Newsletter 1

2019: 100 year commemoration of

Vickers Vimy flight from England to Australia, 1919

Darwin to Adelaide possibilities

EARLY DRAFT Summary at 1 September 2018


AHSA NSW believes that there should be some commemoration of the Darwin to Adelaide section of the Vimy flight. At this stage we are simply collecting ideas. Ideally some major entity will take on the total organisation: there is a major advertising / marketing opportunity in doing this.

However, if no-one wants to take the project over, it might be possible to run this section by cooperative grass-roots efforts. AHSA NSW has no resources to underwrite the project in any way.

Nothing in this bulletin is binding in any way on anyone, including AHSA NSW or any committee members. Nothing will become definite before at least August of this year. But if you have any opinions or ideas please let us know. Please spread the word to anyone who may be interested.

This bulletin is going to people and organisations who have indicated interest in the project. Future bulletins of this type will lit all recipients’ emails. If you do not want your email address listed in this way, let me know.

We hope to have a website soon with a blog where people can send information and suggestions and ask questions. In the meantime these pages give more details, and please email us at

There is also some material on the very primitive and temporary website



1.    Contents

2.      Major groups involved in the Smith Flight commemorations. 3

Darwin committee. 3

The History Trust of South Australia. 3

3.      Our suggestion: 3

4.      Our committee: 4

5.      Mission statement: 4

6.      A key suggestion: Dreamliner Flight London to Darwin. 4

7.      Timeline: subject to constant modification. 5

8.      Publicity record and future plans. 5

Record. 5

Future Plans. 6

9.      Sponsorship and recognition. 6

Top Level sponsor with naming rights: 6

Second-level sponsor. 6

Third-level sponsor: 6

Recognition of participants: 6

10.         Merchandising. 7

11.         The Route of our flight. Contacts and ideas as at Friday, 15 February 2019. 7

Route comments from Owen Zupp. 12

Discussion at AHSA NSW on 6 March. 12

12.         What is needed to run the Sydney / Adelaide event. 12

Other comments. 13

13.         Philately. 13

14.         Mailing list for this information. 13



2.    Major groups involved in the Smith Flight commemorations

Darwin committee

May be contacted through their website They are involved in running a ‘race’ from England to Darwin using electric, hybrid, fuel cell or other methods to improve fuel efficiency. Next major announcement is scheduled for March 19 2019 and this will list entrants and the route. After we know who the entrants may be we may be able to investigate the possibility of getting at least some of these high-tech aircraft to fly on to Adelaide.

We suggest that you visit and register for further information.

The History Trust of South Australia

May be contacted through their website Key people: Greg Mackie, OAM, CEO, Lainie Anderson, working part time on the project, and involved in a wide range of related activities. Her Churchill Fellowship report on her studies on the subject are essential reading and may be downloaded from . They are mainly concerned with the lack of recognition of the Vimy, and want to use the centenary to ensure that it gets better display facilities. Lainie is also involved in making a major documentary film on the Smith flight and is writing a major literary work based around the event.

Basically the History Trust is happy with the idea of having a commemorative Darwin-Adelaide event. Greg Mackie has stated that such an event, arriving in Adelaide on New Years Day 2020, could be very helpful to further raise public awareness of the importance of the centenary of the epic flight.This is very encouraging!

Adelaide airports / Parafield and many other groups are also interested in this activity and some feature later in these notes.

3.    Our suggestion:

AHSA NSW Airmail Centenary Commemoration Group was co-ordinator for the commemoration flight of the first airmail in Australia. In July 1914 French aviator Maurice Guillaux flew from Melbourne to Sydney, and with wonderful help from the aviation community, the event was very successful.  The contribution of the French Consul M Berti was also very important and gave the flight international significance.
The model we used for the 2014 airmail flight was very simple:

·         Philatelic mail prepared by Australia Post was carried in a Jabiru aircraft, supported by an all-weather escort aircraft.

·      These flights were conducted as private flights strictly according to CASA regulations.

·         The itinerary was published well in advance and if aero clubs, historical groups or other civic organisations wanted to hold a fly-in or other event on their own initiative, this was welcomed,

·         Other aircraft could fly along with the main re-enactment aircraft, at their own responsibility, strictly according to CASA regulations, for as many stages as they wished.

·         Participating aircraft and organisations were recognised in the historical records of the event and by publicity and received souvenirs that recognised their involvement.

·      Media coverage was encouraged, and we had television, radio and press coverage at local, national and even international level.

We do not suggest that this method must necessarily be  employed. It is simply a suggestion. But we do think that there  must be adequate recognition of the Australian section of the  flight. After all, it is nearly a quarter of the total distance.

We cannot handle the organisation for a similar event in 2019 from Darwin to Adelaide but we are happy to assist with liaison and historical research. We are putting the idea to as many people as possible with a view to collecting information on possibilities.


PO Box 301 Pyrmont NSW Australia 3007,  ABN:  83 295 759 224

Celebrating Australia’s Aviation Heritage

Contact: Tom Lockley 0403 615 134
Let’s have your ideas soon!

4.    Our committee:

Our working group for this project consists of

·         Paul Ewoldt (President, AHSA NSW)

·          Judy Rainsford (involved deeply with the Australian Women Pilots Association  (  who was flight director, Guillaux commemoration flight),

·         John Scott (historian),

·         Cathy Hobson, a pilot with vast experience, notably in the Northern Territory and

·         Anthony Coleiro, light aircraft pilot and airline instructor.

·         Tom Lockley, the secretary for this group. Our aim is to collect historical material (some of which is stored temporarily on ), 0403 615 134

·         Alan Campbell and Mike Mcgree, AHSA Committee members.

Owen Zupp, lead pilot for the 2014 exercise, is also involved. These will meet as opportune and will be joined by leaders in other areas as much as possible. Emails will be the main method of communication.

5.    Mission statement (draft):

To publicise Australian aviation history with a view to

·         Bringing to the attention of the Australian and world public the contribution, past and present, of aircraft to the nation’s development

·         Emphasising he safety of modern light aircraft. All aircraft will abide by CASA regulations. The arrangements will be flexible so as to ensure safety through avoiding bad weather etc

·         Highlighting the remarkable advances being made in light aircraft, notably in Australia

·         Encouraging the discovery, collation, recording and preservation of relevant historical materials

·         Providing the airfields and settlements visited with an opportunity to engage the local community in these events

6.    A key suggestion: Dreamliner Flight London to Darwin

A QANTAS Boeing 787 should fly from England to Darwin so as to arrive at 3pm on Tuesday 10 December 2019, the exact time of the Vimy’s arrival. It might be possible that it could actually take off from England at the same local time on the same day, but regardless, flying time could be less than 17 hours. This flight gives tremendous opportunities: fly as a charity benefit, fly celebrities out for the Darwin celebrations, or even run it as a purely commercial venture which would make money for QANTAS. The race emphasises electric power, and the 787 is the world’s first electrically controlled aircraft. What a wonderful curtain raiser for the commemorative celebrations! What a wonderful way of demonstrating the huge gains in air travel since the Vimy’s epic 28 day flight!

Word from David Crotty is that this will not happen (30 Jan 2019) but we will keep trying to get this done!

A quick check from Webjet indicates that philatelic mail could be carried by normal services Heathrow to Darwin in less than 30 hours.

7.    Timeline: subject to constant modification

Before 10 Decenmber 2018: general discussion

Publication of 102 Days, story of Smith Darwin to Adelaide flight

28 November 2018: Aviation Cultures conference

10 December 2018: first email to mailing list from Guillaux flight plus others

February: publication of Wrigley and Murphy, story of BE2e flight.


Establishment of group of people involved in taking part in some way. Major information bulletin

Late February:

19 March: second circular re Darwin / Adelaide flight to coincide with Darwin announcement of route and entrants for England to Darwin race

Continual publicity with email mailouts as relevant (2 or 3)

Publication of booklet(s) about Kidby flight, 1969 air race

Publicity material for local areas

August: Possible earliest date to confirm that the Darwin to Aelaide flight will occur

10 December:  Arrival of aircraft at Darwin.

8.    Publicity record and future plans


HARS and general ‘gossip’: 4/5 May 2018

We had informal contact with HARS, Albion Park, and as a result of an invitation from a board member we had a small presence among the aviation groups represented at Wings over Illawarra, 4/5 May. During that time I had a good talk with about 90 people, and this sample indicated great interest in the project and a keenness to participate in the project, notably in any activities Darwin-Adelaide.

Informal contacts are continuing with historical groups, aero clubs etc and there is great interest. We would like to send out more information in an organised fashion, but are awaiting news, particularly of the Darwin announcements scheduled for early next month, and to see what is happening with your groups.

Aviation Cultures Conference, Sydney Uni, 28-31 November

At the Aviation Cultures conference in Sydney, 28 December to 1 December, Lainie Anderson spoke on the current reaction to the Smith flight: interest is certainly being reawakened. Tom Lockley spoke on the Darwin to Adelaide section.


Monthly articles and general discussion

Australia All Over

Tom Lockley, 10 December. ‘Macca’ is keen to publicise future developments.

Future Plans

To evolve as time goes on. Circulars to people who have indicated interest and to the wider email group as practicable.

9.    Sponsorship and recognition.

Basic principle: this operation will only succeed with wide involvement of people keen to take part from reasons of interest in history and desire to promote the ‘mission’, page 3. This will provide opportunities for commercial gain in terms of marketing and advertising for many participants, but the aim will be to make it as inexpensive as possible for all concerned. Donations ‘in kind’ will be the main source of support throughout: eg airfields will be asked to waive landing and parking charges for participating aircraft.

Top Level sponsor with naming rights:

Provision of a 5-6 seater all-weather aircraft to fly the whole route, preferably with secretarial and marketing support.

Second-level sponsor:

a.       Provision of a small philatelic-carrying aircraft (eg Jabiru, ‘electric’ aircraft or historic aircraft eg Tiger Moth) to fly the whole route.

b.       Organisations performing major parts of the action, eg possibly Darwin museum, AHSA nsw, SA airfields (Adelaide / Parafield), Cloncurry, Longreach, Bundaberg, Caboolture, Narromine, HARS, Temora, Cootamundra, Henty, Essendon, also AHSA Queensland and Victoria. Philatelic groups. Australia Post.

c.       Anyone who provides us with access to a website with a shop, and two blogs, one for collection of historical material and one for dissemination of news.

d.       Cash donors of $1000 or more, especially early in the process. Thanks to Gordon Lasslett, AHSA member, for generous support which will enable a logo and a vastly improved website.

Third-level sponsor:

a.       Organisation providing other services to the operation, eg hosting en route events, for example target groups at the moment being NT museum,

b.       Local museums, historical groups etc that make special efforts to recognise the event.

c.       People who will fly a part of the journey, preferably in a significant aircraft.

Recognition of participants:

These will be recognised by the presentation of mementos and by publicity, both at the time and in the historical record of the event.

a.       All participating aircraft, (even those that take part in tarmac displays at events) will be recognised.

b.       People who provide historical material will be recognised

c.       Local small groups and individuals will also be recognised.

10.                       Merchandising

At the moment all costs are being borne privately, but these are relatively minimal. As time goes on we hope to establish a shop to sell philatelic material, historic booklets etc, both before the flight and preferably also along the route of the flight when it occurs. This should raise a few thousand dollars which will cover our needs. Of course if we get a major sponsor that will not be needed.

Material for sale when organised:


·         102 days, Vickers Vimy flight Darwin to Adelaide 1919-20

·         Wrigley and Murphy, Australia’s first transcontinental flight

·         100 years of Australia’s Air Mails and other booklets of the Guillaux, Carey and Watson flights etc

·         Project: small booklet about the Kidby replica and its flight, to include the 1969 air race and the 1989 commemorative flight for the Wrigley / Murphy expedition


·         Guillaux postcards, can be carried also on the Smith Flight, details tba

·         Guillaux envelopes and other material

·         Specially designed material for the Smith Flight

11.                       The Route of our flight. Contacts and ideas as at Monday, 1 July 2019

Smith flight and related events:

The main event of course is the Smith flight, and we are interested in the Darwin to Adelaide section. The whole exercise is seen as a homage to the Smith flight in Australia.Fsafet

However there are several events in 1919-20 which involved the Smith flight and since then there have been some commemorative events. Recalling these may lead to wider involvement. In the air there were

·         Wrigley and Murphy: first flight across Australia surveying the route

·         Lang Kidby flying the reproduction Vimy in 1994

·         The 1969 London to Sydney Air Race

There was also a less known commemorative flght in 1989 when a RAAF CT-4, escorted by a DC-3 flew along the Wrigley route.

Other recent experience of this type of flight included

·         Owen Zupp round Australia flight in a Jabiru, 2010

·         Commemorative events related to the time in Australia of Maurice Guillaux

On the ground there were two main preparatory events for the Smith flight: A route survey beginning in February 1919 for Aerial Services Limited  and the more widely known expediton of Fysh and McGuinness from Longreach to Darwin across the north of Australia via Borroloola that is part of the QANTAS founding story.

Notes on possible stopping places

This section lists ideas, some of which have had preliminary contacts as indicated. The bold print Smitn, Wrigley, Air Race, Kidby, Zupp and Guillaux refer tp the places visited the various flights mentioned in the preceding section. Caveats: there may be errors here and most things are just ideas at the moment. They will remain as such for some months. The final route will not be clear until August at the earliest.

Darwin:  Smith, Wrigley, Kidby, Air Race, Zupp

Craig Bellamy, AHSA NT and Heritage Centre will be contact person for activities there including start of Darwin to Adelaide event. Good informal support being made official at coming meetings

Katherine: Smith, Wrigley,  Zupp

Tindal RAAF base is jointly used as civilian airfield

Newcastle Waters: Wrigley

Now a ghost town, nearby township of Eliot on the highway,

Tennant Creek: Kidby, Zupp

Australian Agricultural Company (AACO) own Anthony Lagoon, Eva Downs, Avon Downs/ Austral Downs, Brunette Downs

Warlock Ponds:

major stop for Smiths, near Cobbs Creek, 3 day breakdown

Anthony Lagoon: Smith,

Part of AACO, 

Brunette Downs: Smith, Wrigley

Michael and Amanda Johnson, 08 98964 4522, PMB 5 Mt Isa 4289 major discussion early March. Brunette Downs if famous for its race meeting, held mid-year

Barkly Station: Zupp

Avon Downs: Smith, Wrigley

No contact yet

Camooweal: Wrigley

In Mt Isa shore

Mt Isa: Zupp

Mt Isa is the shire headquarters for Camooweal, the last town in Queensland, population about 300

Cloncurry: Smith, Wrigley, Zupp,

Gail Wipaki tourism officer, keen to assist and is spreading the word eg to John Flynn museum and the dinosaur museum.

Longreach: Smith, Wrigley, Kidby, Zupp

QANTAS heritage museum contacted, interested, awaiting more information. It is very important for us, and will be of great benefit for them, If they co-operate.

Charleville: Smith, Wrigley, Kidby, Zupp

Murweh shire council tourism officer Monique Johnson has been contacted, awaiting more information

Cunnamulla: Wrigley

Rockhampton and Emerald: Zupp

A bit out of the way on this trip?

Bundaberg: Zupp

Home of Jabiru aircraft and Bert Hinkler museum, may be very important to us.

Possible detour via Brisbane: Zupp

Contact made with Jennifer Wilson, Queensland Aviation Museum

Peter Dunn, AHSA Queensland, website will assist liaison in Queensland as things develop. Suggested that possibly Caboolture airfield may be a good stop.

There might be some interest from Ipswich where the railway workshops made major repairs to the engine while the aircraft was at Charleville.

Kingsford-Smith’s Southern Cross at Brisbane airport: photo opportunity?

Caboolture: Zupp

TAVAS museum keen to participate, can be reached at, They have a flying replica of Ross McPherson Smiths 1  Sqn Bristol F2B in which he scored 10 victories. This will be a great stop.

Barringun: Wrigley

Now a tiny settlement, population 10. Hard to imagine enthusiasm

Bourke: Smith, Wrigley

Contact made with Fran Carter, Bourke Shire, will pass on information but no Aero Club etc at Bourke

Narromine: Smith, Wrigley

Peter Keirath, Narromine museum, keen and will pass on information. Narromine is a major centre for historical and light aviation. They have a flyable Wright Flyer which could make a great photo op.

Forbes: Wrigley


A senior member expressed interest at Albion Park. Not yet followed up. Would be fabulous to highlight the importance of the Tiger Moth in WWII and general de Havilland aircraft. Tiger Moths took part in the Guillaux commemorations (100 years since the first flight at Newcastle).

Seaplane Pilots Association Australia (SPAA)

Were keen to help at Guillaux functions, member has suggested involvement in this flight


It is a bit difficult to have a major base here. KS airport cannot handle light aircraft and Bankstown has been destroyed as a historic venue with the closure of the museum. Nothing known about the possibility of calling at Richmond, this is being investigated. A flyover of the harbour by participating light and historical aircraft is a possibility. Maybe there will be some interest at Kingsford-Smith due to their centenary, the Vimy being the first ‘bg’ aircraft to arrive. Several good helpers from AHSA NSW as well as those on the committee.

HARS Albion Park

We had early informal contact with a few HARS members and as a result of an invitation from a board member we had a small presence among the aviation groups represented at Wings over Illawarra, 4/5 May 2018. During that time I had a good talk with about 90 people, and this sample indicated great interest in the project and a keenness to participate in the project, notably in any activities Darwin-Adelaide. It is hoped that as time goes on HARS may become a key player. It would be a good base for the Sydney area.

Stanwell Park: Zupp

Homage to Hargrave?

Richmond: Smith

This figured prominently in the Smith flight, but I do not know how RAAF will feel about cooperating with us. Going to get advice from Greg Weller, RAAF Director of Community engagement, Edinburgh RAAF, on the South Australian Committee. RAAF may be involved in Tindal (NT), Point Cook and possibly elsewhere.

Mittagong: Zupp. Guillaux

Owen’s home town, a really great welcome to the Guillaux flight. Associations with the wartime airstrip, some interesting historical aircraft, also Delfosse Badgery was around there in 1914.

Goulburn: Guillaux

Good staging point, keen local historians and airfield owner, no contact yet


Les Sullivan of Canberra Aero club formation flight says there is interest, also his friend with a Tiger Moth, Dr Andrew Pitcher, who is interested in participating. Suggest we try for publicity there but not land there. Possibly a flyover? Unless we can get politicians interested

Harden: Guillaux

Incredibly enthusiastic then, may be interested in being a landing point


Were very keen on the Guillaux flight, providing aircraft and staging point. Kenny Love has moved on as CEO and the new CEO Andrew Keir is interested. Pilot Andrew Bishop is keen.

 Cootamundra: Smith, Wrigley

This was a pretty significant stop. The Premer, William Holman, was very air-minded and hitched a ride on the Vimy from Richmond to Cootamundra, with detours over the site of Canberra, the Governor’s residence at Sutton Forest etc. Betti Punnett, of the Cootamundra Historical Society, is the liaison person here. Cootamundra people also were keen at the HARS Wings over Illawarra publicity

Cootamundra to Henty: Smith

There were two forced landings: one at Bon Accord, near Wagga Wagga, and one at the Rock. Both times the aircraft was able to take off again after repairs, then a third landing became necessary just short of Henty. The airmen stayed the night at Henty. Huge crowds waiting at Melbourne were disappointed. Contact in Henty is John Ebsworth of Henty Historical Society. Has located and got permission for use of a private airfield.

Albury: Guillaux

Keen historians and aero club were very helpful.

Wangaratta: Guillaux, Zupp

Very hospitable at Guillaux event, strong aero club and historians

Benalla: Guillaux

Centre for sailplanes, museum at airport near the centre of town, excellent landing spot for Guillaux event

Mangalore: Guillaux

Were not keen on joining in Guillaux event but it turned out to be a pleasant stopover thanks to philatelist Lyn Bradbury

Henty to Melbourne

The Vimy was flying on one engine, a very precarious situation. It flew over Melbourne at about 7,000 feet then landed at Point Cook. Here the aircraft underwent many repairs. The crew were lionised in Melbourne and were presented with the £10,000 cheque. They stayed about four weeks. Melbourne AHSA very helpful, various members including Alan Trower, also Essendon airport, Phil Vabre Essendon Civil Aviation Museum.

Point Cook: Wrigley, Zupp

No contact yet, would be very important.

To Adelaide

After another four weeks the Vimy flew on to Adelaide, landing at Northfield.

En route: Hamilton: Zupp: Any other ideas?

Ansett Museum; Basil Watson flew here. No contact yet. Hamilton Airport (IATAHLTICAOYHML) is located 6.5 nautical miles (12.0 km; 7.5 mi) north of HamiltonVictoriaAustralia

no contact yet

Adelaide Airport and Parafield Airport: Smith, Wrigley, Kidby, Zupp

are keen to assist commemorations of the Smith flight in co-operation with the Adelaide committee. It is suggested that the conclusion of the flight might be New Years Day at Parafield, and perhaps the aircraft could ‘stage’ the day before eg at Gawler. No contact has been made with Gawler but Barrie Rogers of Parafield is going to do this.

The original idea of arriving on New Years Day is being questioned, the better date of arrival possibly being the following weekend,  4/5 January.

Conclusion: flyover of Adelaide, , landing at Parafield.


Route comments from Owen Zupp

With reference to the route, the reciprocal of my Around Australia flight may be suitable as I selected certain ports that had historical significance. Roughly, from Longreach across to Bert Hinkler’s home town of Bundaberg. From there I transited Toowoomba and flew an island route via Grafton and Mudgee to avoid coastal weather. I stopped at town but good supporters as you saw with the air mail flight. HARS at Wollongong, Temora, Shepparton and Point Cook. Between Melbourne and Adelaide I also stopped at Hamilton where the Ansett Museum is located. I also overflow Sir Hubert Wilkins homestead which sits to the north of Adelaide.


Another point worth bearing in mind is the weather that time of year. Dawn departures and landing before the afternoon build-ups and storms would be advisable I’d suggest.



Route comment from Judy Rainsford


I can land at Richmond, but there are protocols - regulations are strict of course.  The manner in which this is investigated is crucial.  Point Cook has regular open days.  Whilst a flurry of light aircraft descending on Richmond is not to be recommended, one, two or maybe 3 accepted aircraft may be welcome with the other planes landing at Bankstown, Camden, Albion Park etc.   Some discussion of the approaches to be made to RAAF should look at a series of alternatives that could be presented to indicate the request, with their guidance and suggestions ie diplomacy. 

 Discussion at AHSA NSW on 6 March

Tony Coleiro, Owen Zupp, Cathy Hobson.

A basic problem is Katherine to (say) Cloncurry.

a.       Is this suitable for aircraft such as Jabirus, Tiger Moths? The ‘electric’ aircraft are an unknown quantity, but if they can handle Britain to Darwin then they should have no problems with these sectors. We do not know if they will be keen to take part in this additional section, and will not know till their Britain / Darwin entries are certain and then we may be able to contact them. The participation of these aircraft is a high priority for Adelaide, particularly Parafield Airport.

b.       Is the weather pattern in mid-December such that the route can be covered with reasonable certainty by 5-6 passenger aircraft or by light or historic aircraft?

c.       Would the enroute airstrips welcome these visitors at these times?

Brunette Downs, Avon Downs, Eva Downs and Anthony Lagoon all belong to Australian Agricultural Company. Tom has been promised a phone hookup with Michael Johnson, the NT regional manager.

12.                       What is needed to run the Sydney / Adelaide event

This event can be run with relatively small resources, eg:

An escort aircraft, ideally able to fly all weather, 5 or 6 passenger, Darwin to Adelaide say from 18 December 2019 to 1 January 2020.

Secretarial help: ideally an event manager but if not a paid person for say 200 hours or an absolutely dedicated volunteer with the ability to keep track of correspondence and contacts and handle website maintenance and ‘shop’. Ideally this person would also be on the escort aircraft for the journey from Darwin to Adelaide, a very exciting experience!

A website with a blog and information resources:

An online shop.


Other comments

Please note that no-one is locked in to doing anything and there will be no definite arrangements until well into next year. Please contact the committee at to add information, ideas and to add your name to people who may be interested.

Owen Zupp, Jabiru pilot in Guillaux commemoration keen to assist, believes he can get an appropriate small modern aircraft for the whole trip. Will use his journalistic contacts to assist. His website

Les Sullivan who took part in the Guillaux flight (Canberra formation group) is keen to participate naming friend with a Tiger Moth, Dr Andrew Pitcher, who is interested in participating.  Likewise from James Moline Having taken part in the Maurice Guillaux event in 2014 I am interested in accompanying the flight from Darwin to Adelaide in my Searey Amphibian VH EUX.

Lots of other people interested in doing a stage or two.

John Williams, Dragon Rapide pilot in Guillaux commemoration keen, his friend Rick Searle  is writing a book on the flight, John referred us to 100th Anniversary of the 1919 Air Race - Page 3 - PPRuNe Forums

James Kightly, aviaton journalist, is interested as is David Crotty, QANTAS museum, Sydney.

13.                       Philately

There will be a stamp issue by Australia Post but the details are not clear yet. Paul Ewoldt is acting as consultant but nothing is definite regarding the material issued or the date of issue. It is likely that Australia Post will produce a full philatelic kit as they did with the Guillaux flight, and certainly the significance of these items will be enhanced if they are carried on the commemorative flights, especially if carried the whole journey on significant aircraft. There are also good possibilities for mails to and from intermediate points.

It seems that the Darwin group are not involved in this as yet.

Nothing can be done for a few months till things become clearer.

There should be opportunities for stamp groups, historical groups etc to design their own philatelic material and have it flown on the flight or part of it. As in 2014, organisations can make their own arrangements.

As information appears, we will publicise it and in the meantime please send in ideas, questions and comments.

AHSA NSW has over 500 of the postcards prepared for the Guillaux flight. They will never be sold for less than $30, so as to keep faith with the original purchasers, but it might be possible for them to be carried also on the Smith flight with the appropriate new stamps. More information as it comes available.

Martin Walker, Australian Airmail Association and South Australian Philatelic Council chairman is the president Organising Committee of Aeropex 2019. 6, 7 & 8 December 2019 at the Torrens Parade Ground Drill Hall, Adelaide.

A quick check from Webjet indicates that philatelic mail could be carried by normal services Heathrow to Darwin in less than 30 hours.


14.                       Mailing list for this information

This is going to people who have expressed an interest in the project, made suggestions etc.

I think that all the people listed are happy to receive this material but if you would prefer not to have your email listed let me know. Otherwise it will be listed in future emails of this type.

If you can spread the word to anyone who might be interested, please do so. I am trying to do as much as I can, so please send me contact details, but if you can do some of the contacting yourself it will be an enormous help. I suggest you cc in any emails you send. (tl)


People who have expressed interest in participating and are ‘spreading the word’:

Owen Zupp: would like to participate by flying the whole distance, details being firmed in
Craig Bellamy and Bob Allport, Darwin museum
Bob Livingstone, historian and proof reader!
Cloncurry tourism
Caboolture TAVAS
Cootamundra History Group
Henty History Group
Nyngan Museum
Essendon Civil Aviaton Museum
Adelaide Parafield
Australian Airmail Society

People who have expressed interest and want to hear more, but are favourably disposed to the idea
Charleville Tourism
QANTAS Pioneers Museum Longreach
AHSA Queensland
Queensland museum
People interested in participating:
Les Sullivan and his friend Dr Andrew Pitcher
James Kightly
Members of AHSA Victoria
AHSA Queensland Peter Dunn,

RAAF. 2pm 13 Feb had a call from Group Captain Greg Weller, SA committee.

He is sending me contact details for RAAF Darwin, Tindal, Richmond, Point Cook. I had feared that we will be regarded as an amateur group and that the RAAF will not want to be associated with this type of effort and also that RAAF heritage prefers to restrict its efforts to the RAAF itself which did not begin until 1920. It is a pity because of

a.        the involvement of Richmond (pre-RAAF times, home of the State Aviation School). It was very important in the Smith flight Darwin to Adelaide. The Vimy stayed there for four days and had repairs, then flew to Cootamundra with a passenger, the air-minded Premier William Holman, whose electorate was Cootamundra. Richmond is about to commemorate the centenary of its inauguration as a RAAF base so this might be a good curtain-raiser.

b.       Point Cook. This was another major stop. The Vimy reached Melbourne flying on only one engine, and though preparations had been made to receive the aircraft at Flemington, it actually landed at Point Cook where it stayed from 26 February to 21 March. Major repairs were carried out here and the flight to Adelaide proceeded without problems.
Also, the Wrigley transcontinental flight began from here.

c.       Tindal near Katherine is a likely stopping spot. It is a joint civilian / RAAF base. No contact has yet been made either with the civilian or RAAF components of the airport.

Also Greg says that the RAAF bases largely close down mid December to January. In conversation he suggested that possibly the weekend of 4-5 December might be a better time to arrive in Adelaide.

On the short list to be contacted:

It has been suggested that we talk to Luskintyre. Antique Aircraft Association, Seaplane Pilots Association of Australia etc. I will do this as soon as I can but if someone else wants to take  it on it would be good.

Suggestion from Mike McGree that we contact charter operators and adventure flights to see if they are interested in running a tourist aircraft along with the commemorative flight