Dr Vadim Chelom is a Veterinarian, a writer and an educator. You can read his blog at www.doctor-pets.com
Published November 17th 2011
I was looking for something to do one rainy Sunday afternoon when I stumbled upon the website of the Moorabbin Air Museum. Ah, I thought - this could be interesting. The website boasted 'the oldest volunteer aviation museum in Australia.' Was that the oldest museum or the oldest volunteers? Any way, it would have to do.
The museum is easy get to and the parking is free. On arrival - an unexpected surprise. As the museum shares the parking lot with the Morabbin airport, the kids spent half an hour just watching the aeroplanes take off and land - a bonus in any parent's books.
The museum is a dark, dilapidated, shed with the staff that look like they belong in the collection. The aeroplanes and other exhibits seem to be piled together in random clatter, which is actually quite endearing and adds to the overall feel of authenticity the place seems to exude.
On entry you are met by a giant Mirage fighter aircraft with its' pointy nose like a lance pointing to a spot somewhere above your head. I had fun explaining to my son that yes, in those early days of jet propulsion turbines the pilot sat literally on top of the engine with only a few centimeters separating the man from the super-heated torrent of gas. Sitting in the ejection seat of a fighter plane my son commented how uncomfortable it feels. I suggested he imagines what it would feel like while accelerating upwards at the force of 20G.
Other memorable exhibits included the earlier examples of Australian aviation as well as a selection of fighter aircraft from the Great War and later conflicts. It's a fun place for a curious pre-teen youngster but I wouldn't risk it with a toddler. Overall - a nice place to spend an afternoon.