In 2009 I was asked by a reader to dedicate one of my Sunday Mail columns to the old
Vickers Vimy aircraft – a huge, open-cockpit WWI bomber largely forgotten out the back of Adelaide Airport. I was amazed to discover it had been the first plane flown across the world from England to Australia in 1919. The pilot, Adelaide-born Ross Smith, was one of Australia's most decorated airmen of WWI and had even served as Lawrence of Arabia's pilot. The story was extraordinary, especially Smith’s record-breaking victory in ‘The Great Air Race’ of 1919, and I was spurred to write a book. But what kind of book? When I learned that one of the Vimy’s crew, mechanic Wally Shiers, was engaged to his sweetheart Helena before the war, I knew it had to be historic fiction. So I set about creating
a boys own adventure - for girls!
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