2019 is a significant year as it is the centenary of the Epic Flight undertaken by the Smith Brothers from England to Australia in 1919.
The legacy of Sir Ross and Sir Keith Smith should not be underestimated. Their epic flight highlighted that a ‘Kangaroo Route’ between England and Australia would one day be possible. It inspired a series of endurance flights around Australia and the South Pacific which reinforced that aircraft could overcome the tyranny of distance in the southern hemisphere.
In South Australia, the Smith brothers’ triumph helped to forge an entrepreneurial, can-do mindset in aviation and defence that continues to this day.
In May 2019, it was announced that a new state-of-the-art home will be built for Sir Ross Smith’s Vickers Vimy aircraft at Adelaide Airport.
Announcing a $2m funding commitment by the federal Government, South Australian Senator Simon Birmingham said it was a major win for South Australia’s cultural heritage, for tourism, and would serve to educate generations to come of our state’s pioneering and aviation history.
Note: This article was first published in the Epic Flight Centenary 2019 booklet and is reproduced courtesy of the History Trust of South Australia.