and before long it had one thousand employees. 99 aeroplanes were built, almost 600 aviation engines and also 300 cars. Thulin was very popular among his employees. He was a scientist, constructor, manufacturer and aviator. The aeroplanes were built as light as possible. They consisted of light tree constructions covered with heavy canvas, and the landing wheels looked like bicycle wheels.
Aviation School in Ljungbyhed
Thulin started an aviation school in Ljungbyhed in 1915, which quickly became a centre for a pilot education. In the school Thulin used aeroplanes from his factory in Landskrona. In the beginning of the 1920´s they had educated more than 100 pilots. Among them the first Swedish woman pilot, Elsa Andersson. She was the daughter of a farmer in Strövelstorp between Helsingborg and Ängelholm and a strange woman of her time. She was also a parachutist. After some successful show jumps in Kristianstad and Helsingborg, she plunged to the ground in Askersund and died.
Thulin´s Aviation School
Thulin died in 1919 during a flight at Landskrona. After his death the factory in Landskrona was forced to close down. It had become mush too difficult to compete with the many manufacturers around the world. Moreover the demand decreased after the world war and the subsequent arms reduction efforts. The aviation industry in all of Europe decreased and there was not yet any civilian aviation traffic, which needed aeroplanes. The aviation school in Ljungbyhed closed too, but was reopened in 1926 as the air force´s own aviation school.
Post and Passenger Traffic
In the 20´s the aviation traffic developed into also to include transport of post and passengers. In Denmark the Danish Airline Company (DDL) had gone into regular air traffic. A number of airline companies in Europe, among them the Danish DDL and the Swedish SLA (Swedish Air Traffic AB), founded the International Air Traffic Association (IATA). DDl and the German, Deutsche Luftrederei (DL) started a co-operation in 1920 on the line Copenhagen – Malmo – Warnemünde – Berlin. German passenger planes were used and among the pilots were Hermann Göring, who in this way came in contact with Scandinavia.
Airports and Traffic Planes
The airports either lay in the sea (aeroport) or on land (aerodrom). The aerodromes were large grass fields. Enoch Thulin carried out a campaign as early as 1914 to get the authorities to lay out private airfields. In Scania Bulltofta Airport was opened in 1924 and thus became Sweden´s first airport for regular traffic. For a long time it was Sweden´s most important international airport, until Bromma in Stockholm was opened for traffic in 1936. In the 30´s concrete fields were laid out, which made traffic with bigger aeroplanes possible.
By means of the air traffic the Sound region was tied together early with other regions in Europe. Kastrup Airport was opened in 1925 and quickly became Scandinavia´s centre of international air traffic. An airline connection shuttling between Bulltofta and Kastrup made it possible for the Scanians to reach the whole world via Kastrup.
After the opening of Sturup Airport in the beginning of the 1970´s the shuttle service was abolished and replaced by the hydrofoil boats between Malmo and Kastrup. It also ended with the opening of the Sound Bridge, which turned Kastrup into a joint Danish-Swedish airport in line with the collaboration, which marked the infancy of aviation in the Sound region.
With regular air services across the Sound the region had a supplement to the regular ferry service, which was developed during the 19th century. As early as the 1880´s they had developed the first project sketches for a regular service across the Sound, at first a draft of a railway tunnel from Elsinore to Helsingborg. Around the turn of the century a similar plan was made of a connection between Copenhagen and Malmo.
The reasons for a fixed connection were a question of connections to the continent and ideas of better connections to the other parts of the Baltic region and the global market. In 1914 the Swedish engineer, Albrecht Quistgaard, together with the Dane, Heinrich Ohrt, presented concession applications to the Danish and Swedish government, but the world war interfered with the plans for a fixed connection.
Bridge Plans in the 1930´s
In the 1930´s plans for the building of bridges came up again. In Denmark several bridge projects were carried through as public tasks in order to relieve unemployment. The Little Belt Bridge between Funen and Jutland was finished in 1935 and the Storstrøm Bridge with a fixed connection to the south was also started. In Sweden they were evidently afraid fall behind and in the argumentation for the establishment of a fixed connection, the connection to the continent and the rest of Europe played an important part.
The examination project from the Technical University in Stockholm, which was published in The Technical Journal in 1935, was the first to present concrete proposals. Here it was a question of a combined road and railway bridge between Elsinore and Malmo. In 1936 the first concrete proposal for a fixed connection between Malmo and Copenhagen came. Three Swedish and Three Danish companies were behind the proposal, but this time a world war interfered again.
Sketch for Railway Bridge
Sketch for a Sound Bridge