Forging The Nation - Towards the Future
- Forging the Nation: home
- National identity
- Seeking security
- The First World War
- Towards the future
England to Australia by air
Just ten years after the tentative first powered flight in Australia, a hop of 400 metres, a twin-engined Vickers Vimy biplane, which had taken off in England, landed at Darwin.
In 1919 the Australian government offered a £10,000 prize for the first Australian to fly from England to Australia. There were some very experienced former war pilots willing to try. The prize was won by the brothers Keith and Ross Smith, and their mechanics Jim Bennett and Wally Shiers.
Four other aircraft taking part in the race crashed, while a sixth machine, flown by Ray Parer and John McIntosh, took off after the race had already been won; they took seven months to reach Australia.