The NSW branch of the Aviation Historical Society of Australia (AHSA NSW) is planning a flight across the country in March next year to commemorate the first England to Australia flight.
In 1919, a prize of 10,000 pounds was offered to the first Australian crew to fly from Houslow, England, to Darwin within 30 consecutive days, finishing no later than 31 December 1920. Brothers Keith and Ross Smith, along with crew members Jim Bennett and Wally Shiers, left Hounslow on 12 November 1919 in a converted Vickers Vimy bomber and arrived in Darwin 27 days later on 10 December.
The victorious crew flew on to Sydney and evenutally to Adelaide, which is the journey AHSA NSW is looking to commemorate.
Leaving Darwin on 10 March, the route will take flyers along the east coast through Brisbane and Sydney, stopping at significant places along the way. The itinerary has been timed to arrive at Adelaide on 23 March, 100 years to the day that the Smith Brothers arrived back in their home town.
The current route for the flight is:
- Tennant Creek
- Point Cook
AHSA NSW is still working on support personnel for stops along the way, but is confident they will get the help they need given the level of enthusiasm show by people they have contacted.
To get more information and to register your interest, go to the AHSA NSW Smith Flight website.