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Listed under:  Technologies  >  Engineering  >  Aeronautics  >  Aircraft  >  Aeroplanes

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 ...


'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 ...


VH-UAU Cirrus Moth biplane, 1927

This is a single-engine VH-UAU Cirrus Moth biplane that was manufactured by de Havilland in England in 1927. It features tandem accommodation for a pilot and one passenger. Primarily a wooden structure with fabric covering, it is powered by a four-cylinder air-cooled ADC Cirrus II engine with a two-blade wooden propeller. ...


Transavia Airtruk light aeroplane, 1965

This is a Transavia PL-12 Airtruk single-engine agricultural biplane aircraft designed and built by the Transavia Corporation in Australia in 1965. The Airtruk is of all-metal construction with the cockpit mounted above a tractor engine and short pod fuselage with rear doors. It has twin tail booms with two unconnected ...


Model flying machine, 1889

This is a handcrafted monoplane model made by made by Lawrence Hargrave (1850-1915) at Rushcutters Bay, New South Wales, in 1889. It is constructed of wood, string and paper. The fuselage is a single piece of timber. Attached to the fuselage are rectangular wings in a V formation made up of a wooden frame covered with brown ...


Frigate Bird II before first Melbourne-Chile flight, c1951

This is the Frigate Bird II, a Catalina PB2B-2 twin-engined high-winged monoplane flying boat. Pilot Patrick Gordon 'Bill' Taylor and copilot Harry Purvis are pictured preparing the plane for the first flight from Melbourne to Chile in 1951. The registration letters 'VH-ASA' can be seen on the underside of the near wing ...


Model of the Bleriot XI Monoplane, 1924

This is a 1:16 scale model of a Bleriot XI monoplane. It was made by Harold P Wood in 1924 for Museum Victoria.


Apple II software game manual - 'A2-FS2 Flight Simulator II', 1983

This is the cover of a manual for an Apple II flight simulation game called 'A2-FS2 Flight Simulator II'. It shows a stylised seated figure hovering over a runway. In front of the figure is a suspended computer screen showing another runway and various instrument readings. In the background are snow-topped mountains. Text ...


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. ...


Airtourer Mark 1 aeroplane, 1959

This is a black-and-white photo and the prototype of a light touring aircraft, the Airtourer Mark 1, made in 1959 by the Ultra Light Aircraft Association of Australia to a design by H K Millicer. It is a two-seat single-engine cantilever low wing monoplane of wood and canvas construction with a perspex canopy. It was originally ...


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.


Bleriot XI monoplane, 1914

This is a wood, canvas and metal monoplane designed by Louis Bleriot (1872-1936). It is a shoulder-wing, single-seat aircraft and features a body of simple box-girder construction with diagonal wire-bracing and a bamboo tail skid. The wings are also simple with centre kingposts above and below for the bracing and warp wires. ...


Aircraft undercarriage from the 'Lady Southern Cross'

This is part of the starboard aircraft undercarriage from Charles Kingsford Smith's Lockheed Altair 'Lady Southern Cross'. There is a grey-painted metal assembly joining a wheel, complete with brake unit and tyre, to a shock absorber unit. The tyre is a Goodrich Silvertown brand. The wheel is painted silver. The undercarriage ...


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' ...

Moving Image

Clouds, thunderstorms and climate change

Fly into a massive thunderstorm with pilots and scientists as they study how global warming could affect storms. Learn how changes in ice clouds due to climate change could provide clues to future weather patterns. See scientists capture data on the beginning of an unusual cyclone. This excerpt is from a documentary on ...

Moving Image

How planes take off and fly

A modern jet aeroplane is big and heavy, so how does it fly? In this clip we explain how the wing shape helps a plane to take off and fly. Also see how a plane's jet engine works. Is it all a load of hot air?