Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Alliance Airlines Fokker F-70 VH-QQW Spotted at Rockhampton Airport in Special 100th Anniversary Commemorative Livery of First Flight from England in 1919

On Wednesday 10 March, Alliance Airlines Fokker F-70 jet VH-QQW was photographed operating the weekly Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) closed charter flight into Rockhampton Airport. It arrived from Brisbane as UTY8446 and later returned to the capital but as UTY8447.

As mentioned previously, VH-QQW has been painted into a livery to commemorate a significant Australian aviation event in the form of the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the first aerial flight from England on 10th December 1919.

At 3:40pm on December 10 1919, Ross Smith landed the "Vimy" at Port Darwin’s Fannie Bay airfield - exactly 27 days and 20 hours after departing Hounslow airfield in London. The Great Air Race had been won, as had the 10,000-pound Australian Government prize. The crowd at Fannie Bay was overcome with excitement!

Hudson Fysh and Paul McGinness, representing the Australian defence department, were the first to officially welcome the four airmen. On 16 November 1920 Fysh and McGinness with grazier Fergus McMaster founded Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Ltd (QANTAS). No doubt inspired by the heroic achievements of the Vimy crew, the previous year.

The crew of the aircraft - Captain Ross MacPherson-Smith, Lieutenant Keith Macpherson, Sergeant Walter Henry Shiers and Sergeant James Mallett - are commemorated on the Ross Smith Memorial at Fannie Bay in Darwin.

Sincere thanks to local plane spotter Scott H for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos of a great looking visitor to CQ!

All photos taken by Scott Harris  ©

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