De Havilland’s Australian Air Races

Geoffrey de Havilland - Perth, Australia 1929Geoffrey de Havilland’s Australian aviation adventures may have been capped when his revolutionary DH88 Comet racing monoplane won the 1934 MacRobertson England to Australia air race, but this was just one of many successes that he and his aircraft had on the other side of the world.

Five years earlier, in 1929, de Havilland had won the prize for the fastest overall time in the Western Australian Centenary Air Race organised as part of West Australia’s centenary celebrations. In total, seventeen competitors took off from Mascot Aerodrome in Sydney, New South Wales, on Saturday 29 September 1929. Fourteen aviators managed to complete the course, landing eight days later on Sunday 7 October 1929 at Maylands Aerodrome in Perth, West Australia.

De Havilland, flying in a modified Gipsy Moth, completed the six-leg 2,450-mile race from Sydney to Perth in a total of 22 hours, 50 minutes and 23 seconds, winning the prize for the fastest overall time. Remarkably he was the only competitor to fly the course solo. The handicap prize was won by aviator Horace Clive ‘Horrie’ Miller, who two years earlier had co-founded MacRobertson Miller Aviation with MacPherson Robertson.

For more on Britain’s many and varied aviation heroes and landmarks take a look at Heroes and Landmarks of British Aviation by Richard and Peter Edwards.

The book is published by Pen and Sword Books (Aviation) and is currently available in hardback. The ISBN reference number is 9781848846456. Click here to order your copy.

For more on military conflict in the Pacific in the first half of the twentieth century take a look at The Rise and Fall of the Japanese Imperial Naval Sir Service by Peter Edwards.

The book is published by Pen and Sword Books (Aviation) and is currently available in hardback. The ISBN reference number is 9781848843073. Click here to order your copy.

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