Tiger Moths out from forced hibernation

Classic WWI aircraft to re-create 1920 Serpentine air race

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UP AND AWAY: Typically used as a training aircraft, the de Havilland Tiger Moth was said to be ideal for the task, being "easy to fly, but difficult to fly well".

UP AND AWAY: Typically used as a training aircraft, the de Havilland Tiger Moth was said to be ideal for the task, being "easy to fly, but difficult to fly well".

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Victorian event marks 100 years (plus two) since Australia's first official air race.

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THE 100-year anniversary of Australia's first official air race, the Serpentine Air Race, takes to the skies next month, with competing Tiger Moth owners and pilots keen to make up for lost time.

The 70-mile celebratory event will finally take place on March 20, two years later than scheduled after pandemic cancellations.

Competitors will start from Serpentine Airfield in Victoria's Loddon Valley at 11am.

The 1920 Serpentine Air Race flew to St Kilda and around the Christ Church spire before heading to the General Post Office in Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, and crossing the line at Melbourne Town Hall.

Competing then were four airmen - Lieutenant WH Treloar, Captain RW McKenzie, Captain CC Matheson and Lieutenant EA Mustard, all of whom had served in the Australian Flying Corps during World War I.

A large crowd assembled at the "winning post", Melbourne Town Hall, to see Treloar win in one hour 15 minutes and 17 seconds, and the second and third place-getters arriving two minutes later, only eight seconds apart.

This year's re-creation of the event will not see the Tiger Moths head to Melbourne. Instead, they will leave from and return to the airfield via the small towns of Boort and Mitiamo.

Throughout the day spectators will be treated to heart-stopping aerobatic displays and historical warbirds roaring across the Serpentine Airfield skies.

Showcasing vintage aircrafts and vehicles, historic displays, street food and a paper plane competition, the aerial event promises to unite locals, history buffs and aircraft enthusiasts

Aerial entertainment and displays throughout the day include feats by the Royal Air Force Roulettes, the Wolf Pitts Pro (a rare and unique plane made for aerobatics) and the Grumman Avenger, CAC Wirraway and T-28 Trojan.

Serpentine is just a 40-minute drive from Bendigo but for those wanting to make more of the experience, camping options are available for race attendees at the airfield on the Loddon Highway. Email enquiries are necessary if you wish to camp; email contact@paulbennetairshows.com.au

Serpentine Airfield, Bendigo Road, Serpentine. Tickets $35/$15 via the website, $40 at the gate. Buses available from Swan Hill (leave 7.30am, return 4pm) and Bendigo (leave 8am, return 4pm); $20.

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