Over fifty visitors made their way to the Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre last weekend as the Centre opened for the first time in nearly four months.

Visitors took in the Centre’s many attractions, including the propeller from the locally built 1920’s ‘Silver Wings’, the locally owned 1930’s deSoutter, along with the Tiger Moth, Avro Anson and the Wirraway of the 1940’s. Each of these items play an important part in telling Nhill’s rich aviation history.

The Link Trainer was a highlight for some visitors. This original ‘flight simulator’ was invented in time to train hundreds of new pilots to fly at night or through clouds during the Second World War.

Pictured above: Budding pilot Tim learning to ‘fly’ in the Link Trainer.

Climbing into a darkened ‘cockpit’ pilots would follow their instructor’s orders and ‘fly’ their plane, referring only to their instruments. Max Carland, of Nhill, a former RAAF pilot, remembers spending 28 hours in a Link Trainer.
“The best thing was you could always step out of it safely, even if you’d had a rough flight or lost your way.”

- Max Carland
The Heritage Centre will be open again next Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm. Other opening times are available by appointment.

Entry fees remain at $5, with children and members free. For more information phone 0490 657 770.