Posts Tagged:flying

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 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 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 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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