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Aviation Heritage Museum History

Aviation Heritage Museum History
The Aviation Heritage Museum of Western Australia, the Bull Creek Collection, is owned and operated by the Western Australian Division of the RAAF Association. The beginnings of the museum date from early 1929 when the Association was formed.

The fist project the new association engaged in was to acquire the Kalgoorlie Biplane. It set about restoring the aircraft with the view of entering it in the Centenary of Perth parade that same year. The wings were too wide for the road so they were removed and placed next to the fuselage on the back of a truck for the parade. The aeroplane was donated to the WA Museum after the parade but unfortunately does not survive today. In 1959 a Mark 22 Spitfire was acquired by the Association and restored in order to serve as the centrepiece for its commemorative activities in front of its club house on Adelaide Terrace. A large library of aeroplane books and magazines was installed in the house also.

On December 1st 1962 the Association acquired a Lancaster bomber that serves as a reminder of the activities of its members who flew over Europe during World War II. In 1968 a museum construction fund was established.

During the 1960s and 70s the Association along with various private individuals collected a multitude of aviation heritage memorabilia including aircraft, aircraft parts, aircraft engines, books, photographs and artifacts. By 1971 the informal collection had grown to such a size that the Association began planning a museum to house it all. That same year the Aviation Historical Group was formed from members of the Association and other interested individuals. The group also consisted of private collectors and restorers of aircraft from all around Perth.

Also in 1971 the Association began developing its Memorial Estate at Bull Creek to provide a larger club house and retirement accommodation for its members in their later years. A piece of land near the entrance was set aside on the estate for an aviation museum. This place was chosen so visitors did not have to traverse the estate to visit the proposed Museum. In 1979 the Industry Committee of WAY 79 (a Western Australian government 150th anniversary funded group) donated $100,000 to the Association to construct a museum building and the South Wing was opened on the 17th November 1979.

The South Wing was sufficient to house most of the Museum's smaller aeroplanes. The Lancaster and the recently acquired Douglas Dakota were too large for the Wing. The Government of Western Australia again donated money to construct a new and larger building, the North Wing, to house the big aeroplanes. It was opened on the 17th of December 1983.

Since then further facilities have been added to the Museum including a walk way inside the North Wing, three demountables which house the book library, photographic library, the model aeroplane group and the accessioning offices. A workshop was built behind the South Wing after the old one was torn down to make way for the Mirage apartments by the Association. In 2011 the rocket launcher was installed in front of the North Wing and in 2013 the Vietnam Heritage Display and the new WAAAF and WRAAF displays were constructed.