Michael Smith (appropriate surname!) is hoping to fly from England to Darwin, arriving 10 December. (Michael is a very experienced long distance aviatior – see his website http://www.southernsun.voyage/ ) He is buying a new state of the art 'Sea Bear amphibian as pictured. Full details can be found on http://www.seabearaircraft.com/aircraft/ and hopes to arrive in Darwin on 10 December, then fly south.
Plans to conduct a 'race' of high-tech aircraft from England to Australia were abandoned in April of this year, and more recetly Amanda Harrison, a highly skilled commercial pilot had to abandon her attempt to fly to Australia in a Tiger Moth. A compelling reason for the abandonment of both attempts is the political sitiuation along the traditional route. which meant that it is very difficult for short-range aircraft.
Michael's aircraft has a listed range is 1350 NM (1500+ miles) at a speed of 120 knots which gives him a good range of options through the troubled areas and to deal with weather. This opens up wonderful possibilities for safe routes, and the project could well be very successful. More news as it becomes available!