Books Received | Published:

14,000 Miles through the Air

Nature volume 110, page 631 (11 November 1922) | Download Citation



THIS small volume by the late Sir Ross Smith marks an epoch in the history of flying, for it is a record of the first flight from London to Australia. Sir Ross Smith and his brother, Sir Keith Smith, accompanied by two air-mechanics, Sergeants J. M. Bennett and W. H. Shiers, entered a Vickers-Vimy aeroplane for. the prize of 10,000l. offered by the Commonwealth Government in 1919 for a flight from England to Australia in 30 days. As is well known, the two brothers won the race. They left Hounslow on November 12, 1919, and reached Darwin on December Io, 1919. From there the flight was continued to Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide. The actual time spent in flying between London and Adelaide was 188 hours 20 minutes. The longest spells in the air were 730 miles from Bundar Abbas to Karachi, and 720 miles from Karachi to Delhi. The brevity of the book makes it all the more vivid, and helps the reader to realise the speed of travelling by air. The author gives few incidents and certainly dwells lightly on the difficulties encountered. But there are some exciting passages, of which one of the best is the flight through the clouds between Rangoon and Bangkok, and the groping descent with the fear of collision with the heights of the Tenasserim Ranges. The book is well illustrated, the pictures of cities taken from the air being very striking. It is much to be regretted that this high-spirited airman lost his life at the very start of his next great adventure, a few years later, of the flight round the world.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

About this article

Publication history





    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

    Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing