Technological advances in RAAF Fighters: 1940’s to 1950’s

It is interesting to see the development changes in combat aircraft from the 1940’s to 1950’s. Technological advances during that period were enormous! The three aircraft in the following photos were operated by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in the 1940’s and 1950’s and you can clearly see the advancement in aircraft design in that short period with the introduction first of jet engines then more streamlined fuselages and swept wing designs for greater performance.

RAAF Gloster Meteor, CAC Boomerang & CAC Sabre
Gloster Meteor, CAC Boomerang & CAC Sabre

The CAC Boomerang was an Australian designed and built World War Two stop-gap fighter first introduced in 1942 and operated until 1945. It proved to be a very successful close support aircraft in New Guinea.

The Gloster Meteor was a British design that introduced into service in 1944 as the first operational Allied jet fighter of World War Two. The RAAF procured Meteors between 1946-1952 and operated them in combat during the Korean War (1950-1953) as a fighter and ground attack aircraft from 1951-1953 (they were very successful in the latter role and despite being outclassed by the Communist MiG-15, RAAF pilots still managed to shoot down 6 of them). The RAAF retired the Meteor in 1955 with the introduction of the CAC Sabre fighter jet

RAAF Gloster Meteor, CAC Boomerang & CAC Sabre
Gloster Meteor, CAC Boomerang & CAC Sabre

The CAC Sabre was a modified version of the North American F-85F Sabre jet fighter. The Sabre was introduced by the USAF in 1949 and during the Korean War soon proved superior to the MiG-15. The CAC Sabre had a different engine (instead of the General Electric J47 a Rolls Royce Avon was fitted which required the fuselage to be modified) and different armament (twin 30mm Aden cannons instead of 6 x 0.50 caliber machine guns) to the American version. These changes gave the CAC Sabre a higher performance and more firepower. The type did not see combat in the Korean War as they were not introduced into service until 1954 but they did serve on combat duties during the Malaya communist insurgency from 1958 to 1960. The success of the modified design is displayed in the fact that the last CAC Sabre was not retired from RAAF service until 1971!

These are some classic aircraft from that era. It is great to still have some flying in Australia.

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