The Southern Cross--a Fokker Trimotor
The Southern Cross was a Fokker Trimotor that Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith of Australia, with two Americans (Captain Harry Lyon as navigator and James Warner the radio operator) and another Aussie (Charles Ulm backup pilot), flew from Oakland CA to Hawaii to Fiji and finally to Australia in 1928--the first crossing of the Pacific by air and only a year after Lindberg's crossing of the Atlantic. For more on this story see:
These are photos of John Hunton's Southern Cross. He actually designed and built two of models of the Southern Cross:
1) A small twin engine foam version that uses differential power for directional control and twin power for altitude control, and
2) A 48 inch span balsa construction of the Southern Cross using 3 outrunners for power and frise ailerons, rudder and elevator. This model weighs 30 ounces ready to fly.
Yesterday, a very foggy day, John flew both planes while I photographed them. Lovely flying planes. The fog made it difficult and we will try again on a sunny day sometime, but I thought you would enjoy seeing flying models of a rarely done but very historic aircraft.
The building of these planes were stimulated by discussions with Professor John Bird of Australia' Monash University that resulted in the Pan Pacific project that I linked to in the first paragraph. Professor Bird's health has been suffering of late and I know he will enjoy seeing the fruits of his suggestions. I know I learned some interesting history with this project and I hope you do too.
ImagesView all Images in thread
Here is a note about the Pan Pacific project from Professor John Bird:
Thank you for your very significant contribution to the Pan-Pacific Build and Fly with Friends project with your on-site photography technical advice and very prompt posting and updating of progress reports on the builds and flights. http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1808324
With the succesful completion of the maiden flight of the Southern Cross models by John Hunton it is timely to remind readers.
That this is a 'tribute' to the two US crew members Warner and Lyon, the radio operator and navigator who played such a key role in this historic firstly crossing of the Pacific.
Regrettably, the significance of Warner and Lyon in the history of aviation has been overshadowed by the high profile given to the two Australian's Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Ulm.
If anyone knowns the wherabouts of the descenandants of Warner and Lyon, we would be pleased it your would alert them to this "Tribute".
Thanks John Bird
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