The foundations of the Royal Victorian Aero Club were laid on 28 October 1914, when a group of young officers of the newly formed Australian Flying Corps met at Point Cook, Victoria. They decided that an Australian Aero Club should be formed, to be affiliated to the Royal Aero Club in London. The Australian Aero Club was formally constituted on 9 April 1915.
The first President of the formalized Australian Aero Club was Major H.A. Petre, who had been sent out from England to inaugurate a flying school for the Australian Government. He chose a location at Point Cook, near Melbourne. The first Secretary, and later President, was Captain T.W. White, later to become The Hon. Sir Thomas White, K.B.E., D.F.C., V.D., who served with honour in both World Wars and became Minister for Air and Civil Aviation in the Menzies Government.
Further development of the Australian Aero Club was delayed by World War I. In 1919 individual sections of the Australian Aero Club were formed in Victoria (the Australian Aero Club, Victorian Section), New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia. The Victorian Section operated at the Commonwealth Aerodrome in Essendon from the early 1920s.
In March 1926 the national aero club movement was formalised under the name of the Australian Aero Club Federal Council. It consisted of representatives of the Victorian and New South Wales Clubs (South Australia joined in 1927, Queensland and Tasmania in 1928, and Western Australia in 1929). The Victorian and NSW sections were approved by the Defence Department (which controlled aviation) to train pilots to licence standard for commercial and military purposes. The Defence Department provided two de Havilland Moth aircraft for training.
On 13 August 1926 the Australian Aero Club, Victorian Section, was incorporated under the Victorian Companies Act of 1915. It was renamed the Victorian Aero Club on 29 October 1934, and on 13 March 1935, the 'Royal' appellation was granted by the Governor in Council. The Royal Victorian Aero Club moved to Moorabbin Airport in late 1949.
The Royal Victorian Aero Club is also today known as RVAC Flight Training Melbourne. It is based at Moorabbin Airport.
Royal Federation of Aero Clubs of Australia website http://www.flyingtraining.com.au/rfaca/rfacahistory.htm, accessed 21/4/2020.
Royal Victorian Aero Club website https://rvac.com.au/pages/rvac-history, accessed 21/4/2020.
AUSTRALIAN AERO CLUB. (1915, April 12). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved April 21, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154955214.
ROYAL VICTORIAN AERO CLUB. (1935, March 15). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved April 21, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article204289070
Aero Club's Record in an Air-Minded Age (1949, January 10). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved April 21, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article205361834