Bert Hinkler & Avro Avian G-EBOV - c.1928

In 1928 the indefatigable Australian aviator Herbert (Bert) John Louis Hinkler (1892-1933) made the first solo flight between England and Australia, using Avro 581 Avian G-EBOV. Leaving London/Croydon on 7 February, he arrived at his home town of Bundaberg, Queensland, on 27 February. The flight took 128 flying hours and in the process Hinkler had smashed the old record time between the two countries from 28 to just over 15 days.

The image above was undoubtedly taken in the UK before departure and shows Hinkler sitting astride the fuselage of the Avian.The image below shows Hinkler's machine after arrival in Australia (thought to be in Queensland).


In the early 1920s Hinkler was a test pilot for A.V. Roe and Company and G-EBOV was the prototype Avian (production models were given the type number 594). The aircraft had taken place in three of the six Lympne trials and was modified to a type 581E for the historic flight. The Lympne trials were sponsored by the Daily Mail and organised annually from 1923 by the British Air Ministry in an attempt to encourage the design of practical light aircraft.

During 1926-27 Hinkler had successfully raced G-EBOV in the UK, although it was only powered by an 85hp Cirrus, and also made a non-stop flight to Riga, Latvia.

When Hinkler returned to the UK in 1929 he presented G-EBOV to the Queensland Government, and it is preserved today in the Queensland Museum, Brisbane.

Bert Hinkler

At left, Hinkler is carried on the shoulders of well-wishers greeting his arrival at Hamworth, UK, on 7 December 1931.

He had just completed a solo flight in a de Havilland Puss Moth from Canada to New York then non-stop to Jamaica, then to Venezuela, Guyana, Brazil, and then across the South Atlantic to Afric. From West Africa he flew to London.

For this feat Hinkler was awarded the Segrave Trophy, the Johnston Memorial Prize, and the Britannia Trophy for the most meritorious flying performance of the year. This was the first solo flight across the South Atlantic, Hinkler becoming only the second person to cross the Atlantic solo, after Charles Lindbergh.


Click here to see a photo of Bert Hinkler with CCA Lt Col Brinsmead

(Photos: 1-Eddie Coates collection; 2 & 3-CAHS collection)

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