Background to 1998 Flight and Aircraft specifications
In 1928 Australian pioneer aviator Bert Hinkler (Chief Test Pilot of Avro Aircraft) made the first ever solo flight from England to Australia in an Avro Avian G-EBOV. To mark the 70th Anniversary, Australian adventurer Lang Kidby will re-enact this flight in an original 1927 Avro avian, registration VH-UFZ, the only one of it’s type flying in the world today.
In 1994 Lang successfully built a replica Vickers Vimy and re-enacted the Smith brother’s record-breaking 1919 flight, the first ever from England to Australia. For this flight Lang was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for his contribution to aviation history. It is Lang’s wish to demonstrate to the youth of today that the legacy of the early pioneers is not dead. “A lot of perseverance and a little courage will overcome all odds and achieve any goal.”
Lang spent 12 months restoring UFZ in his home town of Brisbane, Australia. This particular aircraft was originally test flown in England by Bert Hinkler before being freighted from the Avro factory in Manchester to its new owner in Australia in 1927. It had a chequered career flying in all parts of Australia finally being grounded in 1946. The last owner had collected the remains from a farm shed in Western Australia 20 years ago but never went ahead with restoration plans and Lang was able to purchase UFZ in May 1997. Twelve months and thousand of man-hours later VH-UFZ took to the skys again in May 1998.
Starting at the Woodford Air Show the Avian appeared at over 10 airshows in the UK during the summer. Then on 13th September 1998 from the Farnborough Air Show, Lang left England as Hinkler did 70 years previously and flew completely alone the 11,000 miles, retracing as closely as possible the original route to Australia passing through 18 countries. From Darwin Lang followed the route from Hinkler’s birth place, Bundaberg Queensland around the coastline to Perth, Western Australia.
Sponsors supporting the project
Major sponsors – Cox Aviation Insurance, UK
Supporting Sponsors –
Caboolture Aero Club, Qld Australia
Caboolture RSL Queensland Australia
CIBA Specialty Chemicals – ARALDITE
Royal Australian Air Force Association
Additional help was received from many companies and individuals financially, with the supply of aircraft equipment, with construction and volunteer labour.
1927 Avro Avian
Built Manchester 1927 sold new in Australia last flew 1946
De Havilland Gipsy 11 upright (wet sump as in cars) Later reversed and made a dry sump – Gypsy Major as used in Tiger Moths
Cruises at 80 knots
Weight 500kg empty 700g full
Normal range 300mls With long range tank 800 miles.
Next Page Day to Day Diary written by Bev and Lang Kidby