NT News



One hundred years ago, on October 5, the first aircraft, a tiny DH4 bi-plane, landed on a hastily cleared dirt strip in Alice Springs. It had come from Melbourne. It was the first ever flight to the Outback capital.

The whole town turned out to behold this amazing spectacle and marveled at the courage of the three men who achieved this history-making feat. For these fearless adventurer­s it may just have been another notch on their belts. Little did they know they were the catalyst for change that would transform the social and economic fabric of this outback town and Australia’s vast interior.

The pilot, Frank Briggs, aged 24, really started something Put Saturday 2 – Tuesday 5 October 2021 in your diary now as the Central Australian Aviation Museum on Memorial Avenue, Alice Springs, will be hosting centenary celebratio­ns to mark the first landing, a flight that was the forerunner of commercial and civil aviation in Central Australia.

The Museum’s volunteer committee has been extremely busy adding to and updating exhibits of all kinds and filling the space with stories that make a Biggles adventure sound tame. Festivitie­s include:

• Daily guided Museum tours

• Sunday 3rd: Classic aviation movie ‘Smithy’ showing at 2pm at Araluen

• Tuesday 5th - Outdoor free community event featuring first arrival re-enactment, past aviators sharing Not-So-Tall-Tales, a book launch, paper planes fly-off competitio­n. No tickets required – Food stalls. BYO. Chairs provided.

• Saturday 2nd: Landing Reception (by invitation) at the historic Araluen Homestead.

Thanks to all the generous supporters of the various events and museum projects. Connellan Airways Trust; Nutrien Harcourts; Alice Springs Town Council; Robyn Lambley MLA; Alice Springs Airport; Bendigo Bank, Tourism Central Australia, Chamber of Commerce Josh Burgoyne MLA; Royal Flying Doctor Service; Rotary Henley on Todd Inc and NT Government, Heritage Grants. Thanks also to the in-kind support from many supporters, in particular Rotary.

The Museum, founded with support from the NT Government in 1979, celebrates the spirit, effort, and courage of the people who trail blazed aviation in the centre of Australia.

Since opening in 1977, it has steadily added to its collection of aircraft, engines, radio and aviation hardware and displays of historical photograph­s, papers and film. Details: Facebook or/& https:// centralaus­tralianavi­ationmuseu­m. org.au

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Central Australian Aviation Museum exhibits
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Historic flight route

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