Button shows blue text and a yellow biplane over a light blue and white background.
YANK JUNIOR AIRPLANE SERIES RELIANCE MFG CO CHICAGO ILL.
The Whittelsey Avian was a U.S. model of the Avro Avian plane manufactured in England. This button commemorates Australian pilot Bert Hinkler's solo flight from England to Australia in February 1928, the first ever completed. It set a record of 15 1/2 days for an England-Australia trip. Hinkler was a test pilot and also competed in air races. He was an alternate on Britain's Schneider Trophy team in 1925 and won numerous aviation-related awards.
A small piece of wood from one of Hinkler's hand-made gliders was given to U.S. astronaut Don Lind in 1986 in thanks for his contributing to the Hinkler Memorial Lectures in Bundaberg, Australia. Lind gave that piece to fellow astronaut Dick Scobee, who took it with him on the space shuttle Challenger on January 28, 1986. After the shuttle's explosion, the plastic bag containing the wood was found in the sea and returned to the Hinkler Memorial Museum.
This button is part of a larger set of 20 buttons, each with an illustration of a different airplane. They were originally given away by Yank Junior clothing with purchases.