This Month In Suffolk – Mildenhall October 1934
The Great Race
The historic MacRobertson air race, put together by the Royal Aero Club and sponsored by the Australian philanthropist, Sir MacPherson Robertson and named after his confectionary company MacRobertson, saw planes fly from Mildenhall in Suffolk, all the way to Melbourne, Australia.
On the 20th October 1934 at 6:30am, 20 aircraft left Mildenhall, marking the start of the race.
The aircraft ranged from the small open cockpit Hawk Major trainer through to the Dakota predecessor the Douglas DC-2, which had a full set of passengers and mail.
Mildenhall’s Military Aerodrome
The decision to use Mildenhall’s newly-built military aerodrome was made after organisers found there were no civilian aerodromes in the London region capable of housing all the planes expected to take part in the race. Some 80 planes signed up but the starting line-up was eventually 20.
Included in the race rules was the requirement for participants to stop at five places — Baghdad, Iraq; Allahabad, India; Singapore and, three stops within Australia, these being Darwin, Charleville (in Queensland) and finally, the finish at Melbourne.
The race was won in just under three days. The DH.88 Comet nicknamed “Grosvenor House” and flown by Flight Lt. C. W. A. Scott and Captain Tom Campbell Black of Britain, arrived in Melbourne after just 71 hours.
More information on this incredible race can be found on these three websites –