The year was 1919. The war was finally over. Prime Minister Billy Hughes offered £10,000 for the first Australian airmen to fly home from England in 30 days. Six crews took up the challenge in planes that were as rudimentary as they were unreliable. And who won? South Australian brothers Ross and Keith Smith, backed by mechanics Wally Shiers (SA) and Jim Bennett (Vic).
The flight was likened in its day to Christopher Columbus discovering the New World. Today’s historians say it was significant as man landing on the moon 50 years later.
Their magnificent Vickers Vimy bomber can still be seen at Adelaide Airport. Its international and national historical significance is unsurpassed.
In 2019, we celebrate the men, the plane and the centenary of a journey as awe-inspiring as the moon landing 50 years later.
We look forward to the aircraft being displayed in a more prominent location at Adelaide Airport, to ensure future generations of South Australians are amazed by this epic feat.
In 2019, South Australia will commemorate the Epic Flight Centenary through a program of events coordinated by the History Trust of South Australia, celebrating the extraordinary achievement and inspire South Australians to strive for new horizons.
If you would like to donate to a project fund that will help realise this initiative then please donate here.
For more on the history of this historic achievement visit the SA History Hub.