Pictures from the inaugural Major warbirds display in temora, 2011
     
   
 

David Lowy (blue overalls) walking out to his Mk. 16 Spitfire. Without David none of this would exist.
Behind the Spit, the PC-9s of the RAAF aerobatics team, the Roulettes.

 
     
   
  Those elliptical wings. If only I had sound to go with the picture. The exhaust stubs of the Merlin's twelve cylinders show clearly on either side of the nose. During his preflight walk-around, David Lowy appeared to be counting them.  
     
   
  "Connie", the Super Constellation borrowed from the Historical Aircraft Preservation Society, starts her take-off
run after a lot of delay starting her engines and a lot of blue smoke. Why a Constellation in a warbirds display?
Because, we were told, Constellations saw military service so Connie has a right to be present.
 
     
   
  In the air, with that long stalk of a nosewheel leg retracted, Connie looks so graceful. The original design incorporated
a single, tall tail fin. Replacing it with three smaller fins enabled the aircraft to fit into hangars with lower roofs and
gave the Constellation its very distinctive appearance.
 
     
   
  The 75 Squadron tribute flypast. This formation was difficult to plan because of the vast performance differential.
Led by the slowest, the Kittyhawk, the Mustang flew in second place followed by the three jets. In third place is the twin-engined Meteor, the first British jet to fly in combat. Then comes the CAC (Avon) Sabre, capable of breaking the sound barrier in a dive and finally the Hornet, easily capable of supersonic flight going uphill and fast asleep. Missing from the formation was a Mirage and a Vampire, also operated by 75 Squadron.
 
     
   
  The air-to-air photograph taken for the Temora Aviation Museum. © Temora Aviation Museum  
     
   
  An F/A-18 Hornet being inspected by a lady who, herself, owns a Mustang worth a cool $1.5M, a Vampire and lord
knows what else. I was interested in the lettering near her knee and a close-up (below) revealed an interesting story,
 
     
   
  Squadron Leader John Francis Jackson D.F.C. commanded 75 Squadron at Port Moresby. On April 10th 1942 his
Kittyhawk was shot down by three Japanese fighters. With his aircraft on fire he crashed in the sea and swam to shore. Friendly villagers led him along jungle tracks for two weeks to an Australian guerrilla base at Wau. On being flown
back to Moresby, the aircraft was attacked by three Japanese fighters and shot to pieces but John again escaped with
just a scratched finger. His wife was informed he was safe and well. Two days later he was killed in aerial combat.
 
     
   
  If the name "Kittyhawk" makes you think of something soft and cuddly, the nose art on this aircraft might change your mind. This is the type Squadron Leader J. F. Jackson flew. If you'd like to learn more about him, Google "JF Jackson DFC".  
     
   
     
  Above and below: North American F-86 Sabres first flew in the late 1940s. The wing design owed a lot to German technology captured after WWII.  Later, Sabres were built under licence in Australia as the CA-27. Substantial
redesigning of the fuselage took place to accommodate the more powerful Rolls-Royce Avon Mk 26 jet engine which increased the climb rate substantially and increased its top speed. The Sabre shown here is a CA-27 (Avon) Sabre.
 
     
   
  Note that strange tube leading from just behind the cockpit to the tail? This is only a guess, but I think
it's an add-on to spray diesel fuel into the jet exhaust to provide white smoke for display purposes.
 
     
   
     
  Above and below: The R.A.A.F. aerobatic team, the Roulettes, was as immaculate and thrilling as ever.  
     
     
   
     
 

Above and below: A Gloster Meteor F.8, the first British jet to enter R.A.F. service. Too late for the Battle of Britain but possessing superior speed, it was rushed into service against the unmanned German V-1 Flying Bombs which were powered by pulse jets. This particular aircraft served with the R.A.F.

 
     
   
 

The Meteor F.8 after landing. One of only five Meteors still flying in the world, and the only one in Australia.
Not many WWII vintage aircraft had tricycle undercarriages. Check out all those aircraft on the far side of the airfield.
They, and a multitude more, had brought in spectators to the airshow. Of course, trailer trash like us arrived by road. Sniff.

 
     
 

A North American P-51 Mustang back-tracking to the runway threshold prior to take-off. The pilot is leaning well out to
the right in order to see where he's going; his view straight ahead is totally obscured by his engine cowling, a common problem with 'tail draggers', especially those with big, long Rolls-Royce Merlin V12 engines or the Packard equivalent.
What do you make of that rudder? It looks like its been borrowed from another Mustang to me. Doesn't really belong, does it?

 
     
   
  "61 to 24, your smoke is seriously damaging my health." A formation of Harvards.  
     
   
  "Who says Kiwis can't fly?"                                                            More Harvards.        
     
   
  A Lockheed Hudson. There is only one in the world still flying and here it is, looking pristine. Wouldn't have been
much fun sitting in that gun turret during combat, especially if an enemy fighter stayed screened behind your tail fin.
 
     
   
  A Bell Iroquois. This type was renowned for its service in Vietnam where it was known as a 'Huey'. This particular
helicopter was initially delivered to the RAN in 1965 where it served with 723 Squadron. In 1971 its engine flamed out
whilst the crew were practising forced landings and it crashed in a gully and was burnt out. However, it was repaired and returned to service. It was finally retired in 1989 and is the only Iroquois left flying with the RAN Historic Flight.
 
     
  And finally, a Hornet of 75 Squadron doing a 'dirty' pass with everything hanging out; wheels, refuelling probe,
arrester hook, flaps and probably the airbrake hidden behind one of the tail fins.