The adventurous spirit of pioneering aviators contributed to the advent of airmail in Australia.

Story by Marcella Hunter

The early aviators were fearless adventurers, always seizing opportunities to test their mettle and machines by flying further and faster. As it turned out, it was the public’s desire to shave days off the delivery time for an ordinary letter that fuelled – and financed – many of their pioneering flights.
Legendary Australian aviators, such as Charles Kingsford Smith (‘Smithy’) and Ross Smith, flew the mail at some point in their careers. To an adoring public, they were winged immortals who helped bring Australia closer to the rest of the world. However, the distinction of delivering Australia’s first airmail goes, quite by accident, to Frenchman Maurice Guillaux.

This story excerpt is from Issue #50

Outback Magazine: Dec/Jan 2007