Australia’s Great Air Race Coin Collection

05 Sep 2019  Thu

On 3rd September, the Royal Australian Mint released a collection of 8 coins to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Great Air Race from England to Australia. The coins were launched at Sir Ross and Sir Keith Smith Memorial Hangar of the 1919 race’s winning plane in Adelaide Airport. The restored winning plane named Vickers Vimy was also showcased at the event.

The 1919 Air Race from England to Australia was the first flight across the world by the Vickers Vimy crew. The Australian Government had declared a prize-money of £10,000 for the first Australians who would fly from England to Australia within 30 days in 1919. The challenge was accepted by 6 Australian crews and two Frenchmen. The planes with open cockpits were constructed using timber and fabric. The pilots used a compass for navigation and there were no airfields in the route. Just one plane completed the journey within 30 days. The winning Vickers Vimy team was led by Sir Ross Smith.

Aeroplanes named Sopwith Wallaby, Vickers Vimy, Alliance P.2, Blackburn Kangaroo, Martinsyde A1, Airco DH9, Caudron G.4 are featured on seven coins and one coin is dedicated to the Great Air Race. The $1 Uncirculated legal tender coins have a mintage limit of 10,000 pieces and can be purchased for $130.00 AUD.

Image Courtesy: The Royal Australian Mint

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