Aircraft fuel line flexible hose from the 'Southern Cross', brass, maker unknown, United States of America, 1927-1935
In 1928 the Australians Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm were the first to fly across the Pacific from America to Australia. Their plane the Southern Cross is probably best known for this historic flight but between 1928 and 1935 it also crossed the Tasman for the first time, broke the Australia to England record in 12 days 21 hours, and flew numerous times across Australia.
The Southern Cross was a Dutch Fokker fitted with three Wright Whirlwind engines. Smith and Ulm had bought the plane in America in 1927. The instruments were purchased separately and fitted in the plane. Over the next seven years the instruments were replaced as necessary and some of these are now held in the Powerhouse Museum's collection.
This aircraft fuel line is reputed to be one of the defective fuel lines removed after the 1935 Trans-Tasman flight of the Southern Cross. On this trip segment of the exhaust manifold broke away damaging the starboard propeller. The crew and plane were saved by the courageous actions of their navigator P. G. Taylor, who climbed along the wing struts to pour oil into the working port engine.
Geoff Barker, March, 2007
Charles Kingsford Smith, The Southern Cross Story, Seal Paperbacks, Herald Press, Australia, 1978
William Joy, The Aviators, Golden Press, Sydney, Australia, 1983
Ellen Rogers, Faith in Australia; Charles Ulm and Australian Aviation, Ellen Rogers, Sydney, Australia, 1987
Leslie Jillet, Wings across the Tasman, A.H. & A.W. Reed, Wellington, New Zealand, 1953
The Trans-Tasman flight of the "Southern Cross" took place on the 10th November, 1928.
This aircraft fuel line flexible hose was used in the "Southern Cross", but later replaced because of its faulty operation on the Trans-Tasman flight.
The donor of this object also states that this fuel line, "...is the one that P.G. Taylor (later Sir) went out onto the wing of the aircraft while crossing the Tasman Sea and transferred fuel from the engine".