The South Australian Aviation Museum was founded in Glenelg in 1984 by a group of historical aviation enthusiasts. Since then the museum has expanded hugely and relocated three times to be at its present site in the museums precinct on Lipson Street in Port Adelaide. It is a self-funded, not-for-profit incorporated association run entirely by its volunteer membership.
The museum was accredited by the History Trust of South Australia to the National Standards for Museums and Galleries in 2000, and remains the only community aviation museum so accredited in the country.
It now includes two display hangars: one being an ex-RAAF Pentad hangar and the second being purpose-built in 2017; plus a restoration workshop, library, retail shop and reception, conference room and administrative area.
The museum’s collection consists of some 30 significant historical aircraft, all of which are displayed under cover, including the iconic F-111 and AP-3C Orion; many historic engines and propellers; more than 30 special and general interest displays; artefacts; uniforms; photographs; and probably the largest aviation historical and technical library in the State.
Several important historic aircraft restorations are being carried out by the museum, including the only Fairey Battle in Australia and an Avro Anson.
The museum is open to visitors every day except Christmas Day and generally hosts two open days each year when various historic engines are run and visitors are given access to many aircraft cockpits.