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100th Anniversary of the 1919 Air Race

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100th Anniversary of the 1919 Air Race

Old 13th Jan 2016, 09:00
  #21 (permalink)  
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Why don't we get a group together charter a Qantas B747 and fly the 1919 Air Race route?

Then we can say we flew it solo and go on the motivational tour circuit?

What was the actual route for the 1919 and 1969 air race?
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Old 13th Jan 2016, 10:11
  #22 (permalink)  

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1919 Race, it seems there wasn't a fixed route except for the departure point, arrival at Darwin and reporting points at Alexandria and Singapore?

In early 1919, the Commonwealth Government of Australia offered a prize of £A10,000 for the first flight from Great Britain to Australia, under specific conditions. In May 1919, Billy Hughes, Prime Minister of Australia, and Senator George Pearce, Minister for Defence (Australia), in consultation with the Royal Aero Club, stated that valid aircrews must all be Australian nationals, the aircraft must have been constructed in the British Empire, and the journey must be completed within 720 consecutive hours (30 days) and be completed before midnight on 31 December 1920. The departure point must be either Hounslow Heath Aerodrome (for landplanes) or RNAS Calshot (for seaplanes and flying boats), with reporting points at Alexandria and Singapore, and final destination in the region of Darwin. Each flight was to take place under the competition rules of the Royal Aero Club, that would supervise the start, and control the competition generally.
The 1969 England-Australia Commemorative Air Race started 18 Dec 1969 and finished 4 Jan 1970, was won by W. J. Bright and F. L. Buxton in a BN Islander G-AXUD.

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Old 13th Jan 2016, 10:30
  #23 (permalink)  
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Tailwheel, any chance you could re-size that image? There's a sticky to help you out if you need it

Apologies. Fixed!

Tail Wheel
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Old 13th Jan 2016, 10:59
  #24 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by CharlieLimaX-Ray View Post
Why don't we get a group together charter a Qantas B747 and fly the 1919 Air Race route?

Then we can say we flew it solo and go on the motivational tour circuit?

What was the actual route for the 1919 and 1969 air race?

Well, why not, CLX?
The Smith brothers in their Vimy stopped over at such delightful places as .. Cairo, Damascus, Basra and Karachi.

I'm sure a lot of the locals there will turn out to make us all most welcome.

p.s. And I'll be able to show all my friends a witnessed certificate stating that I did it solo.
......After all, I was the only one sitting in that particular seat!

Last edited by Stanwell; 13th Jan 2016 at 11:25. Reason: add ps
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Old 14th Jan 2016, 23:15
  #25 (permalink)  
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Dick's idea is really good.

Commemorative flights in old aircraft have their place but particularly on the UK-Australia route, numerous such flights have become simply personal challenges.

The many modern light aircraft flights (not including the great efforts of the on the edge ultra-light people) are little more than a frustrating exercise in administration. The aircraft are relatively fast (100kts is fast to an antique aircraft pilot), comfortable and absolutely reliable with no-stress range and navigational capabilities. Having said that, everyone who has the means should have a go at an intercontinental flight which will result in an experience far beyond anything to be attempted in your home country.

The 1919 flight was really that over-used term "cutting edge". Dick's idea is to comemorate that concept by retaining the cutting edge. Looking back at history but looking forward to create something new like the boys of a century ago.

It can be done but there is no way it is possible today. Powered gliders might do it but probably not acceptable on air routes with changing altitudes and chasing thermals which would be absolutely necessary to achieve the range left short by the current failure to come up with an efficient electrical storage system.

In 3 years? I have high hopes and Dick's idea is worthy of chasing.

Last edited by aaavn; 14th Jan 2016 at 23:34.
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Old 27th Jan 2016, 22:35
  #26 (permalink)  
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The link below goes to a paper that was sent to me by Lang Kidby and shows the difficulty at the present time in building an electric powered aeroplane that could fly from the UK to Australia.

Of course we have 3 years between now and then but from what I can make out, we’d need some pretty staggering improvements in the reduction of battery weight to be able to have such an Air Race. What do others think?

See here, http://www.mh-aerotools.de/company/p...AVT-209-09.pdf
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Old 28th Jan 2016, 00:03
  #27 (permalink)  
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I am sure that the paper is as damming as you think. Their focus in that paper was on commercially viable aircraft for transport and that I do think that is a long way off. The electric aircraft that can do this now is a practical for taking the family to Bali as the Victor Vimy.

Look at figure 16 in the paper. This shows that if the battery energy density is 250whr/kg, the mbattery/mtotal is 0.6 and the L/d is 20 you can get a range of about 750km. With careful consideration of logistics this might just be enough.

These numbers are achievable with current 2016 technology but with a significant amount of development work.

If you can get the L/d to 40, The energy density up to 300whr/kg and the mbattery/mtotal to 0.7 and by that graph it romps out to 2500km range.

Imagine a single seat version of the Stemme S10 with a 600kg battery, 70kg pilot and about 250kg of structure.
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Old 28th Jan 2016, 01:11
  #28 (permalink)  
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No One, you’re absolutely correct of course.

By the way, it looks as if the maximum distance required will be 258 nautical miles from Kupang to Troughton Island, that’s 478 km. That starts to make me believe it could be achievable.

I’m considering putting up AUD $1 million prize money but I need to think a lot more about this and get a lot more advice before I firm this up.
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Old 28th Jan 2016, 05:06
  #29 (permalink)  
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Don't restrict entry to Commonwealth only.

Open it up to any Country and try to get as many Competitors as possible.

More successful and more News Worthy then.

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Old 28th Jan 2016, 05:41
  #30 (permalink)  
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Yes. Definitely open to all comers. The main aim will be to promote innovation and dare I say it ADVENTURE !
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Old 28th Jan 2016, 05:58
  #31 (permalink)  
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A few points for you to ponder as you mull over the nature of the competition:

• Is the event going to be a race, ie all start at the same time first to finish? Or more like the original where the prize went to the first to do it and any starting time was allowed?

• If it is a race should it be flying time or total time? Do you want to encourage short fast hops or longer slower flights? Do you want to include recharging time?

• How do you resolve bad weather into that equation? It would be good if the decision not to proceed into a CB wasn’t the deciding factor in the race but also you don’t want people camped out in one place for a month waiting for exactly the right tailwind to minimise their total elapsed time.

• Is having the same battery the whole way required? It could get expensive if teams decided to over discharge batteries to gain an advantage if they just replace them at the next stop. But would a team be disqualified if a cell went bad?

• Do you want to limit battery technologies? If a highly unstable but energy dense technology is developed would you allow it and take the risk?

• Do you allow support aircraft? Support technicians? Pilot changes? Some of this becomes easier if the support is shared ie all aircraft fly to the one airport on day 1 but this limits some of the decisions above about a race all at one time and it cant be based on total time.

• Do you have a qualifying event a year or so before hand? Perhaps require a 1000km/nm flight(s). This would give you some certainty that the event was going to happen a year out. If you get no qualifiers (I suspect that you will get lots) you can pull the pin before having a big media letdown. This might though rule out some teams who are late to get organised but otherwise likely to be key competitors.
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Old 29th Jan 2016, 05:21
  #32 (permalink)  
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All good points

I would imagine a first start date and time and then it's who gets to Darwin first

Just like the original.

Participants will organise their own clearances and support.

The minimum rules necessary.

Probably start not before June 1919 so can get through before the worst of the monsoon.

Probably not allow the dumping of batteries en route.

May end up with some different classes otherwise Mr Piccard could win with his existing aircraft and we do want to drive innovation over the next three years.

I would say that the same crew must make the full journey.

No prelim flights. Too expensive to organise.

Whoever gets to Darwin first. Just like the first race.

Last edited by Dick Smith; 29th Jan 2016 at 05:34.
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Old 29th Jan 2016, 06:12
  #33 (permalink)  
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I would expect the early use of passenger aircraft would use a replaceable but rechargeable battery pack/s. The time taken to recharge fixed units would make for long stopovers.

So to focus on only allowing 1 battery to be used, may put the intention of the idea in the wrong direction.

Using exchange battery's on planned locations could be a good idea, and make for Cliff Young flights to happen if allowed.
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Old 8th Sep 2016, 23:32
  #34 (permalink)  
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Following is the most recent article published in The Australian today.

Dick Smith's $1m air race prize: government 'lacks imagination'

Businessman and aviator Dick Smith has lamented the government’s “lack of imagination” for failing to commit financial incentives or support for an electric-powered air race from England to Australia to spur on innovation in aviation.

Mr Smith is willing to stump up $1 million of his own money to support the initiative which would be timed to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of the first England to Australia Air Race.

Mr Smith had wanted the government to match his offer of a $1m prize but so far he has not received any commitment that it would do so.

He says he will now direct that money to a charity.

“It’s just all talk with this government,’’ Mr Smith said.

“It seems you need three years of talking before anything can get done. Where’s the action?”

“I wish we had Billy Hughes back who came up with the idea for the 1919 England to Australia flight and put up £10,000 prizemoney. That was a prime minister who understood innovation.”

The 1919 event drew six competitors but only one — headed by captain Ross Smith and his brother Keith as navigator — finished within the allotted 30-day time limit.

The only other plane to complete the journey took 206 days, but the event was deemed a success because the 27-day, 20-hour effort by the Smiths was extraordinary at the time.

“I have this idea to repeat the race 100 years later — but this time put a different angle on it, that it’s the fastest plane that can get from England to Australia that is electrically powered,” Mr Smith wrote to then industry, innovation and science minister Christopher Pyne and major projects minister Paul Fletcher in March.

“At the present time this just can’t be done, as the greatest range aeroplane is about 300 nautical miles and the pilot would need at least 400 to fly from Timor to Australia.”

Both Mr Pyne and Mr Fletcher expressed interest in the idea with the latter describing it as “an exciting concept”.

“I will raise with Christopher Pyne in the first instance — I’ll come back to you in a few days to let you know status,” Mr Fletcher said in March.

But since those letters to the government in March, Mr Smith says the line has gone cold.

Mr Smith wrote to the new Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Greg Hunt, late last month, but claims he has been passed on to Transport Minister Darren Chester.

“There appears to be a consistent lack of any leadership or decision-making by all ministers,’’ Mr Smith said.

“How can a minister that has the word ‘innovation’ in his job description just forward it on to a colleague who will clearly do nothing.’’

A spokeswoman for Mr Chester said the minister had met Mr Smith in the past and appreciated his passion for Australian aviation.

“The minister’s office has received correspondence from Mr Smith in relation to the proposed air race and the minister would be happy to have further discussions regarding the support he requires, if any, from the government,” the spokeswoman said.
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Old 9th Sep 2016, 01:14
  #35 (permalink)  
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Dick why not hit up Michael Gunner? He will still be in office then, and we know a bit about solar racing up this way - Might replace the $ Million Fish.


Last edited by Band a Lot; 9th Sep 2016 at 06:20.
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Old 9th Sep 2016, 02:15
  #36 (permalink)  
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Sounds like a worthy idea, from the bloke who's full of ideas, at the best of times!

My opinion is to not be too restrictive on the entrants. It's not 1919 any more, it's 2019 and the only thing we need to keep uppermost in the race rules is advances and improvements in "aviation technology".

Set up race classes (just like car racing), and offer rewards for lightest aircraft, electric aircraft, hybrid aircraft, conventional aircraft showing tehcnological improvements, etc., etc.

And of course, large Dick Smith advertising decals on every aircraft, would be a basic requirement!
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Old 10th Sep 2016, 03:20
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What sort of electric motor/s would 51,060 x 3500mAh Lithium-ion batteries run? or need batteries with a bit more bang than that?
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Old 10th Sep 2016, 03:40
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Lithium-Air battery cells which have already been developed, are capable of around 12kWh/Kg, petrol is around 13kWh/Kg, with further development they could be on to a good thing, I am optimistic in 3 years we will have a winner
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Old 10th Sep 2016, 04:07
  #39 (permalink)  
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New lithium-oxygen battery greatly improves energy efficiency, longevity | MIT News
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Old 10th Sep 2016, 06:19
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The 328 stuff interesting.

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