Take to the Sky

This video offers a colourful, entertaining yet informative account of the first decades of aviation invention, up to the First World War. It places the narrative of a pioneering Australian scientist, Lawrence Hargrave, in the international context which he sought in his own lifetime.

This video relies on new research into the influence of Hargrave on early French flights – in particular, the French Brazilian Alberto Santos-Dumont, and his collaborator Gabriel Voison. This story, of the Australian contribution to flight in Europe, has never been told clearly or fully. The video also consolidates knowledge about the influence of Hargrave on the Wright Brothers.

The video  captures the personal drama, sacrifice and values, especially as Hargrave and his colleague faced up to the use of their invention in the First World War.

The work of Hargrave is finally getting the recognition it deserves in Australia and internationally. There is bi-partisan support at all levels of government in Australia for Hargrave to be honored through the naming of the new second Sydney airport, at Badgerys Creek, Western Sydney. It is anticipated either the full airport or its international section could be so named. There is also considerable support in the Australian community generally for such a proposal.

Keynote speakers include Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and Peter Fitzsimons, both prominent Australian journalists and writers. As a science writer, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki makes an invaluable contribution to this video.

The work is fast paced, and rich with archival imagery and film, re-enactments, interviews and effects.
Dr.John Schuster is one of several key experts also contributing to this work.

45m full length documentary (2014/15). Writer/producer/director. Lawrence Hargrave and history of early international flight. Local preview screenings including Wollongong Science Centre. Final edit.  Supported by Lawrence Hargrave Centre and IMB Wollongong.