C1934

Map of Centenary Air Race : Ma Robertson International Air Races London to Melbourne

Rare aviation map of the MacRobertson Trophy Air Race (London to Melbourne Air Race) which was held on 20th October 1934 as part of the Melbourne Centenary celebrations. The race was devised by the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Sir Harold … Read Full Description

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Details

Full Title:

Map of Centenary Air Race : Ma Robertson International Air Races London to Melbourne

Date:

C1934

Condition:

In good condition, with folds as issued. Laid on archival linen.

Technique:

Lithograph printed in colour.

Image Size: 

716mm 
x 380mm

Paper Size: 

750mm 
x 410mm
AUTHENTICITY
Map of Centenary Air Race : Ma Robertson International Air Races London to Melbourne - Vintage Map from 1934

Guaranteed Vintage Item
dated:

1934

Description:

Rare aviation map of the MacRobertson Trophy Air Race (London to Melbourne Air Race) which was held on 20th October 1934 as part of the Melbourne Centenary celebrations. The race was devised by the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Sir Harold Gengoult Smith, and the prize money of £15,000 was provided by Sir Macpherson Robertson, a wealthy Australian confectionery manufacturer, on the conditions that the race be named after his MacRobertson confectionery company, and that it was organised to be as safe as possible.

In England the race was organised by the Royal Aero Club, and ran from RAF Mildenhall in East Anglia to Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne, approximately 11,300 miles. There were five compulsory stops, at Baghdad, Allahabad, Singapore, Darwin, and Charleville, Queensland; otherwise the competitors could choose their own routes. A further 22 optional stops were provided with stocks of fuel and oil provided by Shell and Stanavo. The Royal Aero Club put some effort into persuading the countries along the route to improve the facilities at the stopping points.

The rules were: no limit to the size of aircraft or power, no limit to crew size, and no pilot to join aircraft after it left England. Aircraft had to carry three days’ rations per crew member, floats, smoke signals, and efficient instruments. There were prizes for the outright fastest aircraft, and for the best performance on a handicap formula by any aircraft finishing within 16 days. The start was set at dawn (6:30) on 20 October 1934. By then, the initial field of over 60 had been whittled down to 20, including three purpose-built de Havilland DH.88 Comet racers, two of the new generation of American all-metal airliners, and a mixture of earlier racers, light transports, and old bombers.

First off the line, watched by a crowd of 60,000, were Jim and Amy Mollison in the Comet Black Magic, and they were early leaders in the race until forced to retire at Allahabad with engine trouble. This left the DH.88 Grosvenor House, flown by Flight Lt. C. W. A. Scott and Captain Tom Campbell Black, well ahead of the field, and they went on to win in a time of less than 3 days, despite flying the last stage with one engine throttled back because of an oil-pressure indicator giving a faulty low reading. They would have won the handicap prize as well, but the race rules stipulated that no aircraft could win more than one prize. Both second and third places were taken by airliners, the KLM Douglas DC-2 PH-AJU Uiver (“Stork”) and Roscoe Turner’s Boeing 247-D. Both completed the course in less than a day more than the winner; KLM’s DC-2 was even flying a regular route with passengers.

Collections:
Melbourne Museum: Item HT 25133
University Melbourne Library: http://hdl.handle.net/11343/113756
State Library NSW: Call no. Z/M2 118 gmof/1934/1
State Library Victoria: RARELT 994.5 V66 (v.21)

Herbert Edward Cooper Robinson (1857 - 1933)

Robinson was a founder of the (Royal) Geographical Society of Australasia in 1885, a member of the Geographical Society of New South Wales in the late 1920s and a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of London. He made many valuable contributions to geographical science and was a delegate to the 1923 Sydney Regional Plan Convention. A friend and technical collaborator of Professor Sir Edgeworth David, he helped to produce David's monumental large-scale Geological Map of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1932. His draughtsmen also produced the maps for Donald Mackay's important aerial surveys of Australia from 1930. 1895 Wentworth Court-Robinson set up his own map-publishing business 1906 Phillip Street 1913 Permanent location at 221-223 George Street. 1917 H. E. C. Robinson Ltd was officially incorporated

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