To mark the passing of a century since Bert Hinkler’s record-breaking solo flight his daring stunts can now be experienced at Hinkler Hall of Aviation in a new interactive display.
It’s been 100 years since the history-making solo flight from Sydney to Bundaberg was achieved in eight hours and 40 minutes in Bert’s Avro Baby G-EACQ.
The same flight today takes just one and a half hours and an eight-hour flight from Sydney would get you to Singapore!
But it’s the brave feats of trailblazers of the sky like Bert Hinkler which have made such air travel possible.
On his return to Bundaberg, Bert made a dramatic entry, performing aerobatic stunts over the Burnett River in front of a frenzied crowd of locals, flying underneath the Burnett Traffic and railway bridges. The new interactive display at Hinkler Hall of Aviation brings Bert’s playful celebration to life.
Hinkler Hall of Aviation enlisted visitor experience professionals Link Interactive to produce creative storytelling magic with the latest addition to the popular tourist attraction.
The display features 360-degree drone footage which has captured the view from Bert’s wild ride under the railway and Burnett Traffic Bridge back in 1921.
Visitors will feel the wind in their hair standing behind the controls, gauges moving as they take flight along the Burnett River.
Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey is looking forward to taking the Avro Baby controls and experiencing another remarkable part of the Hinkler story.
“Bert Hinkler is a luminary of the Bundaberg Region with his name stamped on shopping centres, street signs, parks, plantations and even an electorate,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“At age 28, Hinkler had several outstanding achievements under his flight cap including successfully launching a glider he designed and built in his hometown backyard, Distinguished Service Decorations for flying performances as an aerial gunner during the First World War and two solo flight records in his Avro Baby aircraft.
“He had already achieved more than some do in a lifetime when Arvo Baby G-EACQ touched down on Bundaberg soil in 1921 and his best was yet to come.”
How it all began
Bert’s fascination with flight started from a young age and would lead him to serve as a gunner/observer in the Royal Naval Air Service during the First World War.
Finding opportunity to train as a pilot, Bert revealed his flight experience within a letter to his mother while deployed in France.
“…and now I’m going very strong & I’m beginning to fancy myself dinkum! See me doing banks right & left oh, by the time I come home I shall be able to show you some stunts,” Bert wrote.
After the war Bert eventually returned home to Bundaberg, completing his record-breaking flight en route from Sydney as a fully-fledged pilot.
Making good with his promise, Bert performed aerobatics in his Arvo Baby aircraft along the Burnett River in front of thousands of onlookers.
Fly with Bert these school holidays
Families can ‘Fly with Bert’ these school holidays as they enjoy the newest interactive display on show at Hinkler Hall of Aviation.
Guests can also view Bert’s original Avro Baby aircraft within the Gallery on loan from Queensland Museum.
Visit the Hinkler Hall of Aviation website for opening hours and further details of upcoming exhibitions.
Other stories: Everybody rise for Amy Shark at the Moncrieff