In 1928 a three-engined Fokker monoplane named the Southern Cross made the first crossing of the Tasman from Australia to New Zealand, to a rapturous reception. The pilot, Charles Kingsford Smith (right foreground), co-pilot Charles Ulm (third from left) and crew became celebrities. They are pictured after their arrival at Christchurch. The first crossing of the Tasman Sea from Sydney to Christchurch took 14 hours and 25 minutes, while the return flight from Blenheim to Sydney took 22 hours and 51 minutes. Today the flight takes about 3 hours.
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