From its inception in the 1880s the Powerhouse Museum has collected ship, mechanical, medical and railway models. After the invention of aeroplanes, aircraft models were added to this list. This collection includes a large number of models of different aircraft such as models of aircraft used during both World Wars, examples of early flight technology, models of aircraft used by famous aviators such as Nancy Bird Walton and more modern passanger aircraft such as a Qantas 747. The models range in date from approximately 1920s to the 1990s. Aircraft engine models also feature in the Powerhouse's collection
A particular strength are the aircraft recognition models. These aircraft were used to identify planes from a distance. This was especially important for military forces that needed to distinguish between friendly and enemy planes. However visual information was often not enough and the location of a target in space also required a keen sense of hearing. Printed silhouettes were often published to show side and front views but models enabled people to view the plane from a variety of different angles for identification. Private airline companies used models of their aircraft for public relations exercises and photographs were often included in their publicity literature. Another use was to dress the model in a prospective customer's livery and then use it as a promotional gift.
Some material included in this collection may be subject to copyright
Aeroplanes; Aircraft; Small scale models
Air transport; Flight technology; Model making