Boasting an outstanding collection of aircraft that have played a role in the history of Australia is the Darwin Aviation Heritage Centre. It was established in 1976 when a group of aviation enthusiasts wanted to preserve relics following the destruction of Cyclone Tracy, with the current museum opening its doors to the public in 1990.
The Australian Aviation Heritage Centre is one of the most important aviation museums in Australia. It was built on the site where a fierce air combat took place during World War II when the Top End experienced more than 60 Japanese attacks. It is managed by members of the Aviation Historical Society and is today one of Darwin’s most popular attractions.
There’s an impressive range of Spitfires and Tiger Moth biplanes, most of which are in outstanding condition, as well as a Hovey Delta Bird, a de Havilland Dove and a Westland Wessex. The museum is not just about showcasing aircraft and aircraft engines but allowing the public to interact with them.
Step inside the museum’s Boeing B-52G bomber that is on permanent loan from the United States Air Force and touch a World War II bomb fragment left over from an air raid on Darwin. The B-52 is immense and towers above the surrounding aircraft, being one of only two on display anywhere in the world.
There are also special exhibits honoring Australia’s Royal Flying Doctors service, which accesses remote communities, and aircraft on display that were involved in the Vietnam War, together with an exhibit detailing the role women have played in Australia’s aviation history.