The MacRobertson Trophy Air Race (also known as the London to
MacRobertson Air Race
The basic rules were: no limit to the size of aircraft or power, no
limit to crew size, no pilot to join aircraft after it left England.
Aircraft must carry three days' rations per crew member, floats, smoke
signals and efficient instruments. There were prizes for the outright
fastest aircraft, and for the best performance on a handicap formula
by any aircraft finishing within 16 days.
Take off date was set at dawn (6:30), 20 October 1934. By then, the
initial field of over 60 had been whittled down to 20, including three
purpose-built de Havilland DH.88 Comet racers, two of the new
generation of American all-metal passenger transports, and a mixture
of earlier racers, light transports and old bombers.
First off the line, watched by a crowd of 60,000, were Jim and Amy
Mollison in the Comet Black Magic, and they were early leaders in the
race until forced to retire at
Movietone newsreels coverage of the race 1934. Including Scott's speech.
Replica of the
Perhaps more significantly in the development of popular long-distance
air travel, the second and third places were taken by airline
transports flying regular routes with passengers, with the
Uiver being pulled out of the mud by
G-ACSS Grosvenor House on display at the
Farnborough Air Show
MacRobertson Air Race
The most dramatic part of the race was when the Uiver, low on fuel and
hopelessly lost after becoming caught in a thunderstorm, ended up over
Albury, New South Wales. The townsfolk responded magnificently -
Lyle Ferris, the chief electrical engineer of the post office, went to
the power station and signalled "A-L-B-U-R-Y" to the plane in Morse
code by turning the town street lights on and off. Arthur Newnham, the
announcer on radio station
Official Finishing Order
Aircraft type Identity Race No. Crew Country of origin Notes
DH.88 Comet 'Grosvenor House' G-ACSS 34 C. W. A. Scott, Tom Campbell Black Britain Elapsed time 71 h 0 min Outright Winner
Douglas DC-2 'Uiver' PH-AJU 44 K.D. Parmentier, J.J. Moll, B. Prins, C. van Brugge (died on board the attacked BOAC flight 777 in 1943) Netherlands Elapsed time 90 h 13 min Winner on handicap
Boeing 247D 'Warner Bros. Comet' NR257Y 5 Roscoe Turner, Clyde Edward Pangborn, Reeder Nichols United States Elapsed time 92 h 55 min
DH.88 Comet G-ACSR 19 O. Cathcart Jones, K.F. Waller Britain Elapsed time 108 h 13 min
Miles M.2F Hawk Major ZK-ADJ 2 S/Ldr. M. McGregor, H.C. Walker New Zealand Elapsed time 7 d 14 h Fastest single-engined
Airspeed AS.5 Courier G-ACJL 14 S/Ldr. D. Stodart, Sgt. Pilot K. Stodart Britain Elapsed time 9 d 18 h
DH.80 Puss Moth 'My Hildergarde' VH-UQO 16 C.J. 'Jimmy' Melrose Australia Elapsed time 10 d 16 h Second on handicap
Desoutter Mk.II OY-DOD 7 Lt. M. Hansen, D. Jensen Denmark Arrived 31 October
DH.89 Dragon Rapide 'Tainui' ZK-ACO 60 J.D. Hewitt, C.E. Kay, F. Stewart New Zealand Arrived 3 November
Miles M.3 Falcon G-ACTM 31 H.L. Brook, Miss E. Lay (passenger) Britain Arrived 20 November
Fairey IIIF G-AABY 15 F/O C.G. Davies, Lt.Cdr. C.N. Hill Britain Arrived 24 November
Lambert Monocoupe 145 Baby Ruth NC501W 33 J.H. Wright, J. Polando Warner United States Withdrew at Calcutta
DH.88 Comet 'Black Magic' G-ACSP 63 Jim Mollison, Amy Johnson Britain From Karachi, Mollison lost his way, and landed at Jubulpur. No high-octane fuel available, filled up with petrol. Engines "burned out" on flight to Allahabad.
Pander S4 'Panderjager' PH-OST 6 G.J. Geysendorffer, D.L. Asjes, P. Pronk Netherlands Destroyed in ground collision at Allahabad.
B.A. Eagle 'The Spirit of Wm. Shaw & Co Ltd' G-ACVU 47 F/Lt. G. Shaw Britain Withdrew at Bushire
Lockheed Vega 'Puck' G-ABGK 36 J. Woods, D.C. Bennett Australia Overturned on landing at Aleppo, withdrew
Airspeed AS.8 Viceroy G-ACMU 58 T. Neville Stack, S.L. Turner Britain Withdrew with multiple mechanical issues at Athens
Granville R-6H 'Q.E.D.' NX14307 46 Jacqueline Cochran, W. Smith Pratt United States Withdrew with malfunctioning flaps, after landing damage at Bucharest
1 See also 2 Notes 3 References 4 External links
England to Australia flight
^ "The Uiver Memorial Aircraft".
Lewis, Peter. 1970. British Racing and Record-Breaking Aircraft. Putnam ISBN 0-370-00067-6
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