Alliance celebrates Kingsford Smith’s Pacific crossing with special livery Fokker

Alliance Airlines Fokker 100 VH-FGB at Townsville Airport. (Dave Parer)
Alliance Airlines Fokker 100 VH-FGB at Townsville Airport. (Dave Parer)

Regional carrier Alliance Airlines is celebrating the 90th anniversary of the first trans-Pacific crossing with a special livery Fokker 100 and a commemorative beer to be offered on its flights.

The aircraft, VH-FGB, has an image of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith on the tail, while the fuselage features the Fokker F.VIIb/3m Trimotor, named “Southern Cross“, the aircraft used for the successful crossing in 1928.

The Fokker 100 was repainted into the special livery at Norwich in the United Kingdom and then ferried to Australia.

Alliance Airlines Fokker 100 VH-FGB at Townsville Airport. (Dave Parer)
Townsville was the second last stop of VH-FGB’s ferry flight from Norwich. (Dave Parer)

The aircraft departed Norwich in the United Kingdom on January 13, stopping at Trabzon (Turkey), Al Ain (United Arab Emirates), Hyderabad (India), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Kupang (Indonesia) and Townsville before arriving in Brisbane on Thursday, flight tracking website FlightRadar24 shows.

Alliance Airlines Fokker 100 VH-FGB at Townsville Airport. (Dave Parer)
Alliance Airlines Fokker 100s have 100 seats in an all-economy configuration with 33in seat pitch. (Dave Parer)

Sir Charles and fellow Australian pilot Charles Ulm, as well as radio operator James Warner and navigator/engineer Harry Lyon from the United States, flew the Southern Cross from Oakland in California to Eagle Farm Airport in Brisbane over a 10-day period in 1928, stopping at Hawaii and Fiji enroute.

The 6,300nm journey began on May 31 1928 and ended on June 9 1928. It was the first-ever trans-Pacific flight from the United States mainland to Australia.

The Southern Cross is on display in a special memorial near Brisbane Airport’s international terminal.

Meanwhile, Alliance, which is the largest operator of Fokker aircraft in the world, has also launched a commemorative beer to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Southern Cross’s Pacific crossing.

Made by Newstead Brewing Co and called Smithy’s FGB, it will be the only beer available for purchase on all Alliance flights.

A supplied image of Alliance Airlines' new beer offering. (Alliance Airlines)

Alliance Airlines Fokker 100 VH-FGB at Townsville Airport. (Dave Parer)
Sir Charles Kingsford Smith on the tail of Alliance Airlines Fokker 100 VH-FGB. (Dave Parer)
Alliance Airlines Fokker 100 VH-FGB at Townsville Airport. (Dave Parer)
Alliance is the largest operator of Fokker aircraft in the world. (Dave Parer)


  1. chris kleeman says

    We have fokker f70s ,f100s and md 95s sorry boeing 717s flying over our house in adelaide all the time now
    love seeing the T-tails coming back .

  2. AlanH says

    It’s all very well to commemorate this wonderful achievement, but why Alliance? I can’t see it being involved in any trans-Pacific flights any time soon.

  3. Susan Rice says

    Well Done Alliance !! All the staff at this airline do a wonderful job and work so hard to achieve professional and maintain standards.
    This campaign is a great way to remind us of our tenacious pioneers in aviation!

  4. Ben says

    @AlanH maybe because they’re the largest Fokker operator in the world and Smithy also flew a Fokker

  5. James says

    @ AlanH

    Also because they are Brisbane based and Smithy landed in Brisbane.

    I wonder if the beer’s any good..

  6. Max says

    What a wonderful initiative from Alliance Airlines. Someone or other at this carrier has had an idea to both
    remember a remarkable achievement and also gain some great publicity and recognition in the community. Wonderful and creative move Alliance.

  7. AlanH says

    Yes, point taken about Fokkers and Brisbane. I imagine the beer would be pretty good … after all it’s probably XXXX Gold in a special can!

  8. Mike says

    I was wondering the significance of the letters FGB on the beer cans and registration of this Alliance F100.
    A quick look at the website shown on the side of the aircraft fuselage provided the answer. Perhaps that’s why the article chose to not mention FGB?
    Made me smile anyway. : )

  9. Ben says

    Even better than the beer would be a Bundy and Cola special edition can offered on board. Still a nod to the QLD heritage and something I’d be happy to book a flight and pay a premium for 🙂

    Absolutely awesome colour scheme. Kind of almost up there with the sadly short-lived Impulse Airlines cockatoo scheme – before they were swallowed by QFlink.

    Kudos to Alliance Airlines, I hope they go from strength to strength.

  10. Ben says

    Also Bundy would still work with FGB. @Mike I’ve just looked at the website – made me smile too.

  11. Bradley Walker says

    Yes Fabuliouly Good Beer.
    Well done Alliance, great story and celebration for your Airline and achievements of others before.
    Go Smithy and great to see a local Brewery supporting this being Newstead Brewery specializing in Boutique and made in Brisbane Beer..
    3 Cheers to Alliance Airlines

  12. Dennis says

    Fantastic to see our Aviation History and achievements being celebrated.
    I have had the good fortune of tasting this beer last year at the RAAA Conference on the Gold Coast. If you like a nice boutique style beer, this beer will not let you down.

  13. Adam Hampshire says

    Just a question out of curiosity. Was the aircraft purchased/leased in the UK and flown here with its new paint job or was the aircraft ferried to the UK for the work to be conducted. Just curious. Either way its a fine way to remember a significant point of Australian Aviation history. Well done Alliance and keep up the good work.

  14. Mike says

    @Adam Hampshire if you enter the aircraft registration “VH-FGB” into your favourite search engine you’ll find links giving the full service history of this particular aircraft.
    In summary it started out with American Airlines. Was withdrawn from service and went to Austrian Wings. Purchased by Alliance and flown to Norwich UK as VH-UQG for repainting. The special livery and new registration were revealed on 20 Dec 2017.
    It is great to see significant Australian avitators and flight records remembered. The aeroplane will hopefully inspire interest beyond the beer!!