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.