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Lot 178: Important Aviation Archive The First Trans-Pacific Flight
Rare Autograph, Manuscripts & Book & Aviation Auction
27 October 2016
Miami, FL, USA
Aviation History - Harry Lyons Trans-Pacific Flight Archive
A COLLECTION OF MATERIAL RELATED TO HARRY LYON, NAVIGATOR ON BOARD THE SOUTHERN CROSS, THE FIRST TRANS-PACIFIC FLIGHT
Agreement of Service. 3 page carbon typescript contract signed Charles Kingsford Smith, Charles Ulm and Harry Lyon, 9 May 1928. the original contract to engage lyon as navigator for the southern cross. — City of Oakland Resolution in recognition of Lyon's service on the Trans-Pacific expedition, signed by the mayor with seal attached, 10 June, 1928. — Autograph Letter Signed from Charles Kingsford Smith to Harry Lyon, 2 October 1930, on his recovery from illness, a future solo flight to Australia and his 31 1/2 hour Atlantic flight from Ireland to New York. — Palace Hotel Banquet invitation honoring Lyon and radio operator James Warner, by the Citizens of San Francisco. — Group of original and press photographs showing the plane, crew and crowds greeting the flight. — Clippings and ephemera.
Crewed by Australian pilot and co-pilot Charles Kingford Smith and Charles Ulm respectively, with Americans as navigator (Harry Lyon) and radio-engineer (James Warner), the Trans-Pacific expedition was an international affair backed by philanthropist Allan Hancock.
On 31 May, 1928, The Southern Cross took off from Oakland, California and began a treacherous 7,250 mile journey to mainland Australia. The heavily modified Fokker monoplane, previously outfitted for Arctic endurance flights, stopped for refueling in Hawaii and Fiji, where their arrival was greeted by crowds celebrating the first aircraft to land on the island.
The leg from Fiji was 34 hours over the open Pacific, during which time the plane was in near constant contact by radio, making it the first successful use of radio on a long distance flight. The Southern Cross at last touched down in Queensland on the 9 June, completing the first successful flight from the mainland United States to Australia
The crew's pioneering aviation achievement made them instant celebrities during a Golden Age of aviation exploration. The later disappearances, on separate expeditions, of both Smith and Ulm, contributes to the scarcity of material related to this landmark of aviation.
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