Pilot, prolific author and Australian Aviation contributor Owen Zupp completed a flight to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first airmail service in Australia on July 14.
Flown in a Jabiru J-230 and escorted by various classic and vintage aircraft throughout the journey, Zupp departed Essendon Airport in Melbourne on July 12, and followed the same route as that flown by the original 1914 service, taking in Mangalore, Benalla, Wangaratta, Albury, Wagga Wagga, Temora, Harden, Goulburn, Mittagong, and Sydney.
Although the original flight was completed on July 16, the anniversary flight was moved forward by two days so as to finish on July 14 in recognition of France’s Bastille Day and the original pilot, Frenchman Maurice Guillaux who flew a Bleriot XI monoplane.
Zupp was welcomed to Bankstown by Ambassador of France to Australia, Christophe Lecourtier.
The original Bleriot monoplane now hangs on display in Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum right alongside a Beech Queenair that Zupp’s father flew to pioneer the air ambulance concept with the RFDS in the 1960s.