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Listed under:  Technologies  >  Engineering  >  Aeronautics

Boy's diagram of a rocket ship, 1957

This is a hand-drawn diagram of a rocket ship by young Denis Cox, sent in October 1957 to 'A top scientist at Woomera Rocket Range, South Australia'. It links to an online showcase called 'Find of the Month' via an educational resource page in the National Archives Virtual Reading Room (VRROOM). The 'Find of the Month' ...


Refuelling an aeroplane at Tullamarine Airport, 1971

This is a colour image of a tarmac crew refuelling a Boeing 747B aeroplane at the Qantas terminal, Tullamarine Airport, Melbourne. The fuel is being transferred from an Esso refuelling truck. At the same time, a large container bearing the Qantas logo of the time is about to be loaded into the hold of the plane, where two ...


Family reunited at Essendon Airport, 1948

This is a black-and-white photograph of Marjorie, Bill and Suzanne Cruttenden being met by Dorcas Brown, Marjorie's mother, at Essendon Airport in December 1948. The image is a digital scan of the original photograph.


Duigan biplane, 1910

This is a photograph of John Robertson Duigan at the controls of the aeroplane he designed and built in 1909-10. The plane appears to be on top of a hill in a rural area. Duigan is holding a control and looking away from the camera. Some struts and parts of the wings are visible. At the rear of the plane is a large propeller. ...


Letter to Leading Aircraftman Howard Kellehear from Nell, 22 Jan 1942

This is a two-page letter, handwritten on lined off-white paper, with considerable losses from insect activity. The paper has browned and significant staining is also evident. It measures 24.7 cm long x 19.6 cm wide.


'Southern Cross' above Sydney Harbour Bridge, 1931

This is a 1931 gelatin silver-toned composite photograph measuring 32 cm x 25.5 cm, produced by Hall and Co. It shows Charles Kingsford Smith's monoplane, the 'Southern Cross', flying over the partially constructed Sydney Harbour Bridge, escorted by a biplane. The view is from the north-west, probably McMahons Point, and ...


Aviator William Ewart Hart's biplane, 1911

This is a 23.4 cm x 38.8 cm sepia-toned photograph of the homemade biplane of one of Australia's first aviators, William Ewart Hart (1885-1943), after its 1911 landing on the Sydney Showground, New South Wales. A crowd has gathered around the aircraft, obscuring Hart from view.


Britain wins Schneider Cup, 1927

This is an excerpt from 'Flying', a black-and-white silent documentary about the history of flight, made in about 1927. This excerpt features the response to Britain winning the Schneider Cup, a seaplane race, in Italy on 26 September 1927. The first sequence shows the eight British planes in the winning team flying in ...


The Big Boomerang, 1962: Qantas goes international

This clip shows a series of black-and-white still images and film footage that trace the history of Qantas aircraft and services from 1922 to 1938. The voice-over refers to the construction and operation of the DH50 aircraft from 1926 onwards and the role Qantas played in carrying mail to areas within Australia from 1922 ...


Andy Thomas describes his first flight into space, 2008

This is an edited sound recording of Australian astronaut Andy Thomas talking about his first flight into space in May 1996. Thomas describes the experience of taking off aboard the US space shuttle Endeavour, and how he was able to look down from space on the city of his birth, Adelaide, at night. He also describes how ...


Andy Thomas discusses recreation on Mir, 2008

This is an edited sound recording of Australian astronaut and cosmonaut Andy Thomas describing the recreational challenges of living for almost five months aboard the Russian space station Mir in 1998. The recording was made in August 2008.


Andy Thomas describes being a cosmonaut, 2008

This is an edited sound recording of Australian astronaut Andy Thomas describing how he prepared to spend almost five months as a cosmonaut in 1998 aboard the Russian space station Mir, in company with two Russians. He also talks about conversational difficulties aboard the space station. The recording was made in August 2008.


These American Tourists Leave Melbourne After Breakfast, c1926: Aircraft workshop

This silent black-and-white clip shows home-movie footage of DH50A biplanes being built by Qantas airlines in Longreach, Queensland, and US tourists embarking on a flight. In the first scene a series of pan shots and dissolves reveals a hangar where men make timber parts such as wing frames and assemble the aircraft. A ...


Aboriginal guides in the Thornycroft expedition, 1929

This is a black-and-white photograph showing four Aboriginal stockmen standing in front of a small plane in the Tanami Desert in the Northern Territory in May 1929. Two have a hand on the single propeller of the plane, which was named Kookaburra. The four, identified as Bob, Tommy, Hughie and Jack, are guides who had joined ...


Flying in Australia

This collection of digital curriculum resources focuses on the history of flying in Australia as a means of travel, exploration, recreation, adventure and as a cause of death. It is organised into six categories - first flights in Australia; female pilots; importance of the Moth planes; seaplanes; Qantas; and the Flying ...


Australian air squadron

This excerpt from a silent documentary made in 1916, entitled 'World War I: Australian Troops in the Middle East and France', depicts several biplanes, probably Sopwith Camels, being readied for take-off on a small airstrip.


The 'Southern Cross' reaches Sydney, 1928

This is a black-and-white photograph of the 'Southern Cross' biplane arriving in Sydney and being greeted by reporters and photographers and a large contingent of police after the record-breaking flight of Charles Kingsford Smith and his crew across the Pacific. Signed portraits of the crew are superimposed upon the photograph, ...


Compass from the 'Kookaburra', 1929

This is a colour photograph of the compass from the ill-fated plane 'Kookaburra', which took part in the search for the 'Southern Cross' and its crew in April 1929. Both crew of the 'Kookaburra' died after a forced landing in the Tanami Desert in the Northern Territory. The metal compass is approximately 10.7 cm wide.


'Nancy Bird Walton with her plane, Gypsy Moth, 1935'

This is a black-and-white close-up photograph (9.5 cm x 11.8 cm) showing the famous Australian pilot Nancy Bird (1915-) leaning against the open cockpit of her de Havilland biplane.


Wright brothers flying their 'Model A' plane, 1908

This is an excerpt from 'Flying', a black-and-white silent documentary about the history of flight, made in about 1927. The excerpt features the famous US pioneer aviators Wilbur and Orville Wright. The opening sequence shows the brothers' 'Model A' aeroplane at the Le Mans racing track in France in 1908, surrounded by ...