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Technology in Australia 1788-1988Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Table of Contents

Chapter 7

I The First 100 Years 1788-1888

II Railways

III Motorised Vehicles

IV Aviation
i Local Inventions, Research, Design and Manufacture
ii The Development of Air Transport: The Trail Blazers
iii The Services
iv The Royal Flying Doctor Service
v Ground Aids and Safety Innovations
vi From Aviation to Modern Shipping

V Modern Shipping

VI Innovative Small Craft

VII Conclusion

VIII Acknowledgements

IX Contributors



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Throughout its short history, life in Australia was shaped by two main characteristics of this isolated sub-continent; its large size and the scarcity of population. Two technologies had to -and did -play an essential role in opening up the outback: transport and communications.

Of all forms of transport, air transport was best suited for inland operations and was the main factor in overcoming this tyranny of distance, enabling the population of the outback to have some physical links with the seaboard cities. As will be seen in the text, Australians took to this new form of transport with their usual energy and inventiveness and, in the process, created the second oldest airline in the world. The need to ensure medical care for remote stations and homesteads resulted in a unique and typically Australian innovation -The Flying Doctor Service. Australia is one of the most airminded nations on earth and the yearly level of airline passengers closely approximates the total population. At the same time, the technical level of operations and maintenance has been such that Australian air transport has been consistently the safest in the world.

Before passenger aircraft took to the air, however, there were many Australian individuals and organisations who invented, and developed locally, various forms of flying machines.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Royal Flying Doctor Service

People in Bright Sparcs - Schaetzel, Stanley S.

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© 1988 Print Edition pages 502 - 503, Online Edition 2000
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher