Sunday, July 16 - First Australian Air Mail Flight Commemoratve

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Sunday, July 16 - First Australian Air Mail Flight Commemoratve

Post by ratty »

Maurice Guillaux and his Bleriot XI monoplane after the first mail and cargo flight Melbourne-Sydney. 1914-07-18.
Photo: Albert James Perier

On July 16, 1914, Maurice Guillaux, a French aviator, took off in a Bleriot XI to fly from Melbourne to Sydney on Australia's first air mail and air freight flight. He departed from Flemington showgrounds, Melbourne at 9:12 am on 16 July 1914, and landed in fields at Seymour and Wangaratta before reaching Albury racecourse at 12:50 pm. He flew on, but bad weather forced him to land at Harden. In one day he had flown about 575 kilometres, giving aerobatic displays over each town to entertain the huge crowds that greeted him at every stop.

On 17 July he was again forced to return to Harden because of weather, but on 18 July he was able to move on to Goulburn. This was a freezing winter morning, and when he landed he rushed to the beacon fire to thaw out. He flew on, missing a planned landing at Moss Vale, but landing just behind the main street of Liverpool. After lunch with the locals, he took off in time to arrive at Moore Park in central Sydney by 2:50 pm.

Here he was received by a huge crowd, including the Governor-General. A band played the Marseillaise and he handed over his cargo. There were 1,785 postcards and special messages such as those from the Governor and the French Consul in Victoria to their counterparts in New South Wales. A packet of Lipton Tea and some OT lemon cordial were also carried, Australia's first air freight. At the time, this was the longest air mail flight anywhere in the world.

This July 16, our commemorative flight follows his route, a distance of 435 nautical miles. Since we don't have three days to make the trip, we'll be taking warbirds.

Skyvector looks like: ... 13E%20YSSY

Meet at: 1830z for a 1900z departure.

Meet on: Digital Theme Park on JoinFS.

Comms through A2A Discord channel.

Start at: Melbourne/Essendon Airport, YMEN.

Aircraft: Warbirds.

Local takeoff time: 0912.

Weather: Live.


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