Angel Maria Zuloaga
Colonels José María Sarobe(left) and Angel María Zuloaga
The aircraft behind them is the Aé.T.1five-seat transport.
Photo & text from Arne Brunner, 1-9-08

Brigadier Major Angel M. Zuloaga
by Georg v. Rauch
Page 1

I barely had enough presence of mind to blurt out my name and add, nervously "It's a pleasure Sir!" Oh! what a kaleidoscope of vistas, places and names paraded before my eyes! Here was the man who had crossed the Andes at their highest altitudes in a balloon, the man who led the 'Sol de Mayo' squadron to Rio de Janeiro!. We spoke briefly about Jorge Newbery, Teodoro Fells. Then, he got up, and announced he had an appointment. We shook hands once again., and exchanged cards. He offered me a copy of his book. "La Victoria de las Alas" which l received at my hotel a day later.

Zuloaga was a legendary figure not only in Argentina but throughout South America as well. Born in Mendoza, 21 May 1885, he graduated from the Colegio Militar de la Nación (The Argentine Army's MilitaryAcademy), on 28 December 1907, and after the successful completion of courses at the Ballistics and Cavalry Schools, entered the Escuela de Aviación Militar in 1914, qualifying as a military pilot in October of that year, and as a balloon pilot in May 1915.

An intrepid balloonist, Zuolaga and Eduardo Bradley, a civilian pilot, had completed a 900 km (560 miles) flight between Buenos Aires and Sao Leopoldo ( Brazil). Then on 24 June 1916, this pair wrote an epic page in the history of the annals of world aviation, when they crossed the Andes mountains in a free-flight balloon by way of the Uspallata Pass, Thus, they not only linked Argentina and Chile by air, but in the process, they reached an attitude of 8.100 meters (26,568 feet).

Zuloaga was the Director of the Escuela de Aviación Militar during 1925-26, and held various positions in the Argentine Army Air Service until appointed Director of Military Aviation in 1929, a post he held until 1936 . In October 1933, President Agustín P. Justo of Argentina left for Rio de Janeiro aboard the battleship ARA Moreno, escorted by a destroyer squadron The trip provided not only an opportunity to return the courtesy visit made in July 1931, by a squadron of Brazilian aircraft, but a highly auspicious form of demonstrating to the nation as a whole the efficiency and value of the Fábrica Militar de Aviones ( FMA or Military Aviation Factory.

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