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1969 BP Sponsored London - Sydney Air Race

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1969 BP Sponsored London - Sydney Air Race

Old 8th Dec 2007, 22:00
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1969 BP Sponsored London - Sydney Air Race

Does anyone have any information, photos, news clips or even better any film footage of the BP Sponsored 1969 London - Sydney Air Race.

As I am part of a group that owns and flies the Piper Arrow that came first in the single engined category of the race it would be great to find any more info out.

I was lucky enough to meet up with one of the pilots of our plane in the race a few years ago and he gave me loads of information .. but trying to find out more.

I would love to find some old film footage of the start or the finish, which apparently was a crazy race to the line!!!

Anyone help?

Regards

Nigel
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Old 9th Dec 2007, 19:12
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Was that the year a Britten Norman Islander won one of the categories?

If so, the Islander ended up in Papua New Guinea with Aerial Tours (later Douglas Airways), I think registered VH/P2-ATI?
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Old 9th Dec 2007, 19:16
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I would suggest going through the British Pathe archives here: http://www.britishpathe.com

A quick search on 'London Sydney air race' has unearthed footage of the start, there may be more there.
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Old 11th Dec 2007, 20:23
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Yes the winner was an Islander, and the british pathe film footage shows the islander taking off immediately after G-AWBC the plane I share with 7 others

Still trying to find footage of the finish though.

Regards

N
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Old 12th Dec 2007, 05:35
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Hi Nigel,
This race was also known as the "England-Australia Commemorative Air Race" flown in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Smith brothers' flight in Vickers Vimy G-EAOU.
The race started 18 Dec 1969 and finished 4 Jan 1970, and was won by W. J. Bright and F. L. Buxton in a BN Islander G-AXUD.
These photos may help (you can see enlarged versions by clicking on thumbnails), and show a couple of Piper singles in one of the photos:
http://www.pictureaustralia.org/apps...ld&mode=search
I have posted a request on OzSpotters discussion forum, as someone here in Australia should at least have some photos.
Regards,
David Eyre
Perth, Western Australia.
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Old 12th Dec 2007, 05:46
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Hi Nigel,

Just spotted this post in PPRuNe in 2003 (by the pilot of your aircraft during the race!):

http://www.pprune.org/forums/showpos...5&postcount=14

Would suggest attempting to contact him - he is sure to have some photos...

Regards,
David Eyre
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Old 12th Dec 2007, 07:56
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Hi Nigel,

After my post on OzSpotters forum, I have already had a couple of people reply.

One has a black and white negative, and another directed me to someone who has a photo. I will get them to scan the photos, but need your email address to send them to you. You can email me via PPRuNe (don't put it on the forum).


Regards,
David Eyre
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Old 13th Dec 2007, 02:50
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I believe that the lady with the bouffant hairstyle is Sheila Scott, and the aircraft a Piper Comanche 400.
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Old 13th Dec 2007, 08:10
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Sultan, you are right, she came 4th in her class and I believe carried on when she got to Sydney to complete a round the world trip. The plane I am connected with, I am assuming, was in the same class as hers and won the class outright.

Apparently our plane was 20 minutes behind the overall winner (an Islander), but was the only plane in the race that had to take a different route to everyone else in the middle east somewhere because they had a current serving RAF officer in the team and could not get overfly permission from someone. This aledgedly added 40 mins to their time.
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Old 13th Dec 2007, 08:12
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It is Sheila Scott with her Comanche 260 G-ATOY. She did also use a US reg Comanche 400 to set some records in May 1965.
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Old 13th Dec 2007, 13:16
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smitn05 - Had two good friends (Both deceased) Trevor Brougham and Dean Ryan who flew a Bonanza 36 in the race and think they were leading the race, or close to, when they ran out of fuel approaching Griffith (which was a compulsory stop) in New South Wales. The force landing tore out the nose wheel and put them out of the race. One bit of excitement I recall Trevor telling was they flew Singapore - Darwin non stop at 14,000 and no oxygen. Approaching Darwin they got into a spin (night time) when dicing with thunder storms. Recovered at very low altitude and found after refuelling in Darwin that they had had something like three gallons left in the tanks. Trevor could tell a good story but was not inclined to guild the lily. He kept a very good diary, with photos, and have often thought I should get off my backside and see if his widow would allow publication (web site or such). Trevor also set a round the world speed record in a Baron 55 with another friend (also deceased) Bob Dickeson (misreported on many records as Dixon). Don't promise anything but I'll have a rummage around to see if I have any newspaper clippings.






Last edited by Brian Abraham; 14th Dec 2007 at 03:05.
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Old 13th Dec 2007, 20:50
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Brian,

That would be great.

A similar story was told to me by John Murrey (one of G-AWBC's pilots). He told of stronger than predicted headwinds on one of the legs ending in Bali. They thought they werent going to make it and were looking at beaches to land on. They made it to the landing field and when the filled the tanks calculated there was about 2USG left

Regards

Nigel
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Old 16th Dec 2007, 10:33
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My memory says QF flew an HS125 in the Jet category.
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Old 17th Dec 2007, 11:02
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An epic bloody adventure.
No GPS, no Sat phones and very poor enroute communications.
Just wish I could have competed
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Old 17th Dec 2007, 11:41
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Originally Posted by tail wheel View Post
VH/P2-ATI?
It might have been P2-WGT which was the only Douglas Islander that had slightly lowered flaps in the 'up' position. This flap arrangement worked well for an Islander 10% overweight which was granted for the race.

Last edited by Standby Scum; 18th Dec 2007 at 01:56.
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Old 17th Dec 2007, 12:03
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The Islander photo shows "Papua New Guinea" on the fuselage. I think the aircraft was on a delivery flight to Aerial Tours which later became Douglas Airways.

Standby Scum may be on the money, obviously he worked for that operator. Fortunately I did not work for them but knew Dennis "Biscuit Ears" Douglas very well.

Pose the question in this thread. Someone will have a wealth of information.
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Old 17th Dec 2007, 12:33
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Originally Posted by tail wheel View Post
Aerial Tours
Post deleted.

Last edited by Standby Scum; 18th Dec 2007 at 01:54.
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Old 17th Dec 2007, 23:29
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Three Islanders competed in the race:
        Regards,
        David Eyre
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        Old 18th Dec 2007, 09:16
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        Out of interest, the fuselage of Sheila Scott's G-ATOY has ended up in storage at the East Fortune Museum of Flight in Scotland. It was on display some years ago but now locked away...
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        Old 18th Dec 2007, 15:13
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        BA

        slight thread creep here, but Trevor Brougham's 2 sons did the 2001 London - Sydney race in their father's memory. I got to know them quite well. They are still based in Whyalla.

        Skua
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