Temora has a rich and noteworthy aviation history having been home to the No. 10 Elementary Flying Training School (10 EFTS) set up by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in May 1941. No 10 EFTS was the largest and longest lived of the flying schools established under the Empire Air Training Scheme during World War Two (WWII).
Throughout WWII more than 10,000 personnel were involved at the school with upwards of 2,400 pilots being trained. At its peak the unit contained a total of 97 de Havilland Tiger Moth aircraft. Four satellite airfields were set up around the Temora district to cope with the demand to train RAAF pilots.
No 10 EFTS ceased operation on 28th February 1946 – making it the last WWII flying school to close. Since then, Temora has continued its aviation heritage, becoming the preferred airfield for a growing number of sport aviation activities including gliding, parachuting, aerobatics, ultra-light aircraft operations and model aircraft.
When Sydney businessman David Lowy AM expressed interest in establishing an aviation museum dedicated to aircraft and pilots who had defended Australia, Temora Aerodrome had all the attributes – rich in aviation history, hospitable people, an encouraging and co-operative local council, good weather, flat terrain and uncontrolled air space below 20,000 feet.
The Temora Aviation Museum was incorporated in late 1999, construction of the facilities then commenced and a Governing Committee made up of a group of experienced and diverse people was formed.
The first hangar was completed in February 2000 and David Lowy AM donated the initial aircraft for the collection. The Museum was opened for public viewing in June 2000.
Construction commenced on stage two, the exhibition buildings, which now contain display spaces, theatrette, admission entrance, gift shop, children’s playground, and picnic area. This was completed and opened to the public in August 2001.
Stage Three of the Museum Complex was completed in November 2002 with the opening of a 1980 sq m. display hangar. All aircraft are housed in this new hangar with the original hangar becoming a customised restoration and maintenance facility.
On Monday 1 July 2019, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and Temora Aviation Museum began a strategic alliance, which had the RAAF take over ownership of 11 of the Museum’s aircraft. Mr. David Lowy, President and Founder of the Temora Aviation Museum said, “The alliance with the RAAF deepens and broadens ownership of the Museum’s aircraft beyond one individual which is important for the long-term future of these historically significant national assets.” The aircraft remain on display for visitors to view at the Museum and be available for the public to visit 361 days a year.