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Gramophone record containing farewell messages from the cockpit of the crew of the Southern Cross

1997.0054.0002

Gramophone record containing farewell messages from the cockpit of the crew of the Southern Cross

Object information

Physical description

Broken gramophone record in five pieces, titled "'Southern Cross' Aust.-England Flight / March 30th, 1929". Contains farewell messages spoken from the cockpit of the aircraft by the crew (Kingsford-Smith, Ulm, Litchfield, and McWilliams). A message of appreciation and farewell is engraved on the reverse, signed by Kingsford-Smith and Ulm. Includes a torn record cover.

Statement of significance

The Vera Piper collection includes a fragment of a propeller from the 'Southern Cross' aeroplane and associated memorabilia. The items were collected by the donor's father, Victor Piper (born in 1918), who followed the achievements of Charles Kingsford Smith and developed a passion for aviation from a young age.

The 'Southern Cross' is a tri-motor Fokker F.VIIb-3m aeroplane, purchased in 1928 by Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm, with financial assistance from American philanthropist Allan Hancock. In the 'Southern Cross', Kingsford Smith and Ulm made the first successful trans-Pacific, trans-Australian, and trans-Tasman flights, and set a new Australia-England flight record in 1929. During efforts to establish a regular airmail service between Australia and New Zealand in 1934, Kingsford Smith made a number of trans-Tasman flights in the 'Southern Cross'. On 15 May 1935, while carrying a cargo of Jubilee air mail, Kingsford Smith, P G Taylor and J Stannage were forced to turn back to Sydney en-route to New Zealand when an exhaust manifold on the centre engine broke off and damaged the starboard propeller. The 'Southern Cross' landed safely at Mascot, where it is believed Victor Piper was part of the crowd that greeted the aircraft and crew, and was there given this piece of the broken propeller by Kingsford Smith. Following the unsuccessful trans-Tasman flight, plans were made to have the ageing 'Southern Cross' repaired and then purchased by the Commonwealth Government in order to preserve it for the nation.

Object information

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