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Air Race Rivalry
MELBOURNE, Thursday.-Wing Commander D. R. Cuming, captain bf Australia's team of two Canberra jet bombers for the Lbndon-Christchurch (N.Z.) air race in October, said at Laver- ton to-day he expected only a few minutes would separate the leading planes at the
He announced the crews of the R.A.A.F. planes and the route they
would take in the race. He said also that:
. He expected the speec section to be a race betweer the R.A.A.F. and R.A.F.
. Both R.A.A.F. machine! might be Australian-built Can berra jet bombers.
. The height at which the planes would fly was a secrei but would bc over 30,000fi all the way.
. Favourable winds coule make the difference betweer 23 and 26 hours for the entire flight.
During the interview Wing Commander Cuming intro- duced a retiring young scien- tist as "the man who will be responsible if we win the
He was 25-year-old Mr. L I. Cook, a Sydney Universitj graduate, how a Department
of Air scientist stationed ir Melbourne, who is on loan tc the R.A.A.F.'s No. 1 long range flight.
"He is the man responsible; (the crews will'fly thc planes las he says," Wing-Commandei
"Mr. Cook produces all the figures we work on.
"Without him we would bc lost-and, of course, we will blame him if-we lose.
"1 suppose you would call him an aerodynamicist "
Mr. Cook had his own name for it.
"I am an aeronautical en- gineer," he said.
Mr. Cook calculates all the nanges, speeds, altitudes, tem- peratures and methods of flight planning. Some of his graphs are the result of cal- culations' lasting three weeks.
j Wing-Commander Cuming (said the first test flight of
the second Australian-built Canberra would be made this i-wcck-end by the Government (Aircraft Factory's veteran test pilot, Mr. John Miles.
I Thc R.A.A.F. had tenta
'lively entered the first Aus-
tralian-built Canberra and one of its English Canberras in the race. But it had until September 25 to change the
"Apart altogether from the national prestige, we pre- fer to fly Australian-built Canberras," Wing-Commander Cuming said.
"We consider that our Canberras have more compre- hensive navigational aids. We can use our Canberras world- wide," he explained.
Here is the Australians' route: London to Bahrein, on the Persian Gulf (3,100 miles), Bahrein to Colombo (2,400 miles), Colombo to Cocos Island (1,920 miles), Cocos Island to Perth (1,920 miles), Perth to Christchurch (3,145 miles).
The planes will pass over Bass Strait on their way to Christchurch.
I Wing-Commander Cuming Isaid it would be quicker to fly north-west from London over Sweden, Russia, Siberia, Mongolia, Korea, Port Moresby, and by-pass Aus- tralia to Christchurch.
But even if it were possible to get permission to fly over those countries no refuelling facilities would be available..
Race rules said competitors must set off in a south-easterly direction and must land some- where between Cairo and Darwin.
"But the speed section will be a race between the R.A.A.F. and the R.A.F.," said Wing-Commander Cuming.
"Thc English will take the same route as us but will stop at Basra instead of Bahrein."
The route could have been shortened by landing on the north-west Australian coast near Onslow but there were no refuelling facilities there.
On Saturday an R.A.A.F. refuelling crew will leave for Cocos Island. A skeleton ground crew will leave for England on September 9.
"We prefer our own ground staff because our planes are different inside," Wing-Com- mander Cuming explained.
An R.A.A.F. ground crew of engine, airframe, electrical, instrument and radio fitters would be stationed at each stopping place. i