Extract date: 02/02/2023
|Date Registered||22 August 2022|
|Locality / Suburb|
|Local Government Area|
|Darwin City Council|
|History/Origin||Elly Maria Frieda Beinhorn was born in Hannover, Germany, on 30 May 1907. The only child born into a merchant family, she was eager from a young age to travel and seek adventure. In 1928 she attended a lecture presented by the famed aviator Herman Köhl, who had recently completed his historic north Atlantic crossing - an opportunity which sparked her interest in aviation. Immediately she pursued a flight training school that would accept a female student and in November 1928, at the age of 21, left Hannover against her parents' wishes for Berlin. By June 1929, she had attained her pilot's licence, and promptly followed up with aerobatic, sea and blind flight training.
Leaving Berlin in the midst of winter in December 1931, Beinhorn began her journey with no fixed itinerary. In Persia (Iran) she encountered the American aviator Moye Stephens with the travel writer and adventurer Richard Halliburton on their Flying Carpet world tour. She met with them again in India, from where both parties fulfilled their desires to fly to Mount Everest and Halliburton took the first aerial photograph of the mountain. While in India, Beinhorn also met Australian aviation pioneer Charles Kingsford Smith, who told her about Australia.
Beinhorn had initially planned to travel via Japan rather than Australia on her around the world journey; she had held concerns travelling the long distance across the Timor Sea in her small and 'fragile' single engine Klemm aircraft. However, perhaps due to the political crisis between China and Japan at the time, she continued south from Siam (Thailand) through Singapore and present day Indonesia. Leaving Timor on 22 March 1932, during the warm and humid Wet Season, Beinhorn was escorted by three British Royal Air Force seaplanes across the Timor Sea to Australia.
Arriving around 3pm at the Darwin aerodrome in Fannie Bay, Beinhorn was greeted with 'hearty cheers' by the crowd who had gathered to witness her arrival following an incident free flight across the sea. Beinhorn was at ease in the 'heavenly' aerodrome, whereupon she picnicked under the shade of an Air Force plane wing before being persuaded to forgo an afternoon overall of her aircraft and instead motored the 'not too far' (as far as international aerodromes of the day were) distance of three miles to town where she was hosted by the Administrator. The popular media reported her adventures the following day, impressed by a trousered Beinhorn capably servicing her plane and 'laugh[ing] at the suggestion she should leave it to her menfolk friends'. In her media interview that followed, she ventured her local impressions, noting that 'practically all of the most important flying folk come' to Darwin and was especially appreciative to enjoy the 'delightful fresh butter'. The town appeared to be likewise appreciative, hosting Beinhorn that evening at a dinner dance to honour the visiting aviators.
Beinhorn left Darwin on 25 March travelling towards Sydney, where she was greeted by a squadron of honour, including her acquaintance from India, Kingsford Smith, at the recently opened Sydney Harbour Bridge on 2 April 1932. From Sydney she continued her journey across the Pacific to Panama via ship. Beinhorn arrived back in Germany in July 1932 and her book about the experience, Ein Mädchen fliegt um die Welt (A girl flies around the world), was a best-seller.
In the early 1930s, Beinhorn continued to set records for intercontinental long distance flights. She stopped flying in World War II when German citizens were forbidden from flying, although she obtained a special restricted flying permit in 1951 and earned her living as a journalist, an author and giving lectures. Beinhorn visited Australia again in 1967, when she celebrated her 60th birthday in Sydney as the guest of Qantas on its Boeing 707 Kangaroo Route. She passed away at the age of 100 in Ottobrunn, Germany in 2007.
|22/08/2022||Certified Plan S2022/037|