Point Cook Australian Warbirds, Part 1

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Photos by Les Neistat

During a recent “Interactive Day” at the Royal Australian Air Force’s Museum at Point Cook, Les Neistat got the chance to see a trio of historic World War II aircraft in action.  Judy Pay’s CAC-18 Mustang (flown by Peter Clements), Alan Arthur’s Kittyhawk IV, and Gary Herne’s Tiger Moth were shown off.

RAAF Base Williams is located at Point Cook, about a half hour’s drive from West Melbourne, Victoria. The land and base are rich in history, as it became the RAAF’s first flying facility.  The land was purchased in 1912, but after the First World War ended it became the fledgling Australian Flying Corps’ first home, and has been in service in many capacities ever since. Today the RAAF’s national museum is housed here, containing many treasures from conflicts and peacetime. The runways are still open, although no active duty flying units are based there.

Gary Herne’s DH-82A Tiger Moth was once based at Point Cook during the late 1940s, used by the RAAF as a primary flight trainer .  The current color scheme is as the aircraft actually looked during that time period, including it’s authentic serial number. Alan Arthur’s Curtiss fighter is a Kittyhawk IV, originally used as a trainer in New Zealand. The Mustang is a Mk.21 version, which is a P-51D that was produced in Australia under license.

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