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Last Updated: Tue Mar 25 16:07:05 UTC 2014

  Centenary of Military Aviation
Point Cook Airshow, March 2014

Photographic Essay APA-PE-2014-0301

by Dr Carlo Kopp, AFAIAA, SMIEEE, PEng
AIRMSHL John W. Newham AC RAAF (Retd)
Photographic images © 2014 John W. Newham
Photographic images and caption text ©
2014 Carlo Kopp

The Centenary of Military Aviation airshow was held at RAAF Point Cook on the first weekend of March, 2014. The Saturday of the 1st March was the 100th anniversary of the first military flight in Australia, when a Bristol Boxkite first flew from the Point Cook airfield.

The airshow, with its emphasis on historical aircraft, was a proper tribute to the many thousands of Australians who served in the RAAF, and earlier Australian military aviation formations, over the last century.

High quality display flights in a range of aircraft were performed by RAAF and guest pilots, in a range of aircraft, from the RAAF Museum's 1914 Bristol Boxkite replica, through to contemporary RAAF aircraft.

This photoessay depicts historical RAAF aircraft, and some allied types, through to the Vietnam War era. Bristol Boxkite photos were generously provided by AIRMSHL John W. Newham AC, RAAF (Retd).

Equipment Notes:
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Canon EOS 40D J.W. Newham
Sigma AF 400mm f/5.6 APO Nikon D7100 / MB-D15
C. Kopp
Sigma AF 100-300mm f/4 EX IF APO HSM Nikon D7100 / MB-D15 C. Kopp
Nikkor AF-D 50mm f/1.8D Nikon D7100 / MB-D15 C. Kopp
Nikkor AF-D 35mm f/2D Nikon D7100 / MB-D15 C. Kopp
Tokina ATX-Pro 20-35mm f/2.8 Nikon D7100 / MB-D15 C. Kopp

Bristol (British and Colonial Aeroplane Company) Boxkite [Replica]

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RAAF Museum Bristol Boxkite replica performing a flight early on Saturday, the 1st March, 2014, to commemorate, a century later to the minute, the first military aircraft flight in Australia. The pilot is SQNLDR Steve Bekker of ARDU. Note the scarf in the slipstream (AIRMSHL John W. Newham AC, RAAF (Retd)).

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CAC CA-16 Mk. III Wirraway

CA-16 Wirraway A20-722 performing a demonstration flight. The Wirraway, based on the N.A. Harvard trainer, was acquired as an advanced trainer for the RAAF, and due to a desperate shortage of fighters in 1942, flown against Japanese combat aircraft, suffering heavy losses. The aircraft continued in use both as a trainer and light close air support aircraft.

CAC CA-12 Boomerang

CAC CA-12 Boomerang A46-63 / VH-XBL, a restored 1943 aircraft, formerly of 85 SQN. The Boomerang was Australia's first domestic fighter design, intended as a stopgap interceptor while more advanced fighters were procured from Britain and the United States. The first air intercept flown by a Boomerang against enemy aircraft was by the late Flight Lieutenant (later Squadron Leader) Roy Francis Goon of 85 SQN RAAF, home based at RAAF Guildford (now Perth Airport) in Western Australia, from RAAF Learmonth on the Exmouth peninsula, on the 20th May, 1943, against a formation of Japanese G4M Betty bombers flying a night bombing sortie against the US Navy submarine refuelling tender moored at Potshot (now Exmouth). The aircraft flown by Goon was A46-61, serialled two below the depicted aircraft.

P-40N-1-CU Kittyhawk IV

Former RNZAF lend/lease P-40N-1-CU Kittyhawk NZ3125, now VH-ZOC restored by Allan Arthur, assigned during WW2 to 2 OTU at Ohakea, in the colours of 112 SQN RAF P-40M-10-CU Kittyhawk FR806 / 43-5605 GA-Q flown by Australian FLTLT Mathias in North Africa. This is the factory olive drab / grey camouflage applied to most USAAC aircraft during that period, rather than the sand and dark earth desert camouflage commonly seen on 112 SQN Kittyhawks.

USAAC Curtiss P-40F Warhawk (Merlin)

Curtiss P-40F-1-CU “Pee Wee” Serial 41-14112 VH-HWK is owned and operated by Judy Pay. This is a rare Rolls-Royce Merlin powered P-40F of which only 700 were built, and was recovered as a wreck from Erromango, Vanuatu in 1989. The aircraft crash landed in December, 1942, it was flown by 2nd Lt. C. B. Head Jr., 44th Fighter Squadron, 18th Fighter Group, USAAC based at Efaté Island.


Lockheed A-28-LO Hudson Mk III

Temora Aviation Museum Lockheed A-28-LO Hudson Mk III A16-112 in the colours of A16-211 of 2 SQN, written off in May 1943 at Millingimbi, Northern Territory, following a serious landing accident. Flying its final sortie, A6-211 was one of a five aircraft package flown against Japanese assets in the Aroe Islands, in which A16-171 was shot down by a pair of Nakajima A6M2-N Rufe floatplane fighters. Hudsons played a vital role in the early war years, as a maritime patrol and strike aircraft, against maritime and land targets. A16-112 was a dual control trainer, later used as a survey aircraft.

Consolidated PBY-6A Catalina

The HARS PBY-6A BuNo 4667 / VH-PBZ is painted to represent RAAF 43 SQN A24-362 PB2B-2 OX-V “Felix” used for combat search and rescue and minelaying, based in the Northern Territory, in 1945. BuNo 4667 has a curious history having flown in Latin America, and later Spain and Portugal.

Supermarine Spitfire HF.VIII

Supermarine Spitfire HF.VIII A58-758 / MV239 operated by Temora Aviation Museum. The aircraft is in the colours of A58-602 / RG-V / 457 SQN as flown from Morotai, Dutch East Indies, by the late WGCDR Robert H. Gibbes, DSO, DFC & Bar, OAM.

CAC CA-18 Mustang Mk.21

CAC CA-18 Mustang Mk.21 A68-118 VH-AGJ owned and operated by Jeff Trappett.

CAC CA-18 Mustang Mk.21 A68-105 VH-JUC owned and operated by Judy Pay and Richard Hourigan, in the colours of P-51K-1-NT Mustang IVa KH677 / CV-P of 3 SQN, when based in Italy, 1944.

Gloster Meteor F.8

Gloster Meteor F.8, formerly RAF VZ467, now VH-MBX of the Temora Aviation Museum in the colours of A77-851 / WK683 “Halestorm”, flown by Sgt George Hale of 77 SQN in Korea. A77-851 was credited with a MiG-15 Fagot kill over North Korea. 

RRAF De Havilland Vampire T.11

Former Rhodesian Air Force De Havilland DH-115 Vampire T.11, VH-ZVZ / 15392, owned and operated by Judy Pay, at Tyabb, Victoria. The RAAF operated the T.35 from 1 AFTS at RAAF Pearce in Western Australia, through the 1960s.

CAC CA-27 Avon Sabre Mk.32

Temora Aviation Museum operated RAAF Museum CAC CA-27 Avon Sabre Mk.32 A94-983 in the colours of 75 SQN. The aircraft was provided to the RMAF as military aid during the 1970s and flew with registration FM-1983, until it retirement, when it was returned to Australia. The aircraft was refurbished and overhauled by RAAF 2AD, with assistance from industry, but later made available to the Temora Aviation Museum.

De Havilland DHC-4 Caribou

The DHC-4 Caribou was a workhorse in Vietnam, and served reliably until its retirement in 2009.

Australian Army Cessna 180

The Cessna 180 was used by the Australian Army as an observation and liasion aircraft.

VNAF Cessna O-1G Bird Dog

The Cessna O-1 was used extensively as an observation and liasion aircraft by the Vietnamese Air Force.

Bell UH-1B

RAN Historic Flight HMAS Albatross based UH-1B N9-3104 / 898 / VH-NVV, in the colours of 723 SQN. The UH-1B was flown by all three ADF services.

Formation Mustang Meteor Sabre

Photographic Essay APA-PE-2014-0301

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