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The Attempted Space Shot

During my early days of flying the Mirage IIIO for the RAAF we focused heavily on conducting intercept missions that were designed to catch high flying bomber aircraft.  These missions were done both day and night.  The Mirage radar was not very good and you would be lucky to detect a bomber at 15 nautical…

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West Irian Adventure in the C-130 Hercules

During my time at 36 Squadron flying C-130 Hercules I was tasked to take a Hercules into West Irian or Indonesian West Papua.  This was incredible because the Indonesian government would not let any foreign military personnel any where near any part of West Irian.  The task required us to enter the country at a place…

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A Fighter Ace in 45 Seconds

“A flying ace or fighter ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down several enemy aircraft during aerial combat. The actual number of aerial victories required to officially qualify as an “ace” has varied, but is usually considered to be five or more. The few aces among combat aviators have historically accounted for the…

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The McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet

The RAAF started taking delivery of the Hornet in 1983 to replace the Mirage. The Mirage was a second generation jet fighter and the Hornet is a fourth generation jet fighter. Basically fighter generations are a measure of the technology incorporated in the design of the aircraft. So the step up to the Hornet from…

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The Macchi MB-326H

The Macchi MB-326H was introduced to the RAAF to replace the two seat Vampire as the RAAF’s advanced training aircraft in the late sixties. The RAAF ended up with 97 in all. It was powered by a Rolls Royce Viper engine producing 2,400 pounds of thrust. It was one of the few jet aircraft that…

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The CAC Winjeel Prop Trainer

The Winjeel replaced the Tigermoth and Wirraway as the primary basic trainer for the RAAF in the late 1950s. It was loosely based on the British Piston Provost which had a three bladed propeller compared to the two blades on the Winjeel. From a distance the similarities are obvious but in essence they were very…

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The C-130 Hercules Transport Aircraft

The RAAF was the first foreign Air Force to purchase the C-130 Hercules as a replacement for the venerable C-47 Dakota or DC-3. The initial buy was 12 C-130 ‘A’ models and they were allocated to 36 Squadron based at RAAF Base Richmond New South Wales west of Sydney. Having failed my initial attempt at…

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Becoming a RAAF Pilot

I have had the pleasure of mentoring a number of young men in their attempts to become RAAF pilots and I have enjoyed a reasonable level of success over the years. There are a number of attributes that the RAAF look for during the recruiting process and I am often asked what these attributes are…

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The BAE Systems HAWK 127 Lead In Fighter

I left the RAAF in 1997 to go to Saudi Arabia, at the time I was the Commanding Officer of 76 Squadron flying the Macchi MB326H. During this appointment I was involved in deliberations about the Macchi replacement. My research indicated to me that the best available lead in fighter trainer in the world at…

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The World Water Speed Record – Ken & Dave Warby

In 1977 Ken Warby became the fastest man on water in his home built jet boat Spirit of Australia. 317.16 miles per hour or 510 km per hour, breathtaking! Since then a few have tried to take the title only to wind up dead so Ken still holds the record, an amazing feat. Most people…

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