The re-enactment of the first airmail flight in Australia 100 years ago by French airman Maurice Guillaux will stop over at Benalla Airport at 11.15am on Saturday 12 July 2014.
Vintage aircraft buffs will be treated to the spectacle of historic machinery as well as on-ground activities to be coordinated by the Benalla Aviation Museum.
The Benalla Airport is an appropriate spot for a stopover, said Jeanie Hall, Manager Economic Development and Tourism for Benalla Rural City Council.
“The Aviation Museum at the airport is the historic home of the 11 EFTS Wartime Training Unit which was stationed at Benalla from 1941 - 1945 and from where some 80 de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moths were operated,” Ms Hall said. “Some glider pilots from the Gliding Centre will also carry mail cargoes to Wangaratta for the following leg of the flight.”
Visitors will also be able to see the much loved 1931 French “Flying Flea” at the Museum.
The route from Melbourne to Sydney was first flown in July 1914, and special mail delivery will be delivered to Powerhouse Museum in Sydney as centrepiece of a reception held to commemorate Bastille Day, conducted by the French Consul-General M Eric Berti.
Some other mail loads being carried include a replica of original mail, 1785 numbered postcards, token air freight Madura Tea and Murray Valley Fruit Juice, and other items related to the French companies who have sponsored the flight.