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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. Read more »

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. Read more »

The 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang “Ole Yeller”

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The 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang “Ole Yeller” Report and Photography by Bob Shane Every industry has its Hall of Fame. The individual members of this elite group, over the course of their professional careers, have demonstrated that they are truly the best of the best. In the Aviation industry, leading that formation of excellence, is Robert “Bob” Hoover. A fighter pilot, test pilot and air show pilot extraordinaire, Hoover did it all. During his flying career, he was involved in numerous milestone projects such as breaking the sound barrier. He is widely considered the founding father of modern aerobatics. A true American hero, Hoover’s fighter aircraft was shot down during the Second World War. He was captured by the Germans and later escaped by stealing a German Messerschmidt and flying it to Holland. Read more »

THE BERLIN CANDY DROP – OVER MANTEO, NC

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Photos and Story by Bill Sarama I was visiting the Village of Duck, on the Outer Banks (OBX) of North Carolina, about one and a half hours south of Norfolk on December 17th. Being a true Airplane Chaser, I decided to go down to the Manteo Airport, on Roanoke Island (Dare County Regional Airport / KMQI) to see what was going on. Well, there was a lot going on! Manteo was the old Manteo Auxiliary Naval Air Station (NAAS) in WWII and was an OLF Training Facility for the "Jolly Rogers" (VF-17 / VF-84 and currently VFA-103 out of Oceana). To this day it's Approach and Departure frequencies (124.725) are still controlled by MCAS Cherry Point Tower, seventy-five miles to the south, probably because it is located pretty close to the Navy Dare Bomb Range 30 miles southwest as the Gull flies. NAAS Manteo had F4F Wildcats, F6F Hellcats, SB2C Helldivers, TBM Avengers, PBY's, and F4U Corsairs, all based here and all using the MOA's off the coast. Read more »