Category Archive for: Phil’s Blog Posts

The Legend of Sherry and Frills

Around 1987 I was the Introductory Fighter Course Flight Commander at No 2 Operational Conversion Unit (2 OCU), I was a Squadron Leader and service protocols required that junior officers addressed Squadron Leaders as ‘Sir’. Friday afternoons were the time that all the fighter Squadrons got together in the back bar of the officer’s mess…

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The Short-haired Wig Era

I graduated from the RAAF School of Technical Training (RSTT) in June 1971 as an instrument fitter, a trade that I really enjoyed. I was posted to RAAF Base Williamtown in New South Wales, near Newcastle, were I got to work on the Mirage and Macchi aircraft. Having been brought up on the Gold Coast…

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The C-130 Hercules Crew Swap Prank

Whenever we were tasked with carrying Army passengers in the Hercules we always looked to carry out some sort of prank to heighten their anxiety when flying with us. This particular prank was instigated by the Loadmaster on my crew for the task of carrying some 80 Army personnel from RAAF Base Richmond to Rockhampton…

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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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