Some of Australia’s leading institutions have commemorated the Epic Flight to honour the Vickers Vimy crew and other competitors in the 1919 Great Air Race from England to Australia.
This commemorative medallion has been struck by The Adelaide Mint to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the pioneering flight. The copper/bronze medallion is available for $30 (GST inclusive) plus $3 postage in Australia. To order, visit the South Australian Aviation Museum.
Australia Post has commemorated the epic flight and first overseas airmail in the ‘Centenary of First England to Australia Flight’ stamp issue. The stamps, by Janet Boschen Design, include a domestic-rate and international-rate design. A prestige booklet has been released with the issue, delving further into this fascinating story.
The Royal Australian Mint has released a set of eight coins in a collectible tin to commemorate the feat, including a special booklet telling the stories of danger, drama, and the unimaginable courage of the crews. The Great Air Race collection, celebrating the six Australian crews and also the French team led by Etienne Poulet, is available online for $130.
Adelaide Airport Ltd has produced a ‘build-your-own’ pop-out Vimy carboard model. Suitable for ages five and over, the models are free and can be collected from the History Trust of South Australia registration desk at the Torrens Parade Ground, Adelaide, or at the South Australian Aviation Museum in Lipson St, Port Adelaide.
South Australian publishing house Wakefield Press has released two books for the centenary. Flight to Fame, a reprint of Sir Ross Smith’s 1922 memoir 14,000 Miles Through The Air, is edited and introduced by Adelaide historian Peter Monteath. Long Flight Home by Lainie Anderson is an historic fiction which tells the story of the Great Air Race through the eyes of Ross Smith’s mechanic Wally Shiers.
Drawing on the rich and extensive collection of Ross Smith’s private papers, Anzac & Aviator tells—for the first time—the gripping story of a remarkable aviator, the extraordinary times in which he lived and the air race that changed the world. Anzac & Aviator is published by Allen & Unwin.