South Australian Aviation Museum

February 9, 2009 by  
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Port Adelaide, South Australia

The South Australian Aviation Museum began in 1984 inside a small garage behind a hotel in Glenelg. Two years later, the museum moved to the former SA Lion Flourmill in Port Adelaide. As the South Australian Aviation Museum grew, larger quarters were required and it closed temporarily in 2005 in preparation for relocating to its current home at the aviation complex on Lipson Street.

Aircraft on display inside the museum’s hangar include the Avro Anson, the Douglas C-47B Dakota, the Supermarine Spitfire MKVC, and the classic open cockpit biplane de Havilland Moth. Located around the hangar are numerous floor displays featuring notable aviators such as Amy Johnson, the first woman to fly solo to Australia which she did from Britain in her Gypsy Moth. Other displays include information on Australian pilot Jon Johanson who holds the world’s record for several aviation achievements involving speed and distance.

The South Australian Aviation Museum also has aircraft engines on display. Among them, see a 6-cylinder 340 HP de Havilland Gipsy Queen engine or the Rolls Royce Merlin MK III engine. The Merlin engine is the type used to power the Hurricane, Spitfire, and other famous aircraft during World War II.

Visitors to the Museum can watch restoration work being performed on a Fairey Battle World War II training aircraft, the only one located in Australia and one of only four in the world. Another restoration project in progress is the twin-engine 1956 Aero Commander. See these planes come alive again as technicians and historical experts restore them piece by piece.

Unique to the Museum is a rocket collection on loan from the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation. It represents more than 30 years of rocket history in South Australia beginning from 1950. Be sure to check with the museum for special events held throughout the year.

The Museum is located on Lipson Street in Port Adelaide. Visit their Web site at http://www.saam.org.au/, and be sure to tell them you learned about SAAM on airplanes.com!

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