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

The Roulettes

The RAAF Roulettes aerobatic display team put on a great formation flying display at the Avalon Australian International Airshow 2017 with a six ship group of their current steed, the Pilatus PC-9/A turboprop trainer. Roulette pilots are qualified flying instructors from the Central Flying School at RAAF East Sale (there are 7 pilots in the team at any one time. 6 fly in the display and 1 provides ground commentary – the latter also flies the teams spare seventh aircraft).

RAAF Roulettes at Avalon Australian International Airshow 2017
RAAF Roulettes aerobatic display team at Avalon 2017
RAAF Roulettes at Avalon Australian International Airshow 2017
Fill the sky
RAAF Roulettes at Avalon Australian International Airshow 2017
The Roulettes always put on a great show!
RAAF Roulettes at Avalon Australian International Airshow 2017
From team to solo the Roulettes displays are always a crowd pleaser
RAAF Roulettes at Avalon Australian International Airshow 2017
Break!
RAAF Roulettes at Avalon Australian International Airshow 2017
Cross over!
RAAF Roulettes at Avalon Australian International Airshow 2017
Inverted mirror pass
RAAF Roulettes at Avalon Australian International Airshow 2017
One by one
RAAF Roulettes at Avalon Australian International Airshow 2017
RAAF Roulettes PC-9/A’s
RAAF Roulettes at Avalon Australian International Airshow 2017
The Avalon Australian International Airshow 2017 featured a full Roulettes repertoire
RAAF Roulettes at Avalon Australian International Airshow 2017
Another great performance by the RAAF Roulettes

Roulettes PC-9/A’s will be replaced by 2019 with the new and improved Pilatus PC-21 (49 are on order to replace the 65 PC-9/A’s currently in service with numerous RAAF units). The first two that have been delivered to the RAAF were in the static displays after having only recently arrived from Switzerland. The PC-21 features improved performance and advanced technology to ensure pilots will develop the necessary skills to progress onto flying advanced aircraft such as the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II.

The new RAAF Pilatus PC-21 turbo-prop trainer at Avalon 2017
The new RAAF Pilatus PC-21 turbo-prop trainer at Avalon 2017

RAAF Hornets

The finale of the show was a great bit of formation flying by RAAF McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet multi-role fighters. The four ship display included RAAF No. 2 Operational Conversion Unit (2OCU) single seat F/A-18A and two-seat F/A-18B Hornet fighters alongside a No. 3 Squadron two-seater and a No. 77 Squadron F/A-18A. The flying display included great high-speed and “dirty” formation passes with the flaps, gear and tail hook down (highlighting the original US Navy design characteristics).

RAAF 2OCU F/A-18 Hornets take off at Avalon 2017
RAAF 2OCU F/A-18 Hornets take off at Avalon 2017
RAAF F/A-18A & B multi-role fighter formation pass at Avalon 2017
RAAF F/A-18A & B multi-role fighter formation pass at Avalon 2017
RAAF F/A-18A & B multi-role fighter formation pass at Avalon 2017
RAAF 2OCU, No. 3 and No. 77 Squadron Hornets
RAAF F/A-18A & B multi-role fighter formation pass at Avalon 2017
Four ship pass
RAAF F/A-18A & B multi-role fighter formation pass at Avalon 2017
The F/A-18 Hornet remains the front-line RAAF fighter after more than 30 years of service
RAAF F/A-18A & B multi-role fighter formation pass at Avalon 2017
Without a dedicated jet aerobatic display team it is great to see these operational RAAF pilots show off some formation flying moves
RAAF F/A-18A & B multi-role fighter formation pass at Avalon 2017
Cant get enough of this!
RAAF F/A-18A & B multi-role fighter formation pass at Avalon 2017
Great flying!
RAAF F/A-18A & B multi-role fighter formation pass at Avalon 2017
The two-seat F/A-18B is a fully combat capable trainer
RAAF F/A-18A & B multi-role fighter formation pass at Avalon 2017
The F/A-18 Hornet will eventually be replaced in RAAF service by the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter
RAAF F/A-18A & B multi-role fighter formation pass at Avalon 2017 Dirty Pass
Dirty Pass

The McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet entered RAAF service between 1984 and 1990 and remains a huge crowd drawcard as they continue to bring the thunder. They were a fitting way to complete the flying component of the Avalon Australian International Airshow 2017 (the only down side for photos is that the sun is generally starting to get low behind the flying displays by this time of day). Bring on Avalon 2019!

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