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National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Expands Its Dispalys

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The fourth building at the sprawling National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is now open to the public, displaying some rare aircraft that have been out of the public’s eye for some time. The only surviving XB-70 Valkyrie bomber, the VC-137C, serial number 26000, which was the first well-known Presidential jet transport, and the actual C-141 Starlifter named “Hanoi Taxi” which transported POWs from Vietnam after the end of hostilities, are part of a large group of aircraft have been moved into the $40.8 million, two hundred twenty eight thousand square foot hangar. Many of these aircraft were stored in hangars across the way (and thus out of sight for most museum visitors) because of the volume they take up, with room not available until the fourth structure was completed.

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Phancon 2016 Phetes the Phinal U.S. QF-4 Phantoms!

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Photos by Howard German, except where noted.

Just how did the F-4 Phantom II Society fete the farewell for their favorite U.S. military jet fighter? Well, during a Phancon, of course.

Who is this Society and what do they do? To use the organization’s own words: “…The F-4 Society is dedicated to the preservation of the history of the F-4 Phantom II aircraft (now in service for over 50 years) through the Journal of the F-4 Society, SMOKE TRAILS, and via this web site of the F-4 Society, www.f4phantom.com. As a charitable organization, it is the responsibility and practice of the F-4 Society to support other similar nonprofit organizations that are actively acquiring and preserving F-4 Phantom II airframes and other artifacts. This activity has historically involved the contribution of artifacts and financial support….”

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100 Years of Australia’s First Flying Squadrons

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(Editor’s note: some previous photo credits were incorrect due to my editing error, and have been corrected.)

Dies Natalis:
100 Years of Australia’s First Flying Squadrons
By Dion Makowski

A centenary is a significant celebration for any person, let alone an institution in a country as young as Australia.

On Friday, 28 October 2016, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) celebrated its’ first flying squadrons’ centenaries (of Nos 1, 2, 3 and 4 squadrons), 4 Squadron being the most recent to commemorate its establishment in 28 October 1916.

The official program commenced with a colours parade, reviewed by the Governor-General, His Excellency, General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove, AK, MC (Ret’d), as Commander-In-Chief. The Squadron colours, for 1, 2 and 3 Squadrons (large, tasselled banners surmounted with gold eagles) as displayed, were replicated from the originals.

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RAAF’s Historic 11 Squadron Adds the P-8 Poseidon

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PHOTORECON was present for the arrival ceremony for the Boeing P-8A Poseidon to RAAF Base Edinburgh (north of Adelaide, South Australia) on 25th November. A Welcome to Country ceremony was performed for the P-8 by a small indigenous dance contingent and the aircraft was blessed with a prayer of dedication by RAAF Chaplain Susan Page. Boeing is building 12 P-8 Poseidons for the RAAF to replace the venerable Lockheed AP-3C Orion and with the first delivery to the famous No. 11 Squadron now achieved, one can be expected every three months with the next due in March 2017 – until all are in service here in 2021. Per the 2016 Defence White Paper there is the further option of 3 airframes but that decision is yet to be made and there is plenty of time given the 2021 timeframe. Enhanced best practice early warning, surveillance and response capability, combined with sustainability challenges, is the reason the government has to replace the older Orion airframes.

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