Royal Queensland Aero Club Dedication of Refurbished Hangar One, Archerfield
Thank you for your warm introduction Mr Fransson. It is a great pleasure to join you today for the dedication of the refurbished Hangar One, the Club’s original home at Archerfield.
Aviation and a State as vast as Queensland were made for each other. The Royal Flying Doctor Service, established in 1928, proves that point every day, as do the private and commercial aircraft that now criss-cross the State hourly.
But it took a substantial number of intrepid pioneers to make safe, regular air travel a reality.
The Club’s role in that story began with its establishment in 1910. It began flight training in 1929 and has been wholly based here at Archerfield since 1931. Along the way the Club counted among its members aviation pioneers like ‘Lores’ Bonney, the first woman aviator to fly solo from Australia to England, Bert Hinkler and Charles Kingsford-Smith.
Clearly, the Club has played a prominent role in Queensland’s aviation history, and therefore in the State’s broader history and development. This record is marvellously illustrated by the two contrasting aircraft parked in the hangar today.
The Club continues to play that important role through the training of Australian and international aviation personnel at the Airline Academy of Australia, based in this hangar.
In addition to a wide variety of courses and training aircraft, the Academy has simulators, and I was permitted to “have a go” on one today.
I travel long distances in aircraft as part of my responsibilities as Governor for all of Queensland – but strictly as a passenger.
Unlike my Official Secretary, who had a distinguished career in the RAAF before joining Government House, and who has been on the simulator before, I was not expecting a smooth take-off or landing. I won’t say how I went. I’ll only say I am not planning to give up my day job.
Nevertheless, the experience has only increased my admiration for the skills and dedication of Queensland’s aviation professionals, and for this Club’s role in the development of aviation in our State.
On that positive note, it now gives me great pleasure to unveil a plaque fittingly dedicating this refurbished hangar to Royal Queensland Aero Club members “past, present and future”.