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Sep 11, 2012, 11:15 AM
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Pat Daily's Avatar
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An invitation:Pan-Pacific Build and Fly with Friends" venture--Southern Cross 12/26

This is an invitation to all modelers, especially in Australia and the US, to help celebrate the first Pan-Pacific Flight

"Pan-Pacific Build and Fly with Friends" venture

A celebration of the first cross Pacific flight made in May 1928
by Australian Sir Charles Kingsford Smith in the Southern Cross accompanied by Australian Charles Ulm as relief pilot and Americans James Warner as radio operator and Captain Harry Lyon the navigator/engineer.

The goal of this venture is to celebrate the Australians and Americans who made this first ever crossing of the Pacific.


This flight left Oakland, California and flew 2400 miles to Wheeler Army Airfield in Hawaii, then 3155 miles on to Suva, Fiji, flying through massive lightning storms near the equator, and then they flew 1683 miles to Brisbane Austrlalia.

Sir Charles Kingsford Smith is a national hero in Australia and the men with him helped make the flight a success. They flew a Fokker F.VII/3m trimotor monoplane named the Southern Cross.

Try to imagine if you can, the luck and skills needed to accomplish such an undertaking only a year after Lindbergh had first crossed the Atlantic. Long distance navigation was almost non-existent and the likelihood of them missing Hawaii and Fiji were high.

Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm also flew from Melbourne to Perth Australia across the great Australian dessert in August, 1928.

Later Sir Charles and Ulm flew the Southern Cross, in September 1928, in an attempt to cross the Taman sea to New Zealand—the first successful flight from Australia to New Zealand.

In March 1929 Kingsford Smith, enroute from Sydney to England in the Southern Cross made an emergency landing on a mudflat in Western Australia. Two old friends of Kingsford Smith, Keith Anderson and Henry Hitchcock, in their Westland Widgeon named Lookaburra crash landed in the Tanami Desert while searching for the Southern Cross. They both died in thirst and exposure on 12 April 1929. Meanwhile, Sir Charles and the Southern Cross were found and rescued by an overland search team.

“The Pan Pacific Fly and Build with Friends” Venture details

Professor John Bird of Australia and John Hunton, Tom Schmitt and Pat Daily and the DC Maxecuters FAC Club have been discussing the need to celebrate the Southern Cross epic flight. John Bird is getting a number of Australian modelers involved and we would like to encourage American and modelers of any country to participate.

This record flight is something that few Americans know much about and we felt it would be a good opportunity to bring US and Australian modelers together.

We selected the following models to build and fly to help celebrate the first Pan Pacific Flight.

The Southern Cross -- a Fokker F. VII/3m (trimotor)—for rc and perhaps free flight

Westland Widgeon IIIa -- the Kookaburra- for free flight and perhaps rc

The Senator – a free flight rubber powered plane popular on both sides of the Pacific for those who don’t want to build a scale model.

We would encourage folks who want to participate to share their models and builds with us here at RCgroups on the electric scale forum and also the free flight forum.

We will be posting more information as we proceed with this fun build and fly event—including 3 view, plans, colors and markings, etc.

If you are interested in learning more about the Southern Cross and Sir Charles Kingsford Smith please see:

More to come!
Last edited by Pat Daily; Dec 26, 2012 at 08:43 PM. Reason: title
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Sep 12, 2012, 07:36 PM
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trumps's Avatar
Interesting idea mate, good luck with it.

Sep 14, 2012, 05:44 AM
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"Pan-Pacific Build and Fly with Friends" venture

The Pan-Pacific flight was the first aerial crossing of the Pacific.

The four person crew of the "Southern Cross", compromised two Australians and two Americians.
Their combined skill and collaboration enabled the success of this pioneering and historic flight.

It is in this 'spirit' of collaboration between US & Aust citizens on-board the "Southern Cross" which was the foundation for the "Pan-Pacific build and Fly with Friends venture.

Importantly this is not a competition.
Fun and friendship is the objective.

The "Southern Cross" is one of three models in this venture.

Each has a story of signifiance behind it which determined it's inclusion.

For example who were the two US crewmen on-board the "Southern Cross ?".
The navigator and the radio operator are virtually unknown. Where is the memorial to their role in Aviation ?

What is the connection between the heroic flight of the "The Kookaburra" (Westland Wigeon IIIA) and the demise of Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith's reputation.

The Keil Kraft "Senator", the every popular duration free flight classic. A favourite for one model and postal competions. What's the greatest number to be entered and launched in a club competition ?

Join in, discover and share your 'Build and Fly' choices with a friend in America and or Australia.

John Bird
Sep 14, 2012, 06:45 PM
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Sept 15/2012 "Southern Cross" Australian Aviation Hall of Fame

Today 15th Sept -2012 within a few hours times of this posting, the "Southern Cross" is going to inducted into the Australian Aviation Hall of Fame.


Today marks the launch of the "Southern Cross Awards".

The Inaugral Induction Ceremony is at 6:00pm this evening (Sept.15th 2012).


There is a video newsreel compilation tribute on this link of 'Smithy" (Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith) and the "Southern Cross".

The other inductees at tonight's Inaugral Induction Gala Dinner include:

Lawrence Hargrave.
John and Reginald Duigan.

"The Pan-Pacific 'Build and Fly with Friends venture, is a symbolic reminder of how global and interdependent, these early aviation pioneers were upon the collaboration and sharing of their ideas and expertise.
Perhaps even more outstanding their personal courage.

The models we choose to build and fly; are also a reminder that to attain controlled flight, we too have to face the same laws of physics, as pioneers such as Lawrence Hargrave,were attempting to understand and document.

The achievements of the Duigan Bros, serves a reminder of the personal courage required,to put your ideas to the test and ..take to the air.
Sep 14, 2012, 08:56 PM
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"Kookaburra" Westland Wigeon IIIA

"Kookaburra" Westland Wigeon IIIA

This aircraft is famous in Australian Aviation history for the attempt of its 2 person crew's self-less courage to find the crew of the Southern Cross lost in the vastness of the Australian desert.

The events and circumstances which unfolded from this failed rescue mision by Charles Kingsford-Smith's long-time friend; have been likened to a, classic Greek tragedy played out in the vastness of the Australian desert.

The heroic status of Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith, is changed from hero to villian.
documented and known as the 'Coffee Royal Incident' ref: google search below.

The inclusion of the "Kookaburra" Westland Wingeon IIIA, is included in the "Pan-Pacific Build and Fly with Friends" is there as tribute to the self-less bravery of Keith Anderson the long-time friend of Charles Kingsford-Smith. Together for years prior they had planned the Pan-Pacific flight. At the last moment Kingsford-Smith rejected Anderson as copilot for the flight.

Despite, this breech of trust, it was Anderson, who set off in a very unsuitable aircraft "Kookaburra" (Westland Wingeo IIIA) to find his friend lost in the desert and perished in the attempt.

....This is tribute to bravery, self-less courage and the importance of friendship

------------------references -- google---below-------------------------------

[I][I]Charles Kingsford Smith - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[edit] 'Coffee Royal' incident. On 31 March 1929, en route from Sydney to England, the Southern Cross with Kingsford Smith at the helm made an emergency ...
Early life - World War I and early flying ... - 1928 Trans-Pacific flight
You've visited this page 3 times. Last visit: 25/08/12
Australia - Historical Stories COFFEE ROYAL INCIDENT .... party had been unable to cross them, or that some untoward accident had happened, which prevented us being relieved.
Sir Charles Kingsford Smith - Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View
and the deepening Depression crippled Smithy's fledgling airline. A further hindrance occurred with the “coffee royal” incident, when another of Smithy's planes, ...
Keith Anderson WW1 Aviator: Learning about who Keith Anderson ... Feb 2011 – This became know as the Coffee Royal incident. 15. Keith Anderson had purchased a second hand widgett monoplane six weeks before the ...
Bytes: Sir Charles Kingsford Smith Nov 2010 – He then transferred to Britain's Royal Flying Corps, which urgently ... the 'Coffee Royal' incident after the brew of coffee and brandy which the ...
G-AUDZ Kingsford and crew in what became known as the 'Coffee Royal incident" ( Smith's supplies, when they opened them after the crash apparently were ...
You visited this page on 9/08/12.
Charles Leski Auctions - Photographs - Auction 308[In April 1929 Les Holland found Charles Kingsford Smith after he was lost in the outback - the famous 'Coffee Royal' incident]. $1,100 - $1,200. 937, Lot details ...
Charles Edward Kingsford-Smith (1897-1935) - CTIE Jul 2002 – He then joined the British RFC (Royal Flying Corps). With 23 .... However, the start did not go off without incident. .... take off from Sydney to fly to England, but were lost for I2 days at 'Coffee Royal' in north-western Australia.
Charles Kingsford Smith: Biography from › ... › Entertainment & Arts › American Theater Guide'Coffee Royal' incident. On 31 March 1929, en route from Sydney to England, the Southern Cross with Kingsford Smith at the helm made an emergency landing ...
Sep 14, 2012, 09:31 PM
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"Kookaburra" Westland Wigeon IIIA plans and information

The name "Kookaburra" is derived from the Australian native bird, who's laughter-like call is a common sound in the Australian bushland.

The single engine Westand Wigeon IIIA had only recenly been acquired by Keith Anderson and was ill-prepared and ill suited to perform a rescue mission into the Australian desert.

Westand Wigeon IIIA makes for a charming little free flight or rc electric model
Both configurations have the reputation of good flight performance.

As recently as Feb 2012 "Flying Scale Models" published a comprehensive article on the Westland Wigeon IIIA complete with a free plan for an electric rc version by Peter Rake an acess to laser cut part (unfortunately the publisher of "Flying Scale Models has changed hand and we are still waiting for the contact details relating to making an on-line purchase of the back issue of Feb 2012)


Westwings Westland Wigeon IIIA kit ref:

Originally designed for free flight, suited to micro Rc conversion.

See completed Westwings Wigeon IIIA kit created by John French on this RC groups site. post by Pat Dailey #3
Last edited by Flightfeathers; Sep 29, 2012 at 12:04 AM.
Sep 14, 2012, 11:16 PM
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"Pan-Pacific Build and Fly with Friends"-Keil Kraft Senator

"Pan-Pacific Build and Fly with Friends"-Keil Kraft Senator.

The "Senator" is the third in the nominated set of model options.
The well-known much loved and very popular rubber powered free flight classic.

A proven easy to build, reliable duration performer.

With a reputation from one UK club that when the "Senator" was chosen for their one 'model contest', nearly two hundred entrants lined up on flight line.

Over the years, numerous permutations of fhe "Senator", have been build for both indoor and outdoor flight.
Including modifications to the traditional free flight configuration with addition of micro rc rudder/elevator control to avoid the-fetch-and chase required in a fly away or retrieval from model grabbing trees.

.pdf files are attached for the printing of a single sheet full size plan or reduction /enlagement to size of your choosing. Also include is an A4 tiled .pdf file for printing using a domestic printer. NB. many plan printing or copying services eg. Office Works (Aust) can print from a .pdf file

Down load the attach .pdf file to a USB memory stick and take to the plan printing service. Suggestion take along a metric /imperial ruler to measure to check and measure the size as many plan printing service do not have an on-screen measurement scale and have to relay upon the paper print out.

The images of the "Senator" atttached are from our friend John French - "Flying Aces" in Eden Australia: [email protected]

John's now retired, a lone Aeromodller and looking for an excuse for he and Kath to go ..flying with a friend.
Last edited by Flightfeathers; May 22, 2013 at 07:49 PM. Reason: Update on build of Senator RC electric
Sep 18, 2012, 12:54 AM
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Westland Wigeon IIIA - Australia

Here's the URL compilation of history and pictures of the Australian connection of the Westland Wigeon IIIA - the "Kookaburra" and Keith Anderson's fateful rescue mission to find the "Southern Cross".

Thanks to John Julian Australia
Sep 18, 2012, 02:49 AM
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An issue of the correct incidence angles Westland Wigeon IIIA

Hi, I'm John French, the one living in Eden New South Wales in Australia, and no doubt you have viewed my photos of the West Wings Westland Widgeon model that I built a few years ago. I've not yet attempted any flying with it, due to this incidence anomaly, so I thank you, and the others who have donated their expertise, for your help. I have several old images of Widgeons, mainly scanned from magazines such as The Aeroplane Monthly, and some of my original photos which I took at "Drage's" museum in Wangaratta, Victoria, Oz when it was still extant. You can see quite clearly on many of these images that the tailplane is not a flat plate, but a symmetrical section, and is set to either neutral or a slightly positive incidence angle, it's a bit difficult to tell with any confidence. Incidentally, I don't know where this example has gone since Drage's Airworld folded many years ago. Anyway, this tends to bear out what you say about John (Another John!) Sizer's drawing being accurate.
Sep 18, 2012, 02:59 AM
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Westland Wigeon IIIA - Australia: James Courtney collection

Produced in some quantity from 1926 onwards, the Westland Widgeon was the Westland company's first entry into the civilian market.  Geoff Goodall's rare shot (above) shows it soon after it had been re-registered into the VH-U series in the early 1930s. 
Immediately below is an image (#2) from the John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland collection of the Widgeon in 1928 as G-AUHU when it was owned by Milton C. Kent, having beenimported in that year from the U.K.(ex G-The image following that (#3, courtesy of the National Library of Australia) is interesting in that, although it looks like it was taken around that same time as #2, shows the aircraft sans fairing behind the pilot's head.  Was it removable?  Used for drag testing, etc.?  
The next photo (#4) is my own, taken at Banks-town in the early 1950s, showing an even smaller dorsal fairing fitted at that time.  VH-UHU is still in existence, and resided at the Air World Museum in Wangaratta, Victoria, bearing the registration G-AUKA until 2002.     ( See comments at foot of  page for more on G-AUKA). 
It was subsequently purchased by Mr.James Courtney and is currently in his garage in Melbourne. Plans are afoot for a complete restoration, and sponsorships for this expensive project are sought.  If any viewers, especially commercial concerns, are motivated to assist in the restoration of this historic machine please contact James directly at
                                                                         [email protected]
Sep 18, 2012, 03:23 AM
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Westland Wigeon IIIA - Incidence ?? Comments by Roger Gibbs


Thanks for mail re the Widgeon.

In regard to the decalage angle shown on the Eddie Riding plan, I have taken a little time out to check out what others thought before committing to a change and have come to the conclusion that the one to one scale Widgeon would not have need of much difference between the zero lift angle of both foils. The low thrust line combined with the high parasol wing drag will combine to create an upward pitching in the nose of the aircraft, and setting the positive incidence on the stabilizer would balance this.
I am not convinced yet though that the same decalage would work in exactly the same way at 'model size' as the physics involved will scale exponentially rather that linearly. Of course, other factors will, or at least can affect the trim. The tailplane section on the Riding plan (as on the full size aircraft) is a flat plate. On one design that I downloaded the section was cambered (clark Y ish) and would thus create lift forces at a lower incidence. To a degree, this could be managed by moving the balance rearward a little although the model could only ever be trimmed to fly at one speed.

My build at peanut scale will have the wing attached to allow for some adjustment during the trimming stage. I did not want to change the tail incidence as this would change the appearance too much.
I will let you know how things turn out but I am a little less concerned with this issue than before other than to express surprise that Westwings seem unable to tell positive from negative !!

Sep 19, 2012, 05:51 AM
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Southern Cross flying scale models Hearns Bros Aust. 1980's

This link tracks to life and history of the three Hearns Bros Melbourne Australia
in aviation, WWW2 and in model aviation. Towards the end of this story, is the account of their famous flying scale model of the "Southern Cross".
Last edited by Flightfeathers; Oct 02, 2012 at 02:38 AM. Reason: Hearns's Bros "Southern Cross" @ Lillydale courtesy John French
Sep 20, 2012, 08:33 AM
What's 3D?
trumps's Avatar
Pat, i hope you dont mind but i am going to link this thread to the Aussie forum, there might be a few closet builders locked away there that would be interested in this project.


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