Airservices helps the Southern Cross II get back into the air

7 Nov 2014

Airservices has today announced it will contribute $30 000 to assist the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) complete its restoration of the Southern Cross II–a flying replica of the aircraft made famous by Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm to complete the first crossing of the Pacific Ocean by air in 1928.

The restoration to full flight status of the Fokker F.VIIb/3m tri-motor replica is being carried outat the organisation’s aviation museum at Albion Park Airport, Wollongong, including significant restoration work on the aircraft’s wing.

Airservices sponsorship will help get the aircraft back in the air to tour Australia and promote the significant contribution made by the Southern Cross and its crew.

Airservices Manager Corporate Communication Rob Walker said that maintaining Australia’s aviation heritage is important to ensure that future generations can admire the feats of Australia’s pioneer aviators.

“Airservices is proud to sponsor the Southern Cross II restoration project and we can’t wait to see this significant aircraft return to the air and visiting airports around the country in the near future,” said Mr Walker.

On the morning of 31 May 1928 pilot Charles Kingsford Smith, his co-pilot Charles Ulm and Americans Harry Lyon (navigator) and James Warner (radio operator) took off from Oakland, California, bound for Australia.

Stopping in Hawaii and Fiji along the route, the Southern Cross landed at Brisbane’s Eagle Farm Airport, on the morning of 9 June, completing the historic 11 500 km journey.

“We are grateful for the significant contribution from Airservices towards our restoration of the Southern Cross II,” said HARS Restoration Manager, Geoff Timms.

“Once the Southern Cross II returns to the skies the aircraft will embark on a national tour to educate the nation on Smithy’s achievements.”

As part of its commitment to preserving aviation heritage, Airservices also sponsors the Civil Aviation Historical Society and The Airways Museum located at Essendon Airport.