Aviation Heritage Museum

GPS 30 02 56.48 S 115 51 32.48 E






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Perth's Aviation Heritage Museum in Bull Creek is the largest collection of its type in Australia and attracts over 20,000 visitors a year.


Dominating the collection is the huge Avro Lancaster bomber. 'Lucky Lancs' were popular among Allied bomber crews during World War II as they were reliable and could sustain considerable damage and still keep flying.


Although the bomber may look large on the outside, once you enter the aeroplane you find it hard to believe that bomber crews had to fend off German fighters, dodge flak and deliver a load of bombs while working in such a cramped and uncomfortable space.


The Lancaster probably became most famous after the success of the 'Dam Buster' squadron (R.A.F. 617 Squadron) with the raids on Rhur dams in Germany.


The Lancaster may be the largest aeroplane in the collection but it is just one of 30 aircraft on exhibition. One war plane with special significance to Perth is the PBY-5a Catalina flying boat.


During the war Catalinas were a common sight on the Swan River as they operated from a base at Crawley Bay. Apparently after the war four intact fully serviceable Catalinas from a squadron known as the Black Cats, were flown from their base at Crawley to a location south of Rottnest where they were scuttled. A very sad end to some of these rather graceful looking aeroplanes.


Catalina landing on the Swan River (S.L.W.A.)


One aeroplane that was saved post-war destruction was the museum's Douglas Dakota.


This particular aircraft was earmarked for target practice but a forward thinking member of the R.A.A.F. wanted it preserved. His action seems to have annoyed the wrong people as word is that he was court-martialed over the incident but the Dakota was saved from an ignominious fate.


Many people will recognise this aircraft as a DC-3 but that is actually used for civilian versions. The museums model is a C-47B.


The museum's website contains detailed information about their collection and if you are looking for technical and historic details then check it out. There is also information about fees and facilities at the museum and a history of how the museum got started.


Opening times are 10am to 4pm daily except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Good Friday and New Year's Day.


Aviation Heritage Museum Lace Panel


New exhibits are constantly being added to the museum and two attractions that are in development are the Vietnam exhibit that will feature the iconic Huey helicopter and a static flight simulator that is also being prepared as one of the many interactive displays.


Two exhibits that are popular with kids are the R-22 helicopter and the Sugar Bird Lady. Children can sit in these machines under the guidance of museum staff.


Adult's favourites include a Supermarine Spitfire and of course the majestic Lancaster.


There is a lot more to the museum than just the aeroplanes. You can see badges, insignias and uniforms including three from the German Luftwaffe.


An air traffic controller's station complete with video and audio display lets you see into the world of ground staff who are responsible for ensuring the safe passage of aircraft through busy airspace.


Hidden away from the main displays is one of the real treasures of the museum. Ask to see the Commemorative Lace Panel and you will be taken to a separate building where a huge piece of lace is mounted behind glass. This item commemorates the Battle of Britain and intricate designs (taken from wartime photographs) show various aspects of the air war. It was produced by Nottingham lace makers Dobsons and M. Browne and Co. Ltd. There are just 31 of these lace panels known to exist world wide and Western Australia is very fortunate to have one available for display.


If you would like to help the museum you can become a volunteer, make a donation, help by supplying needed products and services, become a friend of the museum, get your kids (aged between 8 and 18) to join the Aviation Youth Club or just visit the museum. The fees charged for entry are very reasonable and they are the primary source of funding that keep the operation going.


If you are interested in aircraft then we suggest you set aside at least 2 hours to see the exhibits properly. An on-site gift shop has model aircraft, books and memorabilia for sale.


The museum's staff are friendly and very helpful and have a great deal of information to pass on to anyone who is interested in learning more about Australia's aviation history.


Located just off Leach Highway on Bull Creek Drive, the museum is very easy to find. If you haven't visited at all or haven't been for a while, then our advice is to get down there and see what is on display. We are very lucky to have such a fine collection in Western Australia and we urge everyone to visit soon.



Aviation Heritage Museum'


Aviation Heritage Museum'


Aviation Heritage Museum'


Aviation Heritage Museum'


Aviation Heritage Museum'


Aviation Heritage Museum'


Aviation Heritage Museum'








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