Museum 2016-12-01T04:40:38+00:00

The Museum Of Australian Flying

The Museum Of Australian Army Flying was established in Oakey, Queensland back in the mid 1980’s. Then it was merely a back room at the Oakey Army Aviation Base, 3km from the Oakey township. In fact when it began it had no aircraft in its collection. It simply had half a dozen aircraft that were actually on the Oakey base, strategically parked nearby. The majority of these aircraft, a Cessna 180, A98-045, three Bell 47 Sioux, A1-568, -720 and -738, and an O1-G Bird Dog – Bunny II were ex 161 Recce Flt Vietnam aircraft. In the years following its inception, the museum gained valuable hangar space on loan from the Australian Army stationed at the Oakey base. This provided the museum with valuable storage and restoration space for its growing collection of Australian Army aircraft.

museum_logo copy

biplane copy

Brian Reardon

In early 1991, Brian Reardon took over as curator of the museum. His enthusiasm and can-do attitude steered the museum through its latter stages of development. Brian’s proudest moment was probably when the museum moved to its current purpose-built hangar facility in August 2005. Brian has been a wealth of information for the Broken Wings project. His knowledge and passion of the history of the base could only be matched by his unyielding desire to find one of the buried Spitfires. For years Brian has chased the dream of finding a Spitfire that he is convinced are buried somewhere not far from the base. Brian has been kind enough to help us in any way he can to help put the pieces of the puzzle together. We interviewed Brian extensively about the Spitfires and you’ll find short clips of our discussions with Brian on our Interviews page.

The Museum Today

The Museum’s collection of memorabilia from 161 Recce Flt, isn’t just limited to aircraft. It also includes displays of uniforms, photographs and memoirs of Army Aviation servicemen. There’s also many items, some of which date back to 1912 when Australian Army Aviation was then known as the Australian Flying Corps (AFC). The museum also features a history of the base when it was 6 Aircraft Depot, a Royal Australian Air Force base during World War II – the place where this entire project began. It therefore it seems fitting that should we be successful in finding a Spitfire somewhere on the Darling Downs, that it be donated to the museum for future generations. As Brian Reardon has told us on numerous occassions, there would be nothing better than seeing one example of each of the aircraft that flew out of Oakey during World War II. The Museum is some of the way there with a fully airworthy Boomerang recently added to their collection. The museum plays an important role in preserving the history of Army Aviation. Importantly that includes the history of 161 Recce Flt, whose members of the 161 Recce Assoc have worked tirelessly behind the scenes at the museum.

uniforms2 copy

The Aircraft Collection

From an aircraft perspective, the museum features 16 fixed and rotary wing aircraft, each of which played a significant role in the history of Australia’s army aviation heritage. The Museum’s Collection comprises:

Aircraft List 4

The collection also features in its collection, an Allison V–1710 Engine, a Rolls Royce Merlin Engine, the Spitfire A58–27 Project – a remarkable long-term project to build a Spitfire from scratch, following the original engineering drawings and a Vickers Machine Gun.

If you’re an aviation enthusiast or indeed are interested in one aspect of the history of the Darling Downs area, The Museum Of Australian Army Flying at Oakey is certainly worth a visit. More information is available on the Museum’s website at www.161recceflt.org.au/MAAF/homepage.htm


View Larger Map

Museum of Australian Army Flying
Army Airfield
Oakey Queensland 4401

Drive west from Toowoomba, through Oakey, to the Army Aviation Centre. Then follow signs to the Museum. Situated about 4 km from Oakey.