Welcome to the Tasmanian Aviation Historical Society

Tasmania has a rich aviation history, for example:

  • The first flight across Bass Strait occurred in 1919 by Tasmanian Arthur Long.
  • Sir Hudson Fysh, the co-founder of Qantas, was born in Launceston.
  • Harold Gatty, the navigator on the first flight around the world and  founder of Fiji Airways, was born in Campbell Town.
  • The Holyman Family formed Australian National Airways (A.N.A.), which was the 9th largest airline in the world in the 1940s.

The Tasmanian Aviation Historical Society (TAHS) is an incorporated society in Tasmania, whose objectives include:

  • To recognise, document and promote the aviation history of Tasmania
  • To investigate and publish historical items
  • Support other historical societies and parties who are supporting Tasmanian Aviation history

Learn more about us by listening to an interview with Andrew Johnson, (TAHS President) with Gary Hills of the Queensland Air MuseumFlying across Bass Strait in 1932

If you are interested in preserving TASMANIAN AVIATION HISTORY, please consider becoming a member

Flying by the seat of their pants

The Flying by the Seat of their Pants exhibition was created in 2022 by the Tasmanian Aviation Historical Society and the Furneaux Museum. It celebrated the 90th anniversary of the first commercial flights from Tasmania to Flinders Island and King Island in 1932.

The exhibition tells the story of pioneering aviation from the first flight across Bass Strait in 1919, to the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, when regular commercial flights were flown each day.

The exhibition was previously on display at the Furneaux Museum on Flinders Island, at the QVMAG in Launceston and at  King Island Airport.

We have developed a new website specific to the exhibition called www.bassstraitflight.au

Miss Flinders on elevated display at Launceston Airport

VH-UEE “Miss Flinders”

We are the custodians of the Desoutter Monoplane “Miss Flinders”, which started regular commercial aviation in Tasmania in 1932. It is currently on display in the departure terminal at Launceston Airport. The story of this remarkable plane can be found here.

To mark the 90th anniversary of the start of the first commercial air service between Tasmania and Flinders Island in March 1932, we have produced a special newsletter which is available here.

Our Newsletters and Publications

Our newsletters are here and research reports and other publications are presented here, or on the pages dedicated to a topic.

Quarterly Newsletters 

No 17: Autumn 2024 Newsletter is now available here

Available from The TAHS Shop

These books and caps are available from our Shop

The Forgotten Giant of Australian Aviation

From the pioneering days of civil aviation in Tasmania by Victor and Ivan Holyman, the book tells the full story of Australian National Airways.

Available here

The Flying Bug by Captain John E. Stanwix

A Complete Diary with photographs of pioneer Tasmanian Helicopter Pilot John Elson Stanwix (1932 – 2014)

Available here



Available here