Civil Aviation Historical Society Inc.

The Civil Aviation Historical Society Inc has been in operation for 25 years. Its aim is to preserve and record Australian civil aviation history, particularly that of the Department of Civil aviation, its predecessors and successors. The Society operates an archive of documents, photographs and films, dating back to the 1920s. It also manages, on behalf of Airservices Australia, the Airways Museum. This is a collection of old air traffic control equipment, including operator consoles, radio communications equipment, radio navigation beacons, and airport lighting. This includes several important examples of Australian innovations and inventions. The collection comprises some 900 items, and dates back to the late 1930s. The Society is based at Essendon Airport, Victoria, in the basement of a 1942 ANA workshop. Full details are available on our website.


This collection is unusual as an aviation museum, as it contains no aircraft. Instead, visitors will learn about the evolution of Australia's air traffic control system from 1938 until the present. Impressive 1930 high- frequency transmitters made by Marconi and AWA show the advanced technology of the era. See Distance Measuring Equipment, an Australian innovation of the 1950s, which was used for over 40 years. See too the Flight Progress Board, fine for tacking the progress of propeller-driven aircraft, but inadequate in the jet era. Then there are multi-channel tape recorders for logging conversations, and the very latest in computer-driven consoles which automatically track an aircraft's progress. If all this is too tiring, we have films made in 1950 showing the aviation era of that time. A conducted tour lasts about one hour. HOWEVER, due to its technical nature, the museum is not suitable for children. Instead, bring them to our annual Open Day in November or to one of our Friday evening film shows, commencing at 7.30pm