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.
Shepparton Swans and Benalla both had altered coaching panels for the Goulburn Valley Football League grand final rematch on Saturday.
The Mulwala Lions had satisfying and hard fought win, in difficult conditions, against last year’s grand finalists at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.
The second annual Bonnie and Clyde Rods, Rats and Rides Festival fired up at Tatura Park at the weekend (April 11-12), drawing thousands of petrol heads and rockabilly music lovers to Tatura.
Anyone yet to experience the sport of croquet is welcome to come along to the Rich River club lawns on Sunday to try it out.
Lockington Vintage Tractor and Stationary Engine Rally is on for the 18th time this weekend and there is something for everyone.
Kyabram and District Sportstar of the Year nominations finalised
Three local clubs get together at Kings Park.
Tributes flow for Finley's inspiring mother, friend and farming advocate Jennifer Hawkins
A visit by Coliban Water to Heathcote last week provided residents with a chance to quiz staff about water and sewer services.
A new book, Men from the River Bends, honours Cobram-Barooga and district soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice after enlisting in World War 1.
Penalty goal spells heartbreak.
Widespread rain late last week and on Saturday put a smile on the faces of farmers preparing to sow crops or waiting for weeds to emerge on early-sown rye-grass.
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