Fuel pipe 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 was donated to the Powerhouse Museum by Harold Affleck having been removed from the Southern Cross after its epic 1928 flight. Harold Affleck was an engineer who flew with Kingsford-Smith and later worked as an engineer at Kingsford-Smith Air Services Ltd. at Mascot.
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