Saturday, October 11, 2008

Amberley RAAF Air Show 2008

Last Sunday 5th October, I went up to Amberley to see

the RAAF Air Show. I’ve been to the air show twice before,

the last time being many years ago.

Dave, at work asked if I wanted to join him to go and see

the air show. We decided to go on the Sunday. On the

Saturday TV news I saw the huge line up of cars heading to

Amberley. Interviewing some of the visitors I heard that

the 40km trip was taking up to 2 hours. Cripes, I thought

the 8.30am we were going to leave could take us up until

10.30 before we arrived not to mention the time it might

take to park and walk to the viewing area. We were

pleasantly surprised as there was no hold up and we

arrived in just under 35 minutes. Parking was controlled

by volunteer staff and we were soon inside ready to enjoy

the event.

There was a large display of static aircraft which were open

for inspection. The queues to go inside the airplanes and

helicopters were long and parents spent many a time

photographing their children sitting inside the cockpits.

Once the air display commenced the crowds surged

forward to the front fence eager to film the coming show

and what a show it was. The weather was excellent, clear

blue skies, temperatures fairly high and long shirt, hat

and sun screen was definitely a requirement.

The Royal Australian Air Force Base Amberley is located

in Queensland, 40km south west of Brisbane, near Ipswich

and is the largest of Australia's Air Force bases. More than

3,500 people work there.

Amberley was originally given its name by a farmer who

arrived from England in the 1850s. The area was purchased

in December 1938 as the site of the first permanent

RAAF station in Queensland.

The Amberley RAAF Air Force Base went into operation

on 17th June 1940 when a Station Headquarters was

set up and No. 24 Squadron established. The squadron

received its first aircraft a De Havilland Moth Minor on

4th July.

.....................De Havilland Moth Minor.

Six days later, four Wirraways and a further two Moth

Minor aircraft were added. Both these types of aircraft

were built in Australia.

Personnel at the base hope their efforts will not be in vain,

as heavy rain washed out the 1996 show and the World

Trade Centre bombing led to the cancellation of the 2001

event. Wing Commander Rod Neilson said the base expected

to attract 50,000 to 60,000 people each day.

The cancellation of the previous two shows “have heightened

the interest in south-east Queensland for the air show”,

particularly as the last major air show was for the Air Force’s

60th anniversary in 1981.

Aircrafts on display and flying in the Air Show.

C-17 Globemaster


F/A-18 Hornet



Roulettes Aerobatic Team (PC-9)

Army Helicopters

Squirrel Pairs Display Team


War Birds

The C-17 Globemaster is a heavy airlift aircraft with the

capacity to carry a huge load. It can fly a very long time

without having to refuel, and can take off from and land

on dirt runways. This massive Boeing C-17 is Australia’s

largest strategic airlift freighter and is capable of transporting

a 77,500 kilogram payload.

The AP-3C Orion began as a passenger aircraft called the

Electra, which first flew in 1957. It was later converted for

military use in 1962. It is an extremely versatile aircraft

capable of many roles including maritime surveillance,

anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare, naval fleet support,

fisheries patrol, and survivor search and supply.

The Orion has a maximum speed of 750 km/h and can stay

in the air for up to 15 hours without refuelling. The power

of each of its four Allison turboprop engines is an enormous

4,600 horsepower. You would need approximately 20

six-cylinder family cars to generate the same amount of

horsepower as a single Orion engine.

Click to play video of The Roulettes Aerobatic Flying Team.

The PC-9 is the high-performance aircraft flown by the Roulettes

aerobatic team that you will see perform at the air show.

The Roulettes fly at speeds of up to 590 km/h and pull up to

6 'G' when performing aerobatic displays.

The Hawk 127 is primarily used for fighter training.

It has up-to-date instrumentation and weapons capability,

and is used to prepare aircrew to make sure they are ready

to fly the F/A-18 Hornet fighter or F-111 strike aircraft.

C-130 Hercules. 2008 is the 50th anniversary of C-130

Hercules operations in Australia and this reliable workhorse

participate on both days of the Air Show.

No 37 Squadron, based at RAAF Base Richmond, operates

Australia’s C130 H and C130J Hercules fleet, providing both

strategic and combat airlift. This aircraft is capable of lifting

20,000 kilograms and is currently deployed in the Middle

East Area of Operations.

The F/A-18 Hornet is a multi-role fighter aircraft that can

reach the amazing speed of 2,200km/h. It is capable of

flying for 2,700km without refuelling, but it can also be refueled,

while still in the air, by a KC-30B tanker aircraft when necessary.

................Rear view of the F-18 Hornet.

The F-111 is a supersonic long-range strike aircraft operated

by Nos. 1 and 6 Squadrons at Amberley. They have a swing-wing

that can be adjusted for different flight speeds, and when the

wings are positioned fully back, the F-111 can fly at more than

twice the speed of sound (the speed of sound is approximately

1,238 kilometres per hour).

Missiles on the F-111..........and the engine of a F-111.

The F-111 is affectionately known as 'the pig', because it can

fly so low using its terrain-following radar that it is said to be like

a pig with its 'nose in the weeds'.

Click to play video of F-111 Dump and Burn.

It often happens when one is taking video in a crowded

situation, somebody moves in from of the camera and this

was no exception as you will see an arm block the view of

the F-111 hurtling into the sky.

The F-111 will retire in 2010, so essentially it's performing its

last RAAF Amberley display.

It is a pretty important milestone as the F-111 has been a

mainstay here for 40 years and part of Australia's air strike

capabilities since the 1970s.

The F-111 will remain in the RAAF's arsenal but will soon be

replaced by twin-seater F-18 Super Hornets, which are

expected to be on display at next year's air show.

The Douglas DC-3 is an American fixed-wing, propeller-driven

aircraft whose speed and range revolutionized air transport

in the 1930s and 1940s. Early U.S. airlines like United,

American, TWA and Eastern ordered over 400 DC-3s.

These fleets paved the way for the modern American air

travel industry, quickly replacing trains as the favored means

of long-distance travel across the United States. During World

War II, many civilian DC-3s were drafted for the war effort and

nearly 10,000 military versions of the DC-3 were built.

I’m showing a number of aircraft and helicopters that were on

display even though they were not part of the flying show.


.........Lockheed L1049 Super Constellation.



...............................................Seahawk Helicopter.

.....................Trojan..................................................Tiger Moth.


This is the last photo I took as we left a little early before

the end of the show hoping that we would miss the exodus

of vehicles, and this we did.

I didn’t take many photos of planes in the air as I was also

taking video. I took about 25 minutes of video and I’ve

downloaded two small clips which I’m including in this post.

Should you have the opportunity of attending any of the air

shows that are flown in many parts of the world, I recommend

that you spare some time and enjoy the aircraft on the ground

as well as the display in the air.


Peter said...

Very good Wazza, I even watched the two WG film clips, you certainly chose the right day to attend as Saturday would have been spoilt by the traffic snarls I reckon.

kayla said...

very nice blogs!

Puss-in-Boots said...

After Saturdsy's carpark on the Ipswich Motorway, it was nice that you were able to drive straight through on the Sunday. We're not far from Amberley, as the crow flies, and had jets flying overhead for the two days...more than usual, that is. That was a very interesting post, Warren.