Royal Aero Club - Blog

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First England - Australia Flight
In 1919, the Australian Government offered a prize of £10,000 for the first flight by Australians between Britain and Australia. To win the prize, the flight in a British aeroplane had to be completed within 30 days and before the end of 1919. Six aircraft and crews entered for the competition. Captain Ross Smith, his brother Lieutenant Keith Smith and Sergeants J M Bennett and W H Shiers won the prize with three weeks to spare. They left Hounslow on 12 November 1919 – 100 year’s ago today – in Vickers Vimy G-EAOU (above), and landed at Darwin, Australia, 28 days later. Ross Smith and Keith Smith (below left) were knighted for their achievement, and the Vimy is now preserved in a special memorial exhibition at Adelaide Airport (below right).