|Royal Aero Club of WA, Maylands 1935State Library of Western Australia 0022841PD|
The Royal Aero Club of Western Australia is the oldest flying training club in WA. It was incorporated in August 1929 as the Aero Club of Australia (W.A. Branch) Inc. and first flew its aircraft from Maylands Aerodrome in April 1930. On that date, the Club officially took over training from Perth Flying School with two de Havilland DH.60 Moth aircraft donated by the Federal Government. In 1934, the name was changed to Aero Club of Western Australia and in 1936, the Royal prefix was added, changing the name to the Royal Aero Club of Western Australia Inc. Prior to World War Two, the Club held several air carnivals, where RAAF aircraft participated, and the events drew thousands of visitors to Maylands.
By September 1939, the Club had flown over 14,500 hours and the fleet had grown to six aircraft. During that time, many hundreds of pilots had been trained to both private and commercial standard. The Club ceased operations during World War Two when its aircraft were impressed into service with the RAAF, but following the end of the war in 1945 the Club was re-established at Maylands and in the next few years it became the dominant flying training and charter operator in WA.
In post-war years, the Club progressively improved its fleet of aircraft, stepping from de Havilland Tiger Moths to de Havilland Chipmunks and then to Cessna aircraft; the first of which was delivered in 1958. The Club moved its operation from Maylands to Guildford Aerodrome (Perth International Airport) in 1959, and then to Jandakot Airport in 1965.
Author: Mervyn W. Prime