In 1919, the acting Australian Prime Minister William Alexander Watt announced, on behalf of Prime Minister William “Billy” Hughes, the Commonwealth Government would offer a prize of £10,000 for the first successful flight to Australia from Great Britain in under 30 days. The victorious pilots, Ross and Keith Smith in their Vickers Vimy G-EAOU twin-engine plane, won the £10,000 prize when they landed in Darwin to enormous local, national and international acclaim.
This extraordinary event was the forerunner to the international air travel that is so commonplace today and opened new trade channels for international mail and freight – in 1919, with aviation in its infancy, excitement gripped the world and encapsulated the imagination of the Australian people.
In the one hundred years since the first flight from London to Darwin, aerospace technology has made enormous strides. In 2019, we aim to celebrate a century of achievement by engineers, designers, and aircraft constructors with the Great Air Race.
The Great Air Race will feature four class of aircraft, including Battery Electric, Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Electric, Hybrid Combustion-Engine Electric, and Efficiency class. Taking off from London as in 1919, these aircraft will navigate their way around the globe to land in Darwin on December 10 2019, a century to the day that Sir Ross Smith and his crew changed the course of Aviation forever.
To mark the centenary of the 1919 Great Air Race, numerous events will be held throughout the world as we build up to the 2019 Great Air Race. From celebrations of Australian Aviation to the Centenary Ball, these events will give you an experience to remember!
More information: https://www.greatairrace.com.au/