Today I attended the airshow at Richmond RAAF Base, west of Sydney. There was a big crowd and a number of aerial displays. Some were by old favorites like the Spitfire but many were by our current service aircraft like the F-111, F-18, P-3C, 707 tanker, Hawk jet and P-9 prop trainer. The special guest was a USAF C-17 which performed a short take-off, landing and maneuverability demonstration. The RAAF will be receiving four C-17s starting in December of this year.
I enjoyed it but it would have been better if there were less people and I could see the displays more clearly. I guess I can’t complain if it’s a popular event, though. I didn’t get many good pictures because of the crowds but I’m happy with the C-17 photo below—all the flaps, slats and gear hanging out as it comes in to a steep landing. I quite like the F-18 maneuvering hard in afterburner too, although it’s a little blurry. Click on the C-17 thumbnail for a larger image.
My favorite performer is the F-111 but unfortunately I arrived just as it was starting its set early. It was still amazing how fast it can fly at low level and how tightly it can turn for such a large plane. On the ground it’s almost impossible to take a photo of it and get more than half the craft in the frame from any reasonable distance. They may be old but I can’t believe we’re getting rid of them for a jet with a fraction of its range. I don’t care how sophisticated a `plane is, if it can’t get to the target it isn’t going to do much damage.
Anyway, many thanks to Murdoc for letting me post here while he was away. I hope I didn’t disappoint anyone too badly. Welcome back!
Update: More images from the air show, including some great ones of the F111, are here.
—Posted by Nicholas.