Aileron is a small settlement on the Stuart Highway between Alice Springs and Ti Tree, about 135 km north of Alice Springs and 370 kms south of Tennant Creek. It's a welcoming wayside inn and rest stop in Anmatjere Country.
Aileron was built in 1930 on the site of the Glen Norrie Pastoral Lease and named Aileron after the hinged flap on the rear of an aircraft. Owner Norrie Claxton was a well known cricketer and baseballer.
Aileron is home to the impressive giant figure of the ‘Anmatjere Man’, built in honour of the local Anmatjere people. Erected in 2005, the figure is 17 metres tall, weighs 8 tonnes and towers over the settlement. He has wife and child nearby.
Nearby historic site Ryans Well was dug in the 1800s by Ned and Jerry Ryan, well diggers commissioned to construct a number of wells along the Overland Telegraph line. Water was needed for travellers along the Telegraph Line and later for the stock route and gold fields.
In 1914 the Nicker family settled at Ryan’s Well when their dray collapsed on route north. They built a home of mulgar and clay, naming it Glen Maggie after their youngest child. Later a stone residence was built and operated as the telegraph office. It was a stock watering point along the route and travellers were charged to access water from their 10,000 gallon tank. The Nicker family left the isolated spot in 1930 because of illness. The ruins can still be seen.
Anna’s Resevoir, 30 kms west of Aileron was of vital importance to Stuart’s expeditions. He found it in 1860, when he was the first European to Central Australia. He described it as “a splendid resevoir of water”. It was the first water he located after leaving the McDonnell Ranges.