Category Archive for: Phil’s Blog Posts

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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The Mirage IIIO

The Marcell Dassault Mirage III was designed as a supersonic interceptor capable of dealing with Soviet bomber aircraft of the day. To that end it was never intended to be an air superiority fighter nor a strike platform. The RAAF however, needed the aircraft to be all of these things and developed it’s roles accordingly.…

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The TBM Avenger

The TBM Avenger was the largest single engine aircraft produced during WWII, built by the Grumman aircraft company and designed as a torpedo bomber it served with distinction particularly in the Pacific theatre. I first laid eyes on the Avenger at an air show at NAS Nowra in New South Wales and I was amazed…

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The Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros

The L-39 Albatros first appears on the scene in the late 1970s manufactured by the Czechoslovakian aircraft company Aero Vodochody. It’s design has all the hallmarks of Russian design bureau techniques. The L-39’s principal purpose is that of a lead in fighter trainer and it was used by many Eastern Bloc Countries. Interestingly the Royal…

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The Fokker Triplane Replica

During my time as a flying instructor with the RAAFs No 1 Flying Training School I was selected to fly the RAAF Museum’s Fokker Triplane replica. This came about when the Commanding Officer, Wing Commander Geoff Radbone entered the instructor’s crewroom and asked “which of you fighter guys has taildragger experience?” whereupon I put my…

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The Saudi Arabian Experience

My wife and I spent five years in Saudi Arabia, I was working for British Aerospace Systems as a flying instructor on the Hawk Mk-65 jet trainer teaching Royal Saudi Air Force pilots to be fighter pilots. I have often been asked what we thought of our experience living and working there. To be honest…

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The Sabre – A94-983

The Australian Sabre was a derivative of the American F-86 that we modified with a bigger engine the Rolls Royce Avon and 30mm canon instead of the six .50inch machine guns. A94-983 was rescued from the Royal Malaysian Air Force after they chose to retire the ones given to them by the Australian Government. The…

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The MiG-21 Jet Fighter

In the mid-nineties I received a phone call out of the blue from a syndicate of people who had purchased a MiG-21 asking me to fly it for them. After overcoming the initial shock of the request and the realisation that someone in Australia owned a MiG-21 and intended on flying it, I agreed. The…

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