The AHSNT was established in 1976 by a small group of enthusiasts who sought to preserve aviation relics salvaged after the destruction of Cyclone Tracy. The Society is a non profit organisation run by a committee elected by the membership and its main aims are to record, document, recover and preserve a collection of the Northern Territory’s aviation heritage and to display this collection to the public through the Society’s Australian Aviation Heritage Centre.
The original Museum, first opened to the public in 1988 was a pre World War II Navy victualling yard building leased from the NT Government and now used by the Society as a storage and restoration facility. In fact it still bears the scars of Japanese strafing in World War II, and is a Registered NT Heritage Place.
Negotiations were carried out for some time with the United States Air Force and the Northern Territory Government to obtain a Boeing B-52 bomber and to build a museum to house and display it along with the Society’s collection of aircraft and other artifacts. This was achieved in June 1990 when the new Darwin Aviation Museum was officially opened with a fully refurbished B-52G bomber on permanent loan from the USAF.
The Society and museum facility, the Australian Aviation Heritage Centre, are fully independent of other bodies. The museum is an accredited Northern Territory regional museum recognised by the Northern Territory Museums and Art Galleries Board. The Society provides assistance to like minded organisations and individuals in many areas, principally in research, education and promotion of historical tourism.
The Society has undertaken a variety of projects including the refurbishment of a de Havilland Dove, a CA-27 Sabre, a B-25 Mitchell bomber recovered from the Tanami Desert, the Construction of a replica Mk V111 Spitfire, and a range of displays exhibiting elements of the Territory’s aviation history. A Mirage 111O (A) was refurbished voluntarily by members of No. 75 Squadron at RAAF Tindal Air Base.
Recent projects undertaken by the Society include the relocation of the historically significant RAAF Darwin water tower/ control tower from the base to the Aviation Heritage Centre and the aquisition of the F-111C and the Auster and Nomad aircraft and also a Bell 47 helicopter for restoration and display.
Any donations of suitable memorabilia will be gratefully accepted for preservation and possible display with the donors being officially acknowledged.
Benefits of being a member include free entry to the Museum, and discounts on items bought in the shop. Some previous projects at the Workshop worked on by members can be viewed here. The Membership form below can be downloaded and printed: