March 19, 1919
The Australian Government announces a £10,000 prize for the first Australians to fly from Britain to Australia. It̵
May 22, 1919
The Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom announces the official rules for the Great Air Race from Britain to Australia.
June 7, 1919
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a group of young Australian aviators are set to leave England for a pioneering fl
August 14, 1919
Australia’s acting Prime Minister William Watt tells parliament it’s understood that eight entries have been
Four flight crew members standing in front of the large bi-plane
November 12, 1919
South Australian brothers Sir Ross and Sir Keith Smith, with mechanics Wally Shiers (SA) and Jim Bennett (Vic), departed
November 12, 1919
After six hours and 20 minutes of flying in freezing temperatures, the Vimy finally touched down in Lyons (pictured circ
Image: The famous cylindrical tower, leaning to the right with puddles forming on the ground in front.
November 13, 1919
The day started with a frustrating few hours for the Vimy crew as they tried to source fuel and hot water for the radiat
November 15, 1919
At first light, Ross Smith arrived at the water-logged Pisa aerodrome to find the Vimy still hopelessly bogged. So he ca
November 16, 1919
Ross Smith and the Vickers Vimy crew left Rome in poor weather and set a course for Taranto, 260 miles away in southern
November 17, 1919
The Vimy crew almost crashed into cliffs off the coast of Greece as Ross Smith battled driving rain and dense mist on th
November 18, 1919
Ross Smith and his Vickers Vimy crew had a highly-eventful, 650-mile flight across the Mediterranean from Crete to Cairo
No image available
November 19, 1919
Ross Smith flew from Cairo to Damascus on the seventh, 450-mile leg of the epic flight. The Vimy crew was now a quarter
Image: Black and White photograph showing biplane with clouded sunset. Shadows of men gathered by the right wing
November 20, 1919
Grease was lathered over the Vimy’s wheels to enable Ross Smith to take off from the muddy aerodrome in Damascus d
Image: Biplane on flat desert landscape. Tent off in the distance with armed guards.
November 21, 1919
The Smith crew repaired the Vimy’s ailerons and wires after the night’s raging sandstorm before setting off
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November 23, 1919
Ross Smith and the Vickers Vimy crew flew 630 miles from Basra to Bandar Abbas to complete the 10th leg of their epic jo
November 24, 1919
When Ross Smith left Bandar Abbas bound for Karachi 730 miles away, he carried a small hand-written note from the Britis
Image: men standing around the tail of a biplane.
November 25, 1919
Ross Smith made a 7.40am start from Karachi, circling above the desert aerodrome before turning the Vickers Vimy east to
November 27, 1919
Ross Smith departed Delhi at 10.20am, feeling “the keenness of the chase” to overtake French aviator and rog
November 28, 1919
Ross Smith landed in Calcutta at 1.30pm after a relatively easy five-hour flight from Allahabad, only to learn that R
November 29, 1919
The Vickers Vimy crew almost met with disaster on takeoff from Calcutta (modern-day Kolkata) on 29 November 1919, when t
Image: Biplane on open field surrounded by onlookers
November 30, 1919
On the afternoon of 30 November 1919, excited citizens in the Burmese city of Rangoon (modern day Yangon, Myanmar) were
December 1, 1919
The Vimy crew landed at Bangkok’s Don Muang airport at 12.55pm after a hair-raising, six-hour flight at 11,000ft o
December 2, 1919
The Vimy crew was escorted out of Bangkok by four Siamese aircraft, before encountering shocking monsoonal rains on the
Image: Close up of Biplane with rags covering wheels and the engines. One of the crew is looking into the cockpit from the wing.
December 4, 1919
Ross Smith spent his 27th birthday flying over paddy fields, scattered villages and coastline from Singora to Singapore.
December 6, 1919
Ross Smith and the Vimy crew had some “breathless moments” as they just cleared the rails on takeoff from th
Image: Javan locals assisting with a bogged biplane
December 7, 1919
Ross Smith made the 350-mile flight from Kalidjati to Surabaya in a relatively easy four hours and 20 minutes. Then the
December 8, 1919
Keith Smith came up with a clever idea to get the Vickers Vimy out of a Surabaya bog. “Why not construct a roadway
December 9, 1919
Ross Smith and his Vickers Vimy crew were now just a day’s flight from Darwin, after making a 440-mile journey ove
December 10, 1919
South Australian brothers Ross and Keith Smith, with their mechanics Wally Shiers and Jim Bennett, enter the history boo
No image available
December 13, 1919
Mechanical troubles began not long after the Vickers Vimy set out on its long journey south from Port Darwin. After abou
December 14, 1919
Mosquitos kept the Vimy crew awake until after sun-up, so take-off from Warlock Ponds was delayed until 10am. Disaster s
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December 17, 1919
At 6pm, the exhausted Vimy crew departed Cobb’s Creek for a 15-minute flight to the Anthony’s Lagoon station
Image: A new propeller for the biplane that is twice as tall a man.
December 25, 1919
On Christmas Day 1919, the Vimy suffered almost catastrophic engine failure as Ross Smith attempted to depart Charlevill
February 12, 1920
After a 52-day delay caused by major engine woes, the Vimy crew finally took off for Bourke on 12 February 1920. Ross an
February 14, 1920
The Vimy crew landed to a heroes’ welcome at Sydney’s Mascot airfield at 11.12am. Ross had agreed to drop le
February 17, 1920
Vimy mechanic Wally Shiers and his sweetheart Helena Alford were married at a swish garden party in Sydney on the mornin
February 25, 1920
The Vimy crew, with cameraman Frank Hurley in the front cockpit, left Henty at 6am bound for Point Cook. Aircraft spare
Image: biplane landing with people watching
March 23, 1920
After nearly a month in Melbourne, the Vimy left on the last leg to Adelaide. All four crew were aboard, plus Frank Hurl
April 5, 1920
On Easter Monday 1920 the Vickers Vimy made its final flight, from Adelaide back to Point Cook in Melbourne. Sir Ross Sm
March 31, 1921
The Australian Air Corps – a temporary Army unit raised 15 months earlier – was disbanded in 1921 and replac
April 13, 1922
Sir Ross Smith and his loyal friend and mechanic Jim Bennett were killed while test flying a Vickers Viking amphibious a
June 15, 1922
More than 100,000 people (one fifth of the state’s population) reportedly lined the streets of Adelaide to honour Sir
June 3, 1924
Sir Keith Smith married Lady Anita on 3 June 1924 at the District of Kensington Register Office in London. Anita Crawfor
December 10, 1927
A Shilling Fund was established in the wake of Sir Ross Smith’s tragic death in 1922 for the creation of a monumen
December 19, 1955
After a brief battle with cancer, Sir Keith Smith died at the St Vincent Private Hospital in Sydney on 19 December 1955.
April 27, 1958
The Sir Ross and Sir Keith Smith War Memorial was officially unveiled at Adelaide Airport on 27 April 1958 by the father
June 2, 1968
Wally Shiers died of heart failure in his brother’s home in the Adelaide suburb of Hilton on 2 June 1968. He was 79. H
September 15, 2012
Sir Ross and Sir Keith Smith were among giants of the Australian aviation industry to be named as inaugural inductees in
May 11, 2019
Ahead of Australia’s 2019 federal election it was announced that a new state-of-the-art facility would be built fo
November 16, 2019
Ross Smith’s mechanics Jim Bennett and Wally Shiers were inducted into the Australian Aviation Hall of Fame at a c