An Aussie's travels to air shows, aviation museums and more around the world
100 Years: 1918 to 2018 – RAAF Museum Remembrance Day WW1 Flying Display
At 11am on November 11th, 1918 the guns finally fell silent. The armistice to end The Great War, World War One, came into effect. 100 years later, Lest We Forget.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
The RAAF Museum commemorated the Australian pilots who flew with the Australian Flying Corps, Royal Flying Corps, Royal Naval Air Service and eventually the Royal Air Force (the RFC and RNAS merged in 1918) during World War One with an interactive flying display at Point Cook on Remembrance Day November 11th, 2018. Aircraft to take to the sky earlier in the afternoon included a replica Australian Flying Corps Sopwith Pup scout fighter (representing D4170) and replica Sopwith Snipe scout fighter (representing E8050). Due to the reproduction Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8 reconnaissance aircraft having a technical issue, the RAAF Museum de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth (A17-692) World War Two era biplane trainer stepped in as a replacement.
Fortunately at the end of the flying display the RAAF Museum pilots advised that the R.E.8 issue was sorted out and it would fly at 3pm, for an official RAAF aerial photo shoot with the Pup and Snipe. The RAAF Museum North American T-6 Harvard Mk.III (NZ1075) flew as the photo ship.
The fantastic replica Sopwith Snipe scout fighter built, owned and flown by former airline pilot Nick Caudwell (in AFC style flight gear), features original Snipe instruments and gun sights, with a Continental W670 radial engine in place of the original and very rare Bentley BR2 rotary engine (he couldn’t source one). Built as a retirement project over almost 10 years from original blueprints (with no previous experience in such a task!), the aircraft sports the markings of AFC No. 4 Squadron air ace Elwyn Roy “Bo” King DSO DFC (Snipe E8050) who achieved 26 air to air victories on the Western Front, 7 of which were scored in a Snipe (he was the highest scoring Snipe pilot).
The RAAF Museum Sopwith Pup replica was built by Transavia in Sydney in 1979 and acquired in 1989. The replica replaced the original Pup timber fuselage frame with welded tubular steel and is powered by an Armstrong Siddeley Gennet Major radial engine instead of an original Le Rhône rotary engine. The type was operated by the RNAS and RFC as a scout fighter from 1916 to 1917 and in the training role from 1918 to 1919. The replica features the markings of an AFC No. 8 (Training) Squadron Pup which operated in England during the War. In 1919, eleven were given to the AFC as part of the Imperial Gift and in 1921 were operated by RAAF No. 1 Flying Training School at Point Cook as a fighter trainer until 1930 (sadly no original RAAF examples survived).
The RAAF Museum reproductionRoyal Aircraft Factory R.E.8 reconnaissance aircraft was built by The Vintage Aviator Ltd. in New Zealand. This type of aircraft was operated by Australian Flying Corps No. 1, 3 and 7 (Training) Squadrons on the Western Frontduring World War One from 1917 to 1918 and wears the markings of AFC No. 3 Squadron aircraft A4397 (see photo below). Armed with a forward firing .303 Vickers machine gun and a rear .303 Lewis gun, the R.E.8 was crewed by a pilot and observer (who also acted as the rear gunner) – the pilot would generally operate the reconnaissance photographic equipment.
The RAAF Museum Tiger Moth (A17-692) was built and delivered to the RAAF in 1943 and retired in 1953 but transferred to the Royal Australian Navy in 1954 for operation until 1958. Sold off that year, it changed hands numerous times until acquired by the museum in 2005.
The RAAF Museum Harvard (NZ1075) was delivered in 1943 to the RNZAF for pilot training. Put into storage in 1962 but flown at commemorative events in New Zealand in the 1970’s, it was sold to an Australian buyer in 1982 and changed hands a number of times over the years. Registered as VH-HVD, it was acquired by the RAAF Museum in 2017 for training pilots to fly the museum CAC CA-18 Mustang fighter.
The weather was a perfect sunny Spring day. A great afternoon of flying!