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Open Day at the Airways Museum

Home > Melbourne > Disabled Friendly | Exhibitions | Museums
by Neil Follett (subscribe)
I'm a retired photographer living in Lilydale mainly researching and writing on Australian aviation history. Now writing more on general subjects.
It happened 100 years ago, but relive it now
Eleven Thousand Miles to Australia.

On 10 December 1919, a Vickers Vimy aircraft flown by Captain Ross Smith landed in Darwin, completing the first flight from England to Australia. Captain Smith with his brother Keith and mechanics James Bennett and Wally Shiers had left England 28 days previously.

Vimy aircraft.
The Vickers Vimy aircraft.

The Airways Museum at Essendon Aerodrome, operated by the Civil Aviation Historical Society, is curating an exhibition to commemorate the event.

The poster advertising the event.

The exhibition will open on 24 November 2019 and will run until November 2020.

The opening day will feature two eminent speakers, Lainie Anderson and Michael Molkentin. Aviation films will be running throughout the day in the theatrette and free tea and coffee for visitors.

Lainie Anderson has been a weekly columnist with Adelaide's Sunday Mail since 2007 and previously worked at the Herald Sun in Melbourne and The Times in London. In 2017 she travelled to nine countries on a Churchill Fellowship to gauge the significance of the pioneering 1919 flight and the Vickers Vimy aircraft now housed at Adelaide Airport. Since returning from her fellowship, Lainie has published a novel on the 1919 Air Race, called Long Flight Home and told through the eyes of Vickers Vimy mechanic Wally Shiers

Michael Molkentin

Michael Molkentin is a teacher and historian with a particular interest in aviation and air power. He has a PhD in History from the University of New South Wales and in 2014 the Australian War Memorial awarded his doctoral research the Bryan Gandevia Prize for Military-Medical History. Michael's latest book Anzac and Aviator is the first book in fifty years to tell the story of Sir Ross Smith - one of Australia's greatest First World War aviators and winner of the 1919 England to Australia air race.

Sign above the entrance.

The Airways Museum is an aviation museum, but with one difference - there are no aircraft! Instead, the Museum houses a collection of national importance that traces the development of Australia's civil aviation airways system through innovation and technical development from its beginnings in the 1920s to today.

Flight service desk
C.A.H.S. President Roger Meyer explaining the role of a flight service officer.

The story is told through artefacts and photographs, and illustrates how Australia has often played a leading role internationally in aviation development.

DME dial
Roger demonstrating the workings of the DME (Distance Measuring Equipment.)

Tours of the Airways Museum are available on Tuesdays 9am-3pm and at other times by appointment. Groups are welcome and a meeting room is available. Entry is by gold coin donation for individuals, $4 per head for group tours (including tea/coffee & bikkies, and a guided tour).

Museum guide.
During a guided tour.

The Museum is located at Essendon Airport, Melbourne, Victoria, at the rear of Building 44. Enter via Edgar Johnston Lane. Melway Map Ref 16 C7.

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When: 24 November 2019
Phone: 9374-3905
Where: Essendon Aerodrome melways map: 16. C.7.
Cost: gold coin donation
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