Flying Doctor Plane at the Museum.
Partially restored DC3 in the hangar.
The Central Australian Aviation Museum was opened in 1979 and is operated and maintained by the CAAM committee.
The museum is housed in the historic Connellan Airways hangar at Araluen, the original 'town aerodrome', adjacent
to the then home of pioneer aviator Eddie 'E.J.'. Connellan. (See Story E.J. Connellan)|
The hangar was brought to Alice Springs in a prefabricated state from Sydney in 1939 and erected by Connellan and his staff as a headquarters for the operation of mail and medical flights throughout the Territory. The Araluen, or 'town aerodrome' as it was known, operated almost exclusively for mail, goods and medical purposes. All passenger flights operated from the ''nine mile aerodrome' south of town near the present airport.
The first flight out of the town aerodrome was in July 1939 when Eddie Connellan flew the 2,000 mile mail run to Wyndham in north-east Western Australia. The original airstrips ran north and south along Memorial Avenue, and east and west along Van Senden Avenue, In 1968 the facility was closed to allow for the expansion of the Gillen housing subdivision and operations moved to the existing airport.
The hangar, which was in disrepair, was restored by the committee in the late 70's at a cost of around $25,000 ($15,000 of which was provided by the Northern Territory government). Additional income its being spent on ongoing restoration and improvements to the museum. The nearby ' Kookaburra Diorama' was opened in 1982 and the Dove, twin engined monoplane was mounted on its pedestal outside the museum in 1983.
The museum traces the history of aviation in Central Australia and the Northern Territory since the first De Havilland DH6 landed here in October 1921. Displays include a Royal Flying Doctor Service Drover Aircraft, a Wackett trainer aircraft, a Dove twin engine aircraft, a DC3, an Australian built Kookaburra glider, a Derwent jet engine, a Rolls Royce Merlin engine, numerous aviation relics from various sources, historic photographs and memorabilia, an original Traeger Pedal Radio used by the Royal Flying Doctor Service, transceivers and many other items of interest.
The Kookaburra Diorama explains the tragic history of the ill-fated flight of Hitchcock and Anderson who perished in the desert in 1929 while searching for Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith and Charles Ulm, who were reported overdue and later found stranded with engine failure. A video show explains the circumstances of the tragedy and the diorama contains the remains of the Westland Widgeon aircraft near which the two aviators perished. It was retrieved in 1978 and donated to the museum.
A small admission fee is charged for entry to this interesting museum which is open daily from 10.00am until 5pm and closed Christmas day and Good Friday.
Adults $7.00 Children/Concession $4.00
Entry included in an Alice Springs Cultural Precinct pass.
Enquiries on Ph: 8951 1120.
Other features in the Cultural Precinct.
A precinct pass costs $7 adults, $4 concession, and $18 family.
Enquiries: 8951 1122
|© Copyright Peter W. Wilkins 2006|