The Last Great Air Race Finished At Christchurch – 10th October 1953

On 10 October 1953, the last great air race took place between Heathrow Airport, London and Christchurch International Airport. Christchurch was chosen in 1950 as Christchurch Airport had become international.

There were two sections to the race; one was for speed whereas the other was commercial.

The speed race was won by the Royal Air Force English Electric Canberra PR.3 with the time of 23 hours and 51 minutes – a record that still hasn’t been broken. The winner sat on the tarmac a full 41 minutes before the next competitor landed.

The commercial race was won by a Douglas DC -6A from the KLM Royal Dutch Airline.

*image courtesy of Pacific Island Books*

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