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RAAF 100 Flypast
Lens: DFA 150-450 Camera: K3 Photo Location: Canberra, Australia ISO: 200 Shutter Speed: 1/500s Aperture: F9 
Posted By: RobG, 03-30-2021, 11:10 PM

Today (the 31st of March 2021) is the 100th anniversary of the Royal Australian Air Force. To celebrate, the RAAF had a flypast of about 60 aircraft.


Roulettes
by RobGeraghty, on Flickr

---------- Post added 31-03-21 at 05:11 PM ----------


Roulettes
by RobGeraghty, on Flickr

---------- Post added 31-03-21 at 05:11 PM ----------


Roulettes
by RobGeraghty, on Flickr

---------- Post added 31-03-21 at 05:12 PM ----------

I've never seen two Airbus A330 aircraft flying in formation before. OK, these are somewhat modified - the KC30 MRTT tanker transport with two F18 Hornets.


RAAF KC30 MRTT with F18
by RobGeraghty, on Flickr

---------- Post added 31-03-21 at 05:13 PM ----------

Super Hornets and Growlers


RAAF Super Hornets
by RobGeraghty, on Flickr

---------- Post added 31-03-21 at 05:15 PM ----------

And a first to see three F35 Lightning II in formation.


RAAF Lightning II
by RobGeraghty, on Flickr
Views: 478
03-31-2021, 12:31 AM   #2
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A nice collection of images Rob, looks like you had a good vantage point.
03-31-2021, 12:58 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike L Quote
A nice collection of images Rob, looks like you had a good vantage point.
... and a high level of knowledge of RAAF aircraft.
03-31-2021, 03:44 AM - 4 Likes   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike L Quote
A nice collection of images Rob, looks like you had a good vantage point.
Thanks! It was a good and bad spot. It was very cool to watch the planes approaching, but I never got a side-on view. Still, there's no such thing as an ideal location. I really enjoyed the show, and that was the main thing!


QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
... and a high level of knowledge of RAAF aircraft.
Thanks! I've been a bit obsessed with planes from a young age, so I learned everything I could.

The Wedgetail AEW&C


Wedgetail
by RobGeraghty, on Flickr

---------- Post added 31-03-21 at 09:46 PM ----------

Three P8 Poseidons and a P3 Orion. I had never seen a formation flight of Boeing 737 aircraft before - albeit very highly modified ones!


Three P8 Poseidons and one P3 Orion
by RobGeraghty, on Flickr

---------- Post added 31-03-21 at 09:50 PM ----------

Neptune. This aircraft is operated by HARS from Wollongong, and the two jet engines have been decommissioned (possibly removed to save weight and the nacelles now have the red covers closed). The jet engines used to run on the same leaded fuel as the piston engines, and I'm told that they used to produce little droplets of molten lead.


Neptune
by RobGeraghty, on Flickr

---------- Post added 31-03-21 at 09:51 PM ----------

P3 Orion. These aircraft have been used for coastal patrol and surveillance for decades and have now been replaced by the P8 Poseidon.


P3 Orion
by RobGeraghty, on Flickr

---------- Post added 31-03-21 at 09:54 PM ----------

C47 Skytrain and CH4 Caribou. The C47 was the military version of the DC3 Dakota, and had a reinforced internal floor and enlarged cargo doors so that it could carry two Willy's Jeeps. The CH4 Caribou performed the light transport role for the RAAF for decades, and was recently retired in favour of the C27 Spartan.


C47 Skytrain and CH4 Caribou
by RobGeraghty, on Flickr

---------- Post added 31-03-21 at 09:59 PM ----------

Catalina and UH1 Iroquois. The Catalina was used as a coastal surveillance aircraft in WW2. It was also operated by Qantas on very long flights from Western Australia to Sri Lanka and beyond, to maintain links with the UK. These were known as the "double sunrise" flights and passengers were given special certificates. Qantas is now looking to have new "double sunrise" flights - direct from Sydney to London, and Sydney to New York.
This Iroquois is painted in Navy colours, but the type was operated by the RAAF in the Vietnam war, carrying soldiers to forward positions and returning them to base. This kind of highly mobile force is reflected in the current use of the Blackhawk and Taipan helicopters by the ADF.



Catalina and UH1 Iroquois
by RobGeraghty, on Flickr

---------- Post added 31-03-21 at 10:03 PM ----------

Two Spitfires, CAC Mustang and Kittyhawk. RAAF pilots flew the Spitfire (and other types) in the UK during the Battle of Britain, and later in Australia. RAAF pilots also flew the Kittyhawk in North Africa in support of Australian troops there. The Kittyhawk was also used in the defence of northern Australia - a number were involved in the defence of Darwin when it was attacked. The CAC Mustang was built under license toward the end of WW2 by the Commonwealth Aircraft Factory.




---------- Post added 31-03-21 at 10:10 PM ----------

The Harvard was used in Australia as a trainer during WW2. The Wirraway was designed and built in Australia based on the Harvard, and used as both a trainer and a (very poor) fighter-bomber. The Boomerang was also designed and built in Australia in the space of three months as a home grown fighter to combat the Japanese when neither the UK nor the US could supply aircraft for Australia's defence. It wasn't capable of competing with the Mitsubishi Zero as a fighter, but performed well in the ground attack role, and was extensively used in Papua New Guinea and South-east Asia.



Harvard, Hudson, Boomerang and Wirraway
by RobGeraghty, on Flickr

---------- Post added 31-03-21 at 10:12 PM ----------

Blackhawk helicopters, mainly used by the Special Air Service (SAS). The fuzzy black blob near the middle helicopter is a TV helicopter in the distance. Other approaching aircraft can be seen in the distance.



Blackhawks
by RobGeraghty, on Flickr

03-31-2021, 04:13 AM   #5
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Awesome. Simply fantastic.

Two thumbs up!
03-31-2021, 04:14 AM - 3 Likes   #6
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The C130J Hercules looks very similar to its predecessors but is a much more modern aircraft, filling the same medium transport role which the Herc has filled for decades.


C130J Hercules
by RobGeraghty, on Flickr

---------- Post added 31-03-21 at 10:19 PM ----------

The RAAF balloon bearing the motto "Per Ardua ad Astra" - through arduous work to the skies.


Per Ardua ad Astra
by RobGeraghty, on Flickr

An MH60R Romeo carrying the RAAF flag.


MH60R Romeo
by RobGeraghty, on Flickr

---------- Post added 31-03-21 at 10:26 PM ----------

Another first for me was seeing three C17 Globemaster II heavy lift aircraft in formation. Approaching like this, they looked incredibly impressive. The C17 can carry an Abrams tank or a Chinook helicopter, or tons of palletised materiel. They have been used to carry urgent supplies to the Australian Antarctic bases, as well as in recent humanitarian supply efforts in the Pacific. You can see the KC30 tankers approaching in the background.



C17 Globemaster II
by RobGeraghty, on Flickr
03-31-2021, 08:52 AM   #7
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Great shots, would like to have been there.
03-31-2021, 08:57 AM   #8
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Wow, quite a show! Spitfires and Mustang in formation! That distinctive sound of the Merlin engines! Wish I'd been there. I live in a town that has a US Air Force base, and historically they have an airshow every year. Not sure if they are going to have it this year though.

03-31-2021, 03:07 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by termy Quote
Awesome. Simply fantastic. Two thumbs up!
Thank you! It was a fantastic morning!

---------- Post added 01-04-21 at 09:18 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by dipo 1 Quote
Great shots, would like to have been there.
Thank you! It's a shame they didn't promote it more. I only found out a few weeks ago, and it's been planned for years.


QuoteOriginally posted by Apet-Sure Quote
Wow, quite a show! Spitfires and Mustang in formation! That distinctive sound of the Merlin engines! Wish I'd been there. I live in a town that has a US Air Force base, and historically they have an airshow every year. Not sure if they are going to have it this year though.
I hope they get to have some sort of display! Yes, the sound of the Merlin is fantastic. Back in 2002 I was lucky enough to attend an airshow at Duxford (home of the "big wing" in the Battle of Britain, and later the US 8th Army Airforce) where there was a lot of Merlins to be heard in Spitfires and Mustangs. I must go to another flying day at Temora where the aircraft in that photo are based; at least one of the Spitfires is always part of the display. The little CAC Boomerang actually puts on a great show because the air over the gun ports make a fantastic howl. The Boomerang was restored by a guy whose father flew one in the RAAF.

I'd love to go back to Duxford or Cosford if there was an airshow featuring the last flying Lancaster in the UK. There was mention on the news this morning of the Queen going to a RAAF memorial for 1300 WW2 airmen whose remains were never found. Most of them would have been from bomber command. We have a Lancaster in the memorial, but it will never fly again.
03-31-2021, 08:13 PM - 1 Like   #10
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there is this RAAFA aviation heritage museum at suburb of Bullcreek, Perth, WA, and they have this regular thing they do, where they will fire up a Merlin engine they have and have the engine running for a short time.

Cannot recall which day of the week and what's the frequency they do this (or even if they are still continuing this practice cuz it was quite some years ago i visited the place).

quite a spectacle, sight and sound and smells.

Aviation Heritage Museum | Bull Creek, Perth
03-31-2021, 08:37 PM - 1 Like   #11
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Nice work there, Rob. The closest we ever get to RAAF displays here is a fly-over from the Roulettes, or the occasional Blackhawk visit to Anglesea Barracks.

The WW2 aircraft would have been a sight to remember. I've visited the museum at Temora, but never on a day when the Spitfire has been flying. I hope the owner takes good care of the Boomerang: there can't be too many of them left anywhere, and for all their lack of capability against the Zeros, they were a testament to the skill and ingenuity of Australian aircraft designers and builders of the time.
04-03-2021, 02:40 AM   #12
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Great photos Rob. Well done. Would have been great to see.
04-03-2021, 05:17 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by termy Quote
there is this RAAFA aviation heritage museum at suburb of Bullcreek, Perth, WA, and they have this regular thing they do, where they will fire up a Merlin engine they have and have the engine running for a short time. Cannot recall which day of the week and what's the frequency they do this (or even if they are still continuing this practice cuz it was quite some years ago i visited the place). quite a spectacle, sight and sound and smells. Aviation Heritage Museum | Bull Creek, Perth
Cool! Unfortunately I've never been over there. Presumably it's near RAAF Pearce?


QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
Nice work there, Rob. The closest we ever get to RAAF displays here is a fly-over from the Roulettes, or the occasional Blackhawk visit to Anglesea Barracks.
The WW2 aircraft would have been a sight to remember. I've visited the museum at Temora, but never on a day when the Spitfire has been flying. I hope the owner takes good care of the Boomerang: there can't be too many of them left anywhere, and for all their lack of capability against the Zeros, they were a testament to the skill and ingenuity of Australian aircraft designers and builders of the time.
The Boomerang was still useful for ground support. Even the P40 wasn't great against the Zero, but I don't think the Mustang had a problem. The guy who restored the Boomerang restored the plane his father flew. That's pretty cool. I don't know if there's any other extant Boomerang at all. It's a shame they didn't retain the CA15 test plane either.


QuoteOriginally posted by rpjallan Quote
Great photos Rob. Well done. Would have been great to see.
Thanks! It sure was!
04-03-2021, 06:11 AM   #14
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@RobG, thanks for sharing your photos and annotations. Like you, I've always held a fascination for aircraft (my father was in the RCAF/Canadian Air Force and I ended up getting an aeronautical engineering degree). To this day, my wife giggles when I drop anything that I'm doing and run to look up in the sky at an a/c sound. We don't get much Air Force traffic around Ottawa -- the occasional CF-18, Herc, or C-17 transient.

Some great shots there, and the formations of the P8's and C-17's must have been very impressive.

Your shots seem to omit the ex-RAAF F-18 Hornets that Canada has recently acquired to help fill a gap until we get our next fighter aircraft. The contenders are the Super Hornet, F-35, and Gripen.


Congrats to the RAAF on the anniversary. The RCAF turns 100 in 2024.


- Craig
04-03-2021, 07:15 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by c.a.m Quote
@RobG, thanks for sharing your photos and annotations. Like you, I've always held a fascination for aircraft (my father was in the RCAF/Canadian Air Force and I ended up getting an aeronautical engineering degree). To this day, my wife giggles when I drop anything that I'm doing and run to look up in the sky at an a/c sound. We don't get much Air Force traffic around Ottawa -- the occasional CF-18, Herc, or C-17 transient.
I really like the view I have from my desk at work - it looks out to the southern approach to the local airport. The funny thing is that after ten years I can recognise the sound of the 737 and 717 planes as they approach, which means that I tend to notice if there's something unusual.
We didn't have a direct family connection with planes other than my grandfather having worked as an aircraft maintenance mechanic in WW1 (well, I also recently found out that one of my cousins in the UK was working in jet engine R&D at Rolls Royce).


QuoteQuote:
Some great shots there, and the formations of the P8's and C-17's must have been very impressive.
Thanks, they were! It was very cool to see large planes in formation.


QuoteQuote:
Your shots seem to omit the ex-RAAF F-18 Hornets that Canada has recently acquired to help fill a gap until we get our next fighter aircraft. The contenders are the Super Hornet, F-35, and Gripen.
I have a distant shot of the classic F18A/B formation, but I grabbed the video camera at that point, so please wait for the video clip. At a distance, I didn't notice that they were classic Hornets - I just thought it was another formation of Super Hornets. Sadly I also missed video of the WW2 fighters because I was taking photos. It's hard to do it all at once!


QuoteQuote:
Congrats to the RAAF on the anniversary. The RCAF turns 100 in 2024.
Thanks! I hope you get a similar celebration! You could have a very special aircraft in an historical flypast - I believe that Canada is home to one of only two flying Lancasters.
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