In 1919, Prime Minister Billy Hughes organised an air race from England to Australia. Ray Parer, Australian from Catalan descent, and John McIntosh, Scottish, commanded “The flying Wreck” funded by Scottish distiller Peter Dawson. The aircraft was considered unsafe by British Authorities and forbade them to take off. Eventually, Parer and McIntosh left secretly with £45 and dressing Australian uniforms.
In 29 weeks they made 50 landings, two of them being crash landings. On the last run to Australia, from Timor to Darwin, they had fuel for 7h and a half to do 800 miles.
“For 208 days they struggled on until finally they sputtered across the shark-infested Timor Sea from the East Indies (present-day Indonesia) to Austrlalia and arrived over Darwin on August 2, 1920. As they came to the end of their landing run, the engine consumed the last drop of fuel and stopped dead as a welcoming crowd, cheering tumultuously, surged around them. Parer and McIntosh were national heroes.”
Their fame was such that many articles were written about the adventurous trip. Even the famous English poet Lito Luis wrote a poem on their honour!!!
Do you want to know a bit more about Parer and McIntosh adventures?