The Hong Kong Historical Aircraft Association (HKHAA) was founded in 1992 by a small group of dedicated aviation enthusiasts with a simple but bold idea. Their goal was to build a full-size flying replica of the Farman biplane which in 1911, made the first powered flight in Hong Kong at Shatin. The replica was built, and flown successfully on 15 November 1997 at the new Hong Kong International Airport prior to its official opening. The Farman is now suspended from the roof of the terminal as a reminder to everyone using the airport of Hong Kong’s aviation origins.
Preceding this project and then in parallel with it, the ever increasing membership undertook to gather together information and pictures on Hong Kong’s aviation history. It was quickly apparent that it was a subject hardly explored in-depth and somewhat of an enigma in many areas. From these expanding archives interesting new material surfaced, resulting in a goal of compiling as much as possible into a definitive book to commemorate the closure of Kai Tak Airport. The result was the well-received Wings over Hong Kong published in 1998. ISBN 962-217-542-2. This book was described as a “jewel” in an enthusiastic review in a US aviation magazine by R.E.G. Davis, the Air Transport Curator of the National Air & Space Museum, Washington DC, USA.
The HKHAA welcomed new members, and meetings with a formal dinner and a speaker were held monthly in a private dining room in Central District. A regular multipage newsletter was published containing historical material relating to Hong Kong and the HKHAA’s current and future activities. To include interested participants living away from Hong Kong and so encourage a wider dialogue and sharing of information on all aspects of aviation related to Hong Kong and China, an internet discussion group operated on HKHAA@yahoogroups.com
During its active lifetime the HKHAA organised a number of exhibitions in order to enlighten the Hong Kong public about its aviation history. A very few remaining active members continue to gather archive material for research purposes.
However, the HKHAA at the time of writing is in a state of suspension for most activities primarily due to a lack of people willing to undertake the not too onerous administration and organisational tasks of keeping in contact with members, recruitment and publicity and the organising of meetings, speakers and visits. A website creator and administrator are also needed. The majority of those who were heavily involved in the HKHAA’s management have retired overseas or left Hong Kong on new assignments or are now running their own businesses in HK with little free time available.
It had been hoped to emulate the success of the Wings over Hong Kong book by producing a new book containing new material and pictures found in the intervening years to celebrate the 100 years of aviation in Hong Kong in 2011. This is highly dependent on sponsorship and the time made available to the project by many people.