VH-UQX Victa Airtourer 115 (c/n 47)



In 1964 Victa Ltd made available two Airtourers, VH-MVL and VH-UQX, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Maurice Guillaux's 16-18 July 1914 flight between Melbourne and Sydney in his Bleriot XI, carrying Australia's first official airmail. The two Airtourers retraced Guillaux's flight, adhering as closely as possible to the original timetable and carrying a large quantity of commemorative mail. Departing Melbourne on 16 July 1964, VH-MVL was flown by Victa's chief test pilot, Vic Walton, while VH-UQX was flown by Dick Sims. As the Victas completed their 3-day trip at Mascot on 18 July, the Qantas Boeing 707-138B VH-EBC arrived overhead, setting a new record time of 38 minutes 25 seconds from Melbourne Tower to Sydney Tower. Guillaux's original Bleriot XI, owned by the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences at Ultimo, NSW, was displayed at Mascot for the arrival ceremonies. Seen above is a shot by Greg Banfield showing the Airtourers leading the 707 VH-EBC in to park. The photo at the foot of the page illustrates the Bleriot in its public enclosure at Mascot at that time.

Earlier in 1964 the R.M. Ansett Air Race had been held and Richard Maclean took the image of -UQX (immediately below) at Parafield after he had completed the race. (The Airtourer was not a competitor in that event). VH-UQX is still currently registered, and still in South Australia.