On Sunday aviator Lang Kidby takes to the air from Farnborough in an attempt to recreate the first solo flight from England to Australia.
He expects to complete the 11,000 mile journey to Darwin in 30 days, crossing 18 countries on the route flown by fellow Australian Bert Hinkler 70 years ago.
Hinkler’s pioneering aircraft a British built Avro Avian, registration VH-UFZ was bought and restored by Kidby in 1977. It had been abandoned in the Australian outback.
The aircraft wings and fuselage are wood, but Kidby used a more modern material, Araldite adhesive, for the restoration work.
The combination of AW 134 adhesive and HY 994 hardener is suitable for bonding the spruce and birch ply components to aluminium substrates.
It was important to maintain the aircraft’s low empty weight of 850lbs to allow it to lift a fuel load double that weight, giving an extended flying range.
The adhesive’s strength meant there was no need for the more traditional wire bracings and metal brackets.
Kidby was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 1994 for recreating the Smith Brothers’ 1919 flight from England to Australia.