South Australian Aviation Museum

South Australian Aviation Museum
16 Bedford Street, Port Adelaide 5015
PO Box 150, Port Adelaide 5015
South Australian Aviation Museum Foundation
PO Box 150 Port Adelaide 5015
The South Australian Aviation Museum Foundation was established in 2022. It is incorporated as a public ancillary fund trust and is endorsed as a deductible gift recipient so all donations to it are 100% tax deductible. Our objective in forming the Foundation is to establish it as a prudently managed and safely invested capital base to enable us to anticipate and provide for the major longer-term funding needs of the Museum. This is vital if the Museum is to maintain its inspirational community role of telling the South Australian Aviation story for future generations. For more information about the Foundation's structure, mission, vision and goals, and how to donate, click here to go to the Foundation's website.


SAAM is a volunteer organization with no paid staff. All volunteers are required to be members of SAAM. All members will go through both an acceptance and an induction process before commencing work at SAAM. This includes a police clearance and/or a working with children clearance.

If you have an interest in aviation and would like to help, then SAAM might be the place for you. You might choose to work on the desk greeting visitors or be trained as a tour guide. You might work behind the scenes in the library, cataloguing donated books or digitising photographs. Maybe you could join the curator or display teams or maintenance and landscaping. If you have a background in aircraft maintenance and engineering, you might find a place in our workshop restoring aircraft or associated aviation equipment.

For more information on SAAM membership, click here.
For a copy of the Membership Application Form, click here.

SAAM accepts donations of items that relate to Australian Aviation History generally, but our focus is on collecting, preserving and displaying items that relate to South Australian Aviation History specifically, subject to our collections policy. Like all museums and libraries, we have to limit the amount of these items we can keep in storage. If you have items you would like to donate, please read our donations guide, or call us on 08 82401230 (between 10am and 4pm).

If you are in the position to help us financially, you can donate directly to SAAM at our front desk. If you would like your donation to be tax-deductable, you can donate to our not-for-profit foundation. For more information on the SAAM Foundation, click here to go to the website.

Our Main Hangar

Our main hangar is a World War II PENTAD aircraft hangar. It is a 1943 design exclusive to the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm. It differs from conventional aircraft hangars in that it has sloping walls at an angle of eight degrees. This was done to deflect the gale force winds often encountered at some Fleet Air Arm airfields. An interesting aspect of its construction is that most of the frame sections are in six-foot lengths. This made shipping and assembly a much simpler task. The hangar originally went to Darwin in WWII and was used to house Spitfires in the defence of Darwin during some of the 67 Japanese air raids. The building was brought to Port Adelaide shortly after the war and was used as a wool store until 1996. It was occupied by the Museum soon after. In 2006, SAAM was forced to relocate due to the Port River Expressway Project, and the hangar was relocated to its current location. The amazing mural on the front of the hangar is a full-size depiction of the Vickers Vimy flown by Ross & Keith Smith from England to Australia in 1919. It was painted by one of our members (Janice) for the Centennary of the flight.
SAAM History 1984 - 2024
The South Australian Aviation Museum started in 1984 as the South Australian Aviation & Warbirds Restoration Group. Over the years, the name was changed to the South Australian Historical Aviation Museum, and then to the South Australian Aviation Museum (SAAM). SAAM started at Glenelg, moved to Mundy Street, Port Adelaide, then to Ocean Steamers Road, Port Adelaide. In 2005, SAAM moved to our current location at 16 Bedford Street, Port Adelaide.

SAAM has received and maintained full accreditation from History SA's Museum Accreditation and Grants Program since January 2000. We were awarded a Significance Award in 2010. SAAM is also a member of Museums Australia and the Aviation Network group.
Glenelg Site 1984 - 1986
The Museum began as a group of people interested in aviation and the restoration of aircraft in 1984. The group formed into the South Australian Aviation & Warbirds Restoration Group, which was incorporated on 1 August 1984. The group at that time leased premises in the old Ravens Garage behind the former Pier Hotel at Glenelg. The site housed the museum's first aircraft, the Avro Anson as well as the start of our collection of aviation artifacts for two years. The group became The South Australian Historical Aviation Museum Incorporated on 18 March 1985 (later simplified to The South Australian Aviation Museum Inc.).
Pier Garage Glenelg
Anson EF-965
Percival Proctor
Displays 1985

Mundy Street Site 1986 - 1996
In October 1986 notice was served to vacate the Glenelg premises and relocate the Museum elsewhere at short notice. After a brief search a request was made to the S.A. Premier's Department for a suitable place to relocate the collection. The museum was invited to inspect the 'S.A. Lion Flour Mill', Munday Street, Port Adelaide, where we relocated in November 1986.
mundy st 1
Mundy Street Banner
mundy st
Open Sundays for $2
Display Cases
Display Cases
Fokker Tri-plane
CSIRO DC-3 Recovery
Battle of Britain 50yrs Celebration
Avro Anson Mk.1
Gipsy Moth
Ex. Guinea Airways Gipsy Moth

Ocean Steamers Road 1996 - 2005
In January 1996 a further move of premises was carried out into a vacated Pentad aircraft hangar, at the corner of Ocean Steamers Road and Honey Street, Port Adelaide. After moving to that location the museum's collection was revitalized, a mezzanine gallery was installed along with modern updated artifact displays including video displays and public entry to some of the aircraft. This site opened for business in January 1997.
Moving Anson
Another move for the Anson
Hangar and Canberra
AWPA meeting at SAAM 2005
XMas Party
SAAM members X-mas Party 2005
Vampire A79-202
Battle of Britain 50yrs Celebration
Avro Anson Mk.1
Gipsy Moth
Ex. Guinea Airways Gipsy Moth

Current Site 2005 - now
With the start of the new Port River Bridges project a further move became necessary and in 2005 the hangar was moved to its present location in Port Adelaide. Refurbishment was undertaken by the S.A. Government Department for Transport, Energy. Offices and a new workshop were constructed. A new hangar was built in 2016 to house our growing collection.

From 2005 until 2023, the museum was accessed from Lipson Street, Port Adelaide. At the end of 2023, the Lipson Street access was permanently closed due to permit the new Port Dock rail project to proceed. A new roadway was construced to 16 Bedford Street, Port Adelaide, by the Dept. Infrastructure & Transport.
Cessna CC1 Replica
Sheppard CS2
Vimy Model
Vimy Model
ARDU Dakota
Cockpit Tours
Orion Handover
Orion Handover
Piper Comanche
Supermarine Spitfire
5 Aircraft Tails
Hangar 1
Hangar 1
Engine Run
Engine Run Day


All Content © South Australian Aviation Museum Inc. 2024

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