Preparations for next week's centenary celebrations of the Serpentine Air Race are on track in what is tipped to be the biggest airshow ever seen in central Victoria.
Vintage planes will share the skies with a stunning aerobatic display from the RAAF Roulettes for the entertainment of more than 4000 spectators.
The 1920 Serpentine Air Race was regarded as the first official aeroplane race to be held in Australia.
Four AVRO504K biplanes set off from a temporary airstrip from a paddock on the southern edge of the Serpentine township on Friday, August 27, 1920 in a race designed to promote the Second Peace Loan.
The campaign was designed to raise funds to help returning soldiers from World War I settle back into civilian life with the construction of houses and land settlement packages.
The planes flew from Serpentine and over Kangaroo Flat, Kyneton and Gisborne on their way to the finish line in Melbourne.
Next week's celebration of that extraordinary race won't be following that route, but it should still be a thrilling adventure for those involved.
The 100-year anniversary of the air race will held on Sunday, March 20 having been delayed two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, nine vintage planes - mostly Tiger Moths - will compete in a recreation of the 1920 aerial derby.
Serpentine Air Race Committee president Robert Hooke said the race circuit was being kept a closely guarded secret.
"Pilots have to identify certain landmarks so we can't let them know what they are just yet," Mr Hooke said.
"It will be a handicap because there are different engine sizes for different planes and there's an aviation formula to measure the fuel ratio so it's not just a race 'head out and first one back'."
On a sentimental note, the 102-year-old trophy (worth 3000 pounds in 1920) from the original race will be on display with the RAAF transporting it from its home in the museum at Point Cook.
There will also be a wide range of static displays from local wineries to the Royal Flying Doctors Service, food and drink stalls and entertainment for the kids.
Vintage cars from the 1920 era will also be on show and airshow aficionados arriving in private planes and camping underwing overnight.
Just like the original air race, this year's event will be looking to raise funds for returned servicemen and women.
Mr Hooke said the weather forecast was looking positive for the airshow.
"We can't have really windy weather because it can flip some of the old planes over but the 14-day forecast is looking pretty good for us," he said.
Should the wind get up, the Tiger Moths will be tied to the ground and won't fly but the airshow will go ahead with the modern aircraft.
Hosted by the East Loddon Historical Society under the banner 'Wings of Peace', the air race will be co-ordinated by Paul Bennet Airshows.
The Serpentine airfield is located six kilometres south of the town on the Bendigo Road (Loddon Valley Highway).
Gates open at 9am with the air race set to start at 11am.
Tickets are $35 for adults, $15 for children and $80 for a family.
To book online, go to serpentineairrace.com.au
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