French Airman Maurice Guillaux made the flight from Melbourne to Sydney on July 12, 1914.MONIQIUE FREER July 16, 2014 7:30am
A fleet of vintage aircraft descended on Benalla on Saturday in a celebration of the first airmail flight in Australia.
The historic re-enactment was to celebrate 100 years since French airman Maurice Guillaux first made the flight between Melbourne and Sydney on July 12, 1914.
It was the longest flight in the world at that time, with an 88
The re-enactment began at Essendon Airport on Saturday morning, before touching down at Mangalore Airport.
The mail load was handed from the Pacific Aerospace CT-4 to Benalla pilot Mark Carr’s Winjeel VH-CZE and both flew on to Benalla Airport, where they were joined by a Dragon Rapide from the 1930s.
Although Benalla was not on the original airmail flight path, Benalla Aviation Museum president Terry Kay said they were included in the commemoration because of Mr Carr’s involvement.
A Jabiru 230, Cessna 182 VH-TZX and Cessna 177B VH-WNM participated in the entire three-day event, while Mr Carr’s Winjeel, the Pacific Aerospace CT-4 and Dragon Rapide joined in for various legs of the journey.
Benalla Aviation Museum secretary John Currie said the event was terrific for Benalla.
‘‘I think from the town’s point of view it’s an absolutely fantastic thing,’’ Mr Currie said.
‘‘It’s a centenary of aviation event. It’s been organised to be that way because we’ve got a pretty vibrant airfield operating here with the museum and the gliding club.’’
Pilots from the Gliding Club of Victoria also joined the re-enactment, carrying mail cargoes to Wangaratta for the following leg.
The Benalla Aviation Museum commemorated the day with a special event for vintage aircraft enthusiasts, and Benalla Rural City councillors Peter Davis and Margaret Richards presented each pilot with a memento of the town.
The special mail delivery was delivered to Powerhouse Museum in Sydney on Monday as centrepiece of a reception held to commemorate Bastille Day, conducted by the French Consul-General M Eric Berti.
Other mail loads being carried include a replica of original mail, 1785 numbered postcards, token air freight Madura Tea and Murray Valley Fruit Juice, and other items related to the French companies who had sponsored the flight.
Goulburn Valley has mostly selected skips in its bid to reclaim the Norm Knopp Shield tomorrow.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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