Fantastic Air Race 2019 cancelled

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The crew {of the|from the|in the} Vickers Vimy that won the 1919 Great Air Race – Keith Smith, Ross, Smith, James Bennett and Walter Shiers. (State Library of South Australia)

Organisers have cancelled an electric-powered aircraft race between Darwin and London after {being unable to|within} gain the cooperation {of countries|of nations} along the route to ensure the safety {of all|of most|of} participants.

The cancellation of the Great Air Race was announced by Inspire Strategic Solutions {in a|inside a|within a} letter to stakeholders, entrants and partners on April 1 .

Launched in early 2018, the Great Air Race was due to be held in November and December 2019 to celebrate the centenary of the Great Air Race where pilots Ross and Keith Smith, along with mechanics Sergeants Wally Shiers and Jim Bennett, took 29 days to fly from Hounslow aerodrome in West London to Fannie Bay, Northern Territory in a Vickers Vimy, registration G-EAOU.

Over those 29 days they passed through countries including France, Italy, Greece, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, India, Myanmar, Singapore and Indonesia before arriving in Australia.

Unlike the original, {the Great|the fantastic|the truly amazing} Air Race 2019 {would have|might have|could have} been for electric-powered aircraft, with batteries to be charged using renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, or by hydrogen fuel cells, {with the|using the|with all the} hydrogen to be produced by {renewable energy|alternative energy|power}. And competitors had to complete the journey within {30 days|thirty days|1 month}.

The organisers of the 2019 event said they had been working with Australian and international aviation and foreign affairs bodies {for the|for that|for your} 15 months to ensure those in the race would be able to fly safely along the same route taken by the winning team.

“ The organisers have been unable to secure agreements with the relevant {government authorities|governing bodies} to guarantee safe passage {for all|for all those|for those} participants, organisers and officials through the proposed 25 ports and countries on the route, {by the|from the|with the} deadline of 1st April 2019, which leaves no option but to cancel the race, ” the letter said.

“ With the planned route reflecting the amazing journey of Ross and Keith Smith {and their|and the} crew in 1919, the organisers have been faced with many challenges, including dealing with {a number of|a quantity of|an amount of} geo-political hot spots, that {cannot be|can not be|should not be} accessed by the Great Air Race without full government engagement, chaperoning and on-ground coordination, leaving the Great Air Race effectively with no {where to go|the best}, except cancellation.

“ We would like to sincerely thank and recognize {all of the|all the|each of the} stakeholders who have proactively supported the Great Air Race 2019 event concept. ”

Some 30 teams had entered the race, which is supported by the Northern Territory government.

Now, a hundred years {after the|following the|following your} Great Air Race, aviation enthusiasts and scholars around the world {will be able to|can|should be able to} more easily get an insight into the thoughts of Sir Ross and Sir Keith {from a|from the|from your} century ago after

The State Library of South Australia said recently it had added Sir Ross and Sir Keith’ s personal records to its digital collection, meaning aviation enthusiasts and scholars from {around the world|all over the world|around the globe} would be able to more easily get an {insight into|regarding} what it was like flying from Europe to Australia in 1919.

{The collection|The gathering} offers access to flying records and service records related to {the air|the environment|air} race, including photographs, newspaper cuttings, correspondence and the diary of Ross Smith, {the State|their state|the state of hawaii} Library said in a statement on March 22.

This includes the log book for the Vickers Vimy biplane, photographs during the flight and letters written {to their|for their|with their} parents throughout the journey, {as well as a|in addition to a|and a} letter from Dame Nellie Melba congratulating the brothers on the successful journey.

The digital collection can be accessed for free {on the|around the|within the} State Library of South Australia website .