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Tag Archives: Australian aviation history

A DAY AT THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL AVIATION MUSEUM MOORABBIN

test-viscount

The story of Australian aviation goes back to people like Lawrence Hargrave, Ross and Keith Smith, Bert Hinkler, Charles Kingsford Smith, Nancy Bird-Walton, Hudson Fysh. Remarkable people who pioneered flight down under.

They were larger than life characters – and so were the aircraft they flew. Aircraft have flight characteristics and styles that, for pilots and lovers of aviation, add up to distinct personalities. And when their flying days are done, old aircraft become something like old story-tellers.

Stand under a wing, or better still, climb aboard one of these old planes, and you begin to feel its history, the stories of the people it carried and the journeys it made. The TAA Viscount pictured at the top of the page flew in Cuba before coming to Australia – it’s thought to have carried Fidel Castro in the late 1950s.

The Australian National Aviation Museum, at Moorabbin airport in Melbourne, is the perfect place to see some classic aircraft and soak up the rich history of aviation in Australia. It has a wonderful collection of commercial and military aircraft – you can get very close to all of them and inside some. There’s really good information with the displays, and the friendly crew here are genuinely knowledgeable aviation enthusiasts.

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Posted by on September 13, 2016 in rd on the road

 

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REMEMBERING FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND AVIATION PIONEERS

TOURISM HAS LONG BEEN THE FOUNDATION OF THE FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND ECONOMY. IT’S HARD TO IMAGINE HOW WE’D SURVIVE WITHOUT THE REVENUE AND JOBS IT CREATES.

These days most of our visitors arrive by air. Our tourism industry owes its existence to aeroplanes and the people who pioneered aviation in FNQ. Their story is eloquently told in a recent addition to the Cairns Airport domestic terminal – the Aviation Pioneers display.

It looks back to the days when the airport site was a mangrove swamp, and its earliest use as a landing ground. It tells the stories of the people, the companies and the aircraft that made safe air travel in FNQ possible.

CLICK ON THE AUDIO PLAYER TO HEAR KEVIN BROWN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF NORTH QUEENSLAND AIRPORTS TALK ABOUT THE PIONEERS DISPLAY.

QANTAS WAITING ROOM CAIRNS AIRPORT 1945

One of FNQ’s pioneering aviation companies was Bush Pilots Airways, founded by the late Sir Robert Norman in 1951. Bushies grew from a small operation to be a significant airline that developed new approaches to tourism in the region.

Bushies closed down in 1987, but its former staff are still in regular contact a quarter of a century later. They’re gathering in Cairns tomorrow for a re-union at which tall tales and true will be told.

CLICK ON THE AUDIO PLAYER TO HEAR EX-BUSHIES PILOT LYLE COOKE TALK ABOUT HIS TIME FLYING WITH BPA.

FORMER BUSHIES LYLE COOK & LIONEL DYER AT THE AVIATION PIONEERS DISPLAY CAIRNS AIRPORT DOMESTIC TERMINAL

CLICK ON THE AUDIO PLAYER TO HEAR FORMER BPA JACK OF ALL TRADES LIONEL DYER TALK ABOUT THE AIRLINE AND THE RE-UNION.

THE F-27 FOKKER FRIENDSHIP IN BPA COLOURS CAIRNS AIRPORT

RON ENTSCH & BUSHIES CREW WITH A DC-3 CAIRNS 1970s

CAIRNS AIRPORT CONTROL TOWER 1957

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2012 in Cairns Queensland, Cape York Peninsula, EFFINCUE, far north Queensland, tourism, transport & roads

 

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CAN YOU HELP TELL THE STORY OF MITCHELL AERIAL SERVICES

MITCHELL AERIAL SERVICES DE HAVILLAND DH 84 VH-AIA AT CAIRNS 1959

IN THE YEARS AFTER WORLD WAR TWO, AVIATION BECAME THE LIFE-BLOOD OF FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND. PILOTS AND PLANES KEPT REMOTE COMMUNITIES SUPPLIED AND HELPED PROVIDE MEDICAL CARE. AIR SERVICES COULD GET THROUGH WHEN THE WET CLOSED ROADS. LIFE IN FNQ WOULD HAVE BEEN MUCH HARDER WITHOUT THEM.

There are many memorable stories from those times, and I hope you can help dig up some more yarns.

In the early 50s, Neville Mitchell started a charter operation in Cairns called Mitchell Aerial Services.

NEVILLE MITCHELL'S BROTHER FRANK AT THE MAS BOOKING OFFICE

M-A-S flew all over FNQ until it was taken over by Bush Pilots AIrways (see https://rdontheroad.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/bush-pilots-airways-an-fnq-aviation-tourism-pioneer/)

Neville’s daughter Robyn and her husband Tony are putting together a family history. They’re keen to hear from anyone with Mitchell Aerial Services stories or memorabilia. Tony was an M-A-S pilot, and Robyn remembers growing up surrounded by a wonderful bunch of aviators. Click the audio player below to hear Robyn & Tony talk about Mitchell Aerial Services.

Can you help Robyn & Tony tell the story? Do you have a connection to Mitchell Aerial Services, a story, a photo? Leave a comment here or email me dinnen.richard@abc.net.au

 

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