Here are just a few Epic Flight Centenary events to jot down in your diary. More events and details will be announced in coming months, so please come back and visit the website, or follow us on Facebook…
March 1-3: Epic Flight Centenary at the Superloop Adelaide 500. Look out for the Epic Flight Centenary display in the Air Force Marquee, where thousands of families will learn firsthand about the epic flight story.
March 19: Launch of the State Library of South Australia’s digitised collection of Ross and Keith Smith materials, to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the 1919 Air Race announcement in the Australian parliament.
April: Painting of a huge Vickers Vimy mural on the wall of the South Australian Aviation Museum at Port Adelaide.
May: South Australia’s History Festival will include a range of Epic Flight Centenary events, from a celebration of the life of Sir Ross Smith’s mechanic Wally Shiers at his resting place at Centennial Park, to a Magical History Bus Tour of key sites across Adelaide, pop-up displays and engaging history talks. Full details in the bumper festival lift-out published in The Advertiser on 6 April.
June 15: Sir Ross Smith Commemoration Service at St Peter’s Cathedral, North Adelaide. The Royal Australian Air Force partners with the Royal Australian Air Force Association and the Epic Flight Centenary to commemorate the tragic death of Sir Ross Smith in 1922. More than 100,000 people lined the streets of Adelaide back then to pay homage to the aviation pioneer after he died in an aircraft accident while planning to circumnavigate the globe.
August 3-4: The town of Minlaton, Yorke Peninsula, celebrates the August 6 centenary of the flight from Adelaide to Minlaton of local lad Captain Harry Butler. It was the first flight over water to deliver mail in the southern hemisphere. When Ross Smith arrived in Adelaide in 1920, he landed at Butler’s Northfield aerodrome. For more information, click here.
October 20: Vickers Vimy Open Day at Adelaide Airport and vintage aircraft flypast organised by the Honourable Company of Air Pilots, who will also fly over key locations in Adelaide linked to the Smith brothers and their epic flight.
November 2019 – April 2020: Major exhibition of historic artifacts and memorabilia at the State Library of South Australia.
November 9-10: RAAF Edinburgh Airshow. With a theme of ‘From Vickers Vimy to 5th Generation’, the airshow will offer everything for aviation and history enthusiasts, from the RAAF’s latest aircraft to a moving Epic Flight Centenary display.
December 6-8: AEROPEX 2019. Drill Hall, Torrens Parade Ground. AEROPEX 2019 is a special philatelic exhibition that will commemorate the centenary of Sir Ross and Sir Keith Smith’s epic flight in 1919. When the Smith brothers touched down in Darwin, they were carrying the first international airmail to arrive on Australian soil. The ‘Cinderella stamp’ created exclusively for those 360-odd letters carried on board are today worth upwards of $15,000, making the stamp one of the most expensive pieces of paper in the world for its size.
December 10: Re-dedication of the Sir Ross Smith Memorial, located on Memorial Drive near Adelaide Oval.