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A Game Changer Flight

Updated: Jun 29, 2022

Invitation to mark the first flight from Melbourne to Alice Springs which took

place in October 1921.

Invitation to celebrate a game-changer flight...

The first flight from Melbourne to Alice Springs was made by a passionate 27 year old aviator, Frank Briggs, in October 1921. Briggs flew a de Havilland-4 owned by his employer, Clement de Garis with his mechanic Alfred (George) Bailey. Both were WWI Australian Air Force veterans and Briggs is celebrated as the pioneer of several Australian domestic and commercial routes, starting with the first east-west flight across Australia. The third crew member, photographer and adventurer, Frank Birtles, was the instigator.

This flight changed the centre of Australia and the future of Alice Springs in particular, forever.

The 10 day journey

Briggs took 10 days to reach Alice Springs, putting down at Adelaide, Maree, Oodnadatta and the Charlotte Waters Telegraph Station, en route. You can read an edited version of Briggs’ diary notes on the Central Australian Aviation Museum website, here.

Keen to follow in their footsteps?

Keen to follow in their footsteps…or rather, flight path?

The Aviation Museum invites you to participate by flying the route as

shown above. Or fly a direct route – just be sure to visit!

How did Alice Springs celebrate the 100th Anniversary in 2021?

You can read about it here, covered by the ABC News.


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