G-AUIX  Ryan B.1 Brougham   (c/n 148)


                                  The rare image above comes from the John Hopton collection and depicts G-AUIX at RAAF
                                  Base Richmond near Sydney in October 1928 on the eve of its departure on a record attempt to
                                  fly to England.  It was named 'Spirit of Australia' by its owner T.E. Rofe of Sydney who had just
                                  imported it from US that same month.   Clearly it was fashionable in those days to name Ryan B.1s
                                  'Spirit of something-or-other";.      Anyway, the aircraft departed Richmond on 30 October and
                                  left Wyndham on 5 November.  The crew consisted of air force pilots S. J. Moir and H.C. Owen
                                  accompanied by Australian adventurer and photographer Frank Hurley but the record attempt
                                  ended with a crash on 26 November at Athens, Greece.   Moir and Owen returned from England
                                  to Australia in March the following year in the big Vickers Vellore G-EBYX and after being dam-
                                  aged in a forced landing in North Africa they finally reached the Australian coastline on 18 May
                                 1929 only to have engine trouble approaching Darwin, resulting in damage in a forced landing at
                                  the Cape Don Lighthouse on Melville Island.   The Ryan was officially stricken from the Australian
                                  register on December 31, 1928.    I suspect the photo from my own collection (below) was also
                                  taken at Richmond, and would appear to feature Moir and Owen in addition to a well dressed
                                  mechanic and a boffin-looking type. 
                                  At the foot of the page is an image gleaned from the Sydney Morning Herald for 16 October 1928
                                  at the christening ceremony wherein the Ryan was named "Spririt of Australia" on 15 October of
                                  that year by Mr. T.E. Rofe.