Sunday, December 09, 2007

Maybe the first powered flight in Australia

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted
1909 Pioneer aviator, Colin Defries, attempted the first powered flight in Australia, in a Wright Brothers biplane. He travelled only 110 metres at Victoria Park racecourse, Sydney.

His flight at altitudes of between one half and five metres, and at a speed of about 60 kph (36 mph) ended in a crash landing when he lost control while grabbing for his hat blown off in the wind.

At the time, a race was on to be the first to make a powered flight on the continent. On March 18 [qv], 1910, American magician and escapologist, Harry Houdini, won that distinction, at Digger's Rest, near Melbourne. However, if 110 metres be considered a flight, and if his unfortunate landing is discounted, Defries should get the honour.

However, at the time the flight was disputed. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the aviator had successfully completed a short flight, while Sydney's Daily Telegraph said that he had not left the ground. The Aerial League insisted that a controlled flight had not occurred ...

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