Australian International Airshow 2017 – Avalon’s ADF Showcase Part I

The Avalon Australian International Airshow 2017 had many aviation highlights but the key flying displays of the show were those featuring many of the aircraft in the RAAF, Royal Australian Army and Royal Australian Navy air fleets. These included older and brand new aircraft currently in operation or soon to reach operational status in the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Super Hornet & Growler

Part of the show opener was an impressive display by an RAAF Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet aka “Rhino” multi-role fighter. Unfortunately I was caught a fair way off from the flight line as I was checking out static displays at this stage but managed to get a reasonable look at the flying performance (I missed the Royal Australian Navy AS350B Squirrel helicopter duo formation performance that soon followed). On the ground were static displays of another armed Super Hornet and importantly a brand new RAAF asset, a Boeing EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft variant of the Super Hornet (I love the vicious looking engine intake covers!).

RAAF Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet at Avalon Australian International Air Show 2017
RAAF Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet at Avalon 2017
RAAF Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet at Avalon Australian International Air Show 2017
Super Hornet to some, “Rhino” to others
RAAF Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet at Avalon Australian International Air Show 2017
Super Hornet action at Avalon 2017
RAAF No. 1 Squadron F/A-18F Super Hornet Avalon 2017
RAAF Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet of No. 1 Squadron with examples of it widely capable weapons payload including a 20mm rotary cannon
One of the first RAAF Boeing EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft at Avalon 2017
One of the first RAAF Boeing EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft at Avalon 2017

Hawk, Tiger, Taipan & King Air

A zippy performance by an RAAF BAE Hawk 127 lead-in fighter jet trainer kept people entertained as did the impressive tactical helicopter display by Royal Australian Army Aviation helicopter assets. A pair of ARH Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopters and MRH90 Taipan Multi-Role Helicopters flew close along the crowd line to show off their capabilities. They were soon followed by a unique formation flying display by a four ship group of RAAF Beech King Air 350 light transports.

RAAF BAE Hawk 127 lead-in fighter trainer Avalon Australian International Air Show 2017
RAAF BAE Hawk 127 lead-in fighter trainer
RAAF BAE Hawk 127 lead-in fighter trainer Avalon Australian International Air Show 2017
The display Hawk 127 wore both No. 76 and 79 Squadron emblems on each side of its tail fin
RAAF BAE Hawk 127 lead-in fighter trainer Avalon Australian International Air Show 2017
A number of RAAF Hawk 127 jet trainers were on hand at Avalon
Australian Army Aviation ARH Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters at Avalon 2017
Australian Army Aviation ARH Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters at Avalon 2017
Australian Army Aviation ARH Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters at Avalon 2017
The Australian Army operate 22 ARH Tiger attack helicopters
Australian Army Aviation ARH Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters at Avalon 2017
The ARH Tiger can provide high-speed recon and protection in an offensive or defensive mission role for the Australian Army
Australian Army Aviation MRH-90 Taipan Multi-role Helicopters at Avalon 2017
Australian Army Aviation MRH90 Taipan Multi-role Helicopters at Avalon 2017
Australian Army Aviation ARH Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters at Avalon 2017
The ARH Tiger two-seat attack helicopter is fitted with a GIAT 30mm DEFA M781 chin mounted cannon and can carry AGM-114 Hellfire II Air-To-Ground Missiles or rocket pods
The MRH90 can conduct troop transport, search and rescue, special operations and counter-terrorism missions for the ADF

The army aviators were soon followed by a unique formation flying display by a four ship group of RAAF Beechcraft King Air 350 light transports. 8 King Air 350 aircraft are operated by RAAF Number 38 Squadron in a logistical role and by Number 32 Squadron at East Sale as the School of Air Warfare’s training aircraft to conduct training in roles such as navigation, low-level tactical fast-jet operations, maritime patrol and air battle management (depending on their role students may sit in the co-pilot’s seat or in the rear of the aircraft at specially fitted consoles).

The RAAF Beech King Air 350 formation team rolls out in preparation for take-off at Avalon 2017
The RAAF Beechcraft King Air 350 formation team rolls out in preparation for take-off at Avalon 2017
RAAF Beech King Air 350 formation team Avalon 2017
The King Air 350’s almost dance as they prepare for take-off
RAAF Beech King Air 350 formation team Avalon 2017
RAAF Beechcraft King Air 350 formation team Avalon 2017
RAAF Beech King Air 350 formation team Avalon 2017
RAAF Beechcraft King Air 350 formation team Avalon 2017
RAAF Beech King Air 350 formation team Avalon 2017
RAAF No. 32 and 38 Squadrons operate the Beechcraft King Air 350

My next post will cover the ADF Showcase operational capability display featuring RAAF, Royal Australian Army Aviation and Royal Australian Navy aircraft. It was a fantastic part of the air show!

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