Aviation Museum of Central Australia

The Aviation Museum of Central Australia, the Strehlow Research Centre and the Araluen Art Centre all lie within the Alice Springs Cultural Precinct, where a single entrance fee allows you to enter each of these attractions. The Aviation Museum houses a collection of aircraft and memorabilia associated with aviation in the Northern Territory, from the pioneering day to the present.

The historic hangar in which the museum is housed was purchased in pre-fabricated form from the Sydney Williams Company in 1939 by prominent local aviation figure Eddy Connellan. It was constructed at the town Aerodrome in Alice Springs by the staff of Connellan Airways, and various extensions were added prior to the Aerodrome's closing in 1968. In 1979 the Central Australian Aviation Museum Society extensively restored the building with funds from the Northern Territory Government.

Location: Memorial Avenue, Alice Springs. Ph (08) 8951 5532.

The Kookaburra Memorial

Beside the museum is a memorial dedicated to the memory of Keith Anderson and Bob Hitchcock who made a forced landing in the Tanami Desert in their aircraft named the "Kookaburra", on 10th April 1929 while on their way to search for Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm. Keith Anderson and Bob Hitchcock perished in the desert, while Kingsford Smith and Ulm were rescued.

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Anderson and Hitchcock took off from Alice Springs on 10 April 1929 in the Kookaburra to search for Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith and Charles Ulm who had gone missing along the remote north west Australian coast when their aircraft Southern Cross made a forced beach landing. Mechanical problems with the Kookaburra forced Anderson and Hitchcock to land in the inhospitable Tanami Desert north west of Alice Springs and, being unable to clear a suitable make-shift runway, perished in the desert. Their bodies were recovered a two weeks later after an extensive aerial and land search.

Wreckage of the Kookaburra was relocated in 1978 after a number of searches over subsequent decades. A small memorial museum and plaque commemorate the 50th anniversary of their loss. The Museum includes a display of the wreckage representing the scene at the time of the Kookaburra's recovery.

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