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4 corrections, most recently by Gnangarra - Show corrections

INDIAN OCEAN.

AIR HOP

Australian-run

Service

Australia has been operating; a regular service over the world's longest air ' hop-from Western Australia to Ceylon for more than a year, the man- aging director of Qantas Empire Airways, Mr. Hudson Fysh, said yesterday.

The route is over 3,500 miles across the Indian Ocean. It Is the only air service linking Australia with India and is a vital part of the Allied war transport system Passengers are in the air for about 27 hours Because the planes fly over Japanese-patrolled   waters absolute radio silence is

essential.

Catalina flying-boats have carried out the service, which now is being augmented by a larger and faster land-type aircraft

Veteran Qantas pilots of the 'pre beam" davs of Australian air transport have come into their own in this ser- vice because of their high skill in navigation Well over 100 flights have been made without mishap, though on one occasion a flying-boat was at- tacked by a Japanese plane on another engine trouble necessitated dumping of fuel before the plane could return and on yet another a plane flew the last few hundred miles on one engine

"EPIC FEAT"

'The service," said Mr. Fysh, "is an Allied co-operative effort Its opera- tion is one of the epic transport feats of the war

"It was inaugurated at the wish of the British Government in collabora- tion with the Australian Government -and against some opposition-to re Unite Australia with the Empire ser- vice from England to India, after Aus- tralia had been cut off following the shooting down of the Corio at Koepans: m February 1942 British Overseas Airways handed over the route to Qantas and our first service left base in Cevlon on July 10, 1943 with Cap- tain R B Tapp in command He also commanded on the first flight from Australia on July 22

"Since then more than 100 flights have been made Karachi was linked to Ceylon last November, and now it is possible to fly from Western Aus- tralia to Karachi, 5,087 miles, in 41 hours' elapsed time, and from Syd- ney to Karachi including a night spent In Western Australia, m 83 hours Airgraph mall is carried, and a small amount of special priority freight

"It is an enormous flight non-stop Payload is limited, and It is essen- tially a war-tune service A civil air route could not be economically operated over so wide an expanse of

ocean "

Usually three passengers are car- ried, m addition to the six members of the crew, and up to 5001b of freight

The service at first operated weekly, but additional aircraft allowed this

to be increased

Four or five meals are served dur- ing the crossing, which has taken up to 31 hours Shortest crossing time so far has been 23 hours 57 minutes

The planes fly all day, all night, and the best part of the ne\t daylight period on a trip As a souvenu- of the flight each pas=en?er is given a certificate "The Order of the Double Sunrise," indicating that he has flown for more than 24 hours continuously

Digitisation generously supported by
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
Digitisation generously supported by

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