The 'Government Hangar', Essendon Aerodrome

Above: The 'Government Hangar' at Essendon Aerodrome in the early 1930s. This hangar was constructed in 1924 to house the CAB's fleet of aircraft when Essendon was opened as Melbourne's main aerodrome. It was later leased to the Australian Aero Club (Vic Section) [later the Royal Victorian Aero Club]. The next hangar along housed Hart Aircraft Service.

In front of the hangar are a number of DH60 Moths. VH-UHS, the only one identifiable, was owned by the CAB and on loan to the Australian Aero Club (Vic Section).


Above: An aerial view of the Government Hangar at Essendon taken in the late 1930s, looking from landside to airside. The road in the foreground was the Bulla Rd, now Wirraway Rd. On the tarmac beside the hangar stand a trio of DH60 Moths belonging to the Royal Victorian Aero Club.

This hangar was later known as the 'DCA Hangar', and in the early post-war years became the Airport Fire Station. Click here to see a view of fire vehicles parked outside the hangar in the early 1950s. The area where this hangar stands is today part of the apron between the Terminal and the Control Tower. Click here to see a 1960s view across this tarmac.


When the apron area at Essendon was expanded in 1962, the Government Hangar was dismantled and re-erected in the workshops area at the south-eastern corner of the aerodrome. Tradition had it that many famous aviators signed their names on its walls, but these had long since vanished.

For 25 years the hangar served as the Regional Transport Depot, and was later occupied by a garbage removal contractor when it was photographed here in 1995. It was a sad end for the oldest surviving building on historic Essendon Airport.

This historic building met an even sadder ultimate fate when it was demolished without fanfare in September 2004 to make way for a retail shopping complex.

(Photos: CAHS collection)

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