The most famous name in Australian aviation, Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, had a rich association with Essendon Airport. 

Kingsford Smith visited Essendon on an number of occasions and always drew huge crowds, including in 1928 to celebrate completing the first ever Trans-Pacific flight from the USA to Australia in the Southern Cross.

A huge crowd welcomed the Fokker tri-motor  and her crew of Charles Kingsford Smith, Charles Ulm, Harry Lyon and Jim Warner Southern Cross to Essendon Aerodrome.

The whole world watched on again when on the morning of the 21st September 1931, Charles ­Kingsford Smith took off from Essendon Aerodrome in his new plane, the Southern Cross Minor determined to set a new record flying between Australia and England – and vowed he would be back in Melbourne within 22 days. Smithy (as he was known) wanted to show that a regular air ­service to England was possible. Always ahead of his time, his efforts went a long way to establishing the viability of such a service.

He returned on the 15th October 1933, with Smithy landing at Essendon Airport to be greeted by one of the largest crowds ever assembled at the airfield. Smithy not only made his mark on international aviation, but also at Essendon Airport.

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