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Aviation History Crazy Men – Bert Hinkler

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Bert Hinkler is one of those understated people who accomplishes big things, like Burt Munro who was portrayed in The World’s Fastest Indian. His name will be forever written into Aviation History.

He was the first person to fly solo from England to Australia, and to the first to fly solo across the southern Atlantic Ocean. And it was in a bucket of bolts like this:

Aviation History - Bert Hinkler

He may have been as ‘mad as a cut snake’, but he was a visionary – he commented that You know, one day, people will fly by night and use the daylight for sightseeing.

Q? Encoding=Utf8&Amp;Marketplace=Us&Amp;Asin=B007Hfbbig&Amp;Serviceversion=20070822&Amp;Id=Asinimage&Amp;Ws=1&Amp;Format= Sl250 &Amp;Tag=Thetratar 20 | Australia Travel Blog | Aviation History Crazy Men - Bert Hinkler | Airplane History, Aviation History, Aviation Museum, Aviation Timeline, Bert Hinkler, Blogsherpa, Bundaberg, History Flight, History Of Airplanes, International Flying, Photographs Of Airplanes, Queensland | Author: Anthony Bianco - The Travel Tart BlogIr?T=Thetratar 20&Amp;L=Am2&Amp;O=1&Amp;A=B007Hfbbig | Australia Travel Blog | Aviation History Crazy Men - Bert Hinkler | Airplane History, Aviation History, Aviation Museum, Aviation Timeline, Bert Hinkler, Blogsherpa, Bundaberg, History Flight, History Of Airplanes, International Flying, Photographs Of Airplanes, Queensland | Author: Anthony Bianco - The Travel Tart BlogQ? Encoding=Utf8&Amp;Marketplace=Us&Amp;Asin=0725404744&Amp;Serviceversion=20070822&Amp;Id=Asinimage&Amp;Ws=1&Amp;Format= Sl250 &Amp;Tag=Thetratar 20 | Australia Travel Blog | Aviation History Crazy Men - Bert Hinkler | Airplane History, Aviation History, Aviation Museum, Aviation Timeline, Bert Hinkler, Blogsherpa, Bundaberg, History Flight, History Of Airplanes, International Flying, Photographs Of Airplanes, Queensland | Author: Anthony Bianco - The Travel Tart BlogIr?T=Thetratar 20&Amp;L=Am2&Amp;O=1&Amp;A=0725404744 | Australia Travel Blog | Aviation History Crazy Men - Bert Hinkler | Airplane History, Aviation History, Aviation Museum, Aviation Timeline, Bert Hinkler, Blogsherpa, Bundaberg, History Flight, History Of Airplanes, International Flying, Photographs Of Airplanes, Queensland | Author: Anthony Bianco - The Travel Tart Blog

However, one thing that struck me about visiting the Hinkler Hall of Aviation in Bundaberg (in the state of Queensland, Australia) was how Bert Hinkler crafted his trade – in a home made glider that makes the modern day craze of planking in dangerous places look pissweak!

That’s right, he built this glider below and used to do test runs along Mon Repos Beach. If that was done today, it would almost be eligible as a stunt on Jackass!

Bert Hinkler Glider

Aviation History Lesson – Flying Solo From England to Australia

Also back in his days, navigation was pretty rudimentary. There were no iPhones with GPS or anything fancy like that. No, there were only strip maps! If you were lucky!

Aviation Museum - Strip Maps

Basically, try flying by yourself whilst looking down at a map that’s about to blow out of your hands, trying to find landmarks on the ground that match whatever is scribbled on a piece of paper! Now that’s adventure!

Unfortunately, Bert Hinkler died in his early 40s whilst attempting another England to Australia flight in 1933, when his plane crashed in Northern Italy. He was buried in Florence and is forever ingrained in Australian and world aviation history.

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Aviation History Irony

However there is a touch of irony that relates Bert Hinkler and the Space Shuttle Challenger, which infamously exploded in 1986.

A small piece of wood from one Bert Hinkler’s hand-made gliders was presented to the U.S. astronaut Don Lind as a token of appreciation for visiting Bundaberg. Lind then gave it to the in turn gave it to the captain of the ill-fated final Challenger mission, Dick Scobee.

Scobee took the piece of wood on board the Challenger and left it inside a small plastic bag that he placed in his locker. After the explosion, the bag and the wood were recovered from the sea, identified, mounted, and later returned to the Hinkler Hall of Aviation.

History Flight - Hinkler Aviation Museum

More Aviation History Stuff

If you’re ever in Australia and you’re an Aviation History Buff, it’s worth a visit to the Hinkler Hall of Aviation. Also, see more at Queensland Holidays and In the Cockpit: Inside 50 History-Making Aircraft.

For more plane stuff, check out:

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2 thoughts on “Aviation History Crazy Men – Bert Hinkler”

  1. Avatar Of Brian Mullen

    i have in my possession a photograph of hinklers arrival at footscray park , flemington racecourse ,as part of the australian tour after his solo flight from england to australia , does it have any financial value and if so , what sort of figure may we be looking at ?

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