Connecting the Nation: Australia’s Aviation Heritage

The Connecting the Nation: Australia’s Aviation Heritage report was compiled in 2015 to document the research undertaken throughout the duration of the project. This combined report includes: the scoping for this study of aviation heritage in Australia; a thematic analysis linked to collections, archives, people and places; key milestones and project outcomes; survey data regarding aviation heritage collections; and a discussion of the cultural significance and values of Australia’s aviation heritage. Prepared for Airservices Australia, this report is now available for the wider public to view.

Please cite as: Ireland, T., Ashton, P., Hawcroft, R., Rahim, H. A., Wain, A., White, J., Whitelaw, M., 2015, Connecting the Nation, Australia’s Aviation Heritage, Final Report prepared for Airservices Australia.


Peter Hobbins - Anti-G suits and airpower in World War II in N. Townsend, K. Pandey and J. Pendlebury (eds) Australian Reflections of Global Air Power: Past, Present, Future. Routledge, London.


AUSTRALIA ICOMOS - Air Memories: New perspectives on Aviation Heritage. Historic Environment Vol 32 No 3, 2020.

Tracy Ireland, Ashley Harrison and Sally Brockwell - Materialities, mobilities and multiple modernities: Exploring new approaches to Australia’s ‘heritage of the air’. Historic Environment, Vol 32 No 3, pp. 14-31.

Fiona Shanahan - Flying by the seat of their pants: Remembering the Northern Territory’s ultralight aircraft history through restoration. Historic Environment, Vol 32 No 3, pp. 88-100.

Prudence Black - The future is disturbing our present: The ecopolitics of aviation. Historic Environment, Vol 32 No 3, pp. 112-123.

Fiona Shanahan (Accepted - publication 2022) - Flying Blind: Bush Piloting in Australia’s Northern Territory and Papua New Guinea. Northern Territory Historical Studies.

Peter Hobbins - Emulating the “pucker factor”: faith, fidelity and flight simulation in Australia, 1936–58. Journal of Transport History, pp. 1-24.

Peter hobbins - The elusive A63: the Link Celestial Navigation Trainer in RAAF service. Aviation Heritage.

Peter Hobbins - Why did he fly? Traces.


Paul Ashton and Tracy Ireland - in press 2021 Amazing Flights: A Century of Flying in Australia Halstead Press.

Fiona Shanahan (2021) - Flying Below the Radar: Civil Aviation Heritage in Australia’s Northern Territory. Public History Review 28, pp. 22-40.

Fiona Shanahan (2021) - On a Wing and a Prayer: Displaying the History of the Northern Territory’s Flying Padres. Northern Territory Historical Studies 32.

Australia Post (assisted by Phil Vabre) in press Celebrating the Astonishing Feats of Australian Civil Aviation 1894-2020.


Tracy Ireland, Peter Hobbins and Prudence Black (22 April 2020) Home away from home: Reflecting on past airline collapses in Australia Accessed 28 May 2020. The Conversation.

Peter Hobbins (2020) - Trenches, trees and tributes: Air war heritage in a suburban park. Traces (12): 20–22.

Peter Hobbins - Empire of the air: the dawn of international aviation in Australia, National Archives of Australia, 2 July 2020.

Peter Hobbins - Flying the “Bath-fire”: Britain’s erratic experiment with anti-G suits, The Aviation Historian no. 32 (2020): 92–100.

Peter Hobbins - Finding details in aircraft disasters: a crash course in history, Traces no. 11 (2020), 19–21.

Jane Ferguson - Hijacking Area Studies: Ethnographic approaches to Southeast Asian Airlines. SUVANNABHUMI, Volume 12, No 2, July 2020, pages 225-244.

Peter Hobbins - The Empire Has an Answer: the Empire Air Training Scheme as Reported in the Australian Press. By Tony James Brady (book review), The Aviation Historian no. 31 (2020): 118–19.

Peter Hobbins - Engineering the fighter pilot: aviators, anti-G suits and Allied air power, 1940–53, Journal of Military History 84, No. 1 (2020): 115–49.

Peter Hobbins - Anzac & Aviator. By Michael Molkentin (book review), The Aviation Historian no. 30 (2020): 117–18.

Fiona Shanahan Film (2020) - Skycraft Scout at the Darwin Aviation Museum. Aviation Historical Society of Northern Territory, Archivist.

Fiona Shanahan Film (2020) - Coomalie: A Short Film. Documentary, Historical Consultant.

Fiona Shanahan (2020) featured in ABC news article: Learning to fly in Australia is easier and cheaper than you might think, recreational pilots say.

Fiona Shanahan (2020) - Flying By the Seat of their Pants: Remembering the Northern Territory’s Ultralight Aircraft History through Restoration. Historic Environment 32(3).

Phil Vabre (2020) From flying to spying. The Aviation Historian (30 and 31).

Phil Vabre 2020 - Bombs on Australia: Aeradio in the bombing of Darwin, 19 February 1942 Aviation Heritage, Vol 51, No 3, September.


Prudence Black (2019) - Clearing country and opening the skies: Indigenous workers in the aviation industry. Journal of European Association for Studies of Australia 10(2): 49-57.

Jane Ferguson (2019) - Spitfires sprouting in the Burmese Spring: The real-life quest for historic fantasy Aircraft in contemporary Myanmar. Trans-Regional and -National Studies of Southeast Asia: 1–12.

Jane Ferguson and A. Ayuttacorn (2019) - Air male: Exploring flight attendant masculinities in North America and Thailand. The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology.

Peter Hobbins (2019) - Tragedy at Mascot: Sydney’s forgotten aviation disaster. History 141:18–22.

Peter Hobbins - Unearthing airspace: the historical phenomenology of aviation artefacts, Australasian Historical Archaeology 37 (2019): 43–55.

Peter Hobbins and E. Roberts-Pedersen (2019) Accident conscious: Accounting for flying accidents in the Royal Australian Air Force during the Second World War. War in History Online First:1–27.

Peter Hobbins and E. Roberts-Pedersen (2019) An accident of history? Aviation Safety Spotlight (1):22–27.

Brett Holman (2019) - The militarisation of aerial theatre: air displays and airmindedness in Britain and Australia between the World Wars. Contemporary British History, Volume 33, Issue 4, 2019, pages 483-506.

Brett Holman (2019) Honest History of Sir Ross Smith’s memoir of the 1919 Vimy flight from Britain to Australia.

Brett Holman and Tim Sherratt (7 November 2019) HeritageoftheAir/hota-time.

Fiona Shanahan (2019) - The Barefoot Pilot. Sports Pilot 3:43-48.

Fiona Shanahan Film (2019) - The Sweet Little Note of the Engine. Documentary aired on Channel 9, Historical Consultant.

Fiona Shanahan (2019) - Min Scout in A Year of Aviation Illustration & Art..


Jane Ferguson - Flight school for the spirit of Myanmar aerial nationalism and Burmese-Japanese cinematic collaboration in the 1930s. South East Asian Research, Volume 26, Issue 3, October 2018, pages 268-282.

Peter Hobbins - Investigating the social history of aircraft accidents. History 136, June 2018, pp. 3–7.

Tracy Ireland - The Heritage of the Air Research Project. INSITE Magazine. May-July 2018, p. 11. Museum of Victoria, Melbourne (accessed 1 June 2018).

Fiona Shanahan (2018) Meaningful remembrance at Coomalie Airbase. Signals 24:33-37. National Maritime Museum, Sydney.

Fiona Shanahan (2018) Zen and the art of aircraft maintenance in Airplay.


Jennifer Wilson (2015)- Ulm’s trans-Pacific airline. The People and Environment Blog, National Museum of Australia.

Jennifer Wilson (2015)- Charles Ulm pilots ‘Faith in Australia’: Wakefield Oil and airmail. The People and Environment Blog, National Museum of Australia.

Jennifer Wilson (2015)- ‘Southern Cross’ lands in Canberra: aerial politics. The People and Environment Blog, National Museum of Australia.

Jennifer Wilson (2015)- ‘Southern Cross’ arrives in Brisbane: the nation celebrates. The People and Environment Blog, National Museum of Australia.

Jennifer Wilson (2015)- ‘Southern Cross’ lands in Honolulu: Crossing the Pacific. The People and Environment Blog, National Museum of Australia.


Jennifer Wilson (2014)- Getting the flying kangaroo off the ground. The People and Environment Blog, National Museum of Australia.

Jennifer Wilson (2014)- ‘Par avion’ – French for ‘by airmail’. The People and Environment Blog, National Museum of Australia.