Sunday, March 2, 2014

Happy Birthday RAAF! - Centenary of Military Aviation in Australia Air-Show 1914-2014

Spitfire Mk.VIII

This weekend marked the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Australian Flying Corps at Point Cook just outside Melbourne in March 1914. Today the airbase is still there as little more than a museum and training school surrounded by encroaching suburbia.

Mrs. R surprised me by suggesting we go en familie to the air-display. Even though I secretly wouldn't have minded going (my inner 13-year old was drooling at the thought!), I really didn't think my wife or kids would have the slightest interest. I was propably right regarding my kids' interest, but Mrs. R and I enjoyed ourselves immensely. I really surprised myself by giving my inner 13 year old his head and getting quite excited watching the flying exhibits, hearing the growl of the engines and smelling the fumes! It brought me back 30 years ago making Matchbox and Airfix 1/72nd models and memorizing the maximum speeds, armaments and powerplants of my favourite planes.

We arrived in perfect time for the WWII warbirds flying display including the Catalina flying boat, P-40 Kittyhawk, CAC Boomerang, Lockheed Hudson, CAC Wirraway, Supermarine Spitfire and CAC P-51 Mustang. We arrived too late for the Bristol Boxkite and Sopwith Pup, but caught the post-war and Korean War flights of a de Havilland Vampire, Gloster Meteor and North American F-86 Sabre and the RAAF aerobatic display team, the Roulettes.

Below are the pick of my photos from the day as well as some short clips of some of the planes in action. Sorry about the quality of some of the clips, but I think you'll agree the sound and vision give some idea of the action of the day. I still get a special thrill at the sound of a Rolls Royce Merlin engine starting, let alone as the throttle is opened on one as the plane takes off!

PBY Catalina in night raiding black livery

P-40 Kittyhawk

Spitfire and Kittyhawk taxiing

Early war flypast: (top to bottom; P-40, Lockheed Hudson, CAC Boomerang)

CAC Wirraway

CAC P-51 Mustang

Sopwith Pup
Bristol Boxkite

Rolls Royce Merlin firing up!

Spitfire taking off

...followed by the Mustang...

...and then the Kittyhawk

The RAAF Roulettes start their routine


  1. Sounds like a day well spent. I don't think I've been to an airshow in almost 20 years.

  2. Green with envy mate! Great photos and some pretty reasonable amateur video too, staying on those moving subjects, especially given all the wind that you had to contend with!

  3. What an awesome day! I love the sound of the old fighters! Fantastic!!


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