Longreach has played a major part in Australian aviation from 1919 onwards. In August of that year, a small party left the town to travel overland to survey a route suitable for competitors in the first air race to leave England en route to Australia. The travellers included Hudson Fysh and Paul McGinness, two pilots who had both been trained in the Australian Flying Corps during World War I. In December 1919, a Vickers Vimy landed, piloted by Ross and Keith Smith, who were en route to Melbourne after completing the first England to Australia flight. They were the first to use the air route pioneered by Fysh and McGinness. The first overland flight across the Australian continent from Melbourne to Darwin passed through the airport in 1919. This flight was undertaken by Captain Henry Wrigley and Sergeant Arthur Murphy, flying a B.E.2.