Australian War Memorial: RAAF Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk “Polly” – She Was No Lady!

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Curtiss P-40E-1-CU Kittyhawk “Polly“ (Serial Number A29-133) was produced in New York in the United States in December 1941 and issued to 2 Aircraft Depot in Richmond, NSW on June 8th, 1942 . It was one of almost 850 Kittyhawk’s of various models procured by the RAAF during World War Two… Read More Australian War Memorial: RAAF Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk “Polly” – She Was No Lady!

Australian War Memorial: CAC Wirraway – The Unlikely “Zero Killer”

The Aircraft Hall was one of the original display halls in the Australian War Memorial when it opened in 1941. Dark and somewhat crowded, it contains some absolute aviation treasures from Australia’s involvement in World War Two and the Korean War, including one very historic RAAF CAC CA-5 Wirraway Mk.II advanced trainer/utility aircraft. The main theme of the… Read More Australian War Memorial: CAC Wirraway – The Unlikely “Zero Killer”

The Survivors: Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet “The Devil’s Sled”

Following Germany’s World War Two defeat in 1945, the victorious Allies were keen to gather up as much of their jet and rocket technology and expertise as they could. These wunderwaffe (“wonder-weapon”) aircraft and rocket designs would go on to heavily influence western and Soviet aviation and rocketry in the coming years of the Cold War.… Read More The Survivors: Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet “The Devil’s Sled”

Australian War Memorial: Knights of the Sky – Pfalz D.XII Scout Aircraft

The Pfalz D.XII was a scout aircraft operated by the Imperial German Air Service late in World War One and it does not seem to have had a good reputation with the German pilots who flew it! The first Pfalz D.XII prototype scout aircraft flew in March 1918. Around 750 – 800 were manufactured for the… Read More Australian War Memorial: Knights of the Sky – Pfalz D.XII Scout Aircraft

Australian War Memorial: Knights of the Sky – Albatros D.Va Scout Aircraft

One of my favourite historic aircraft in Australia is the Imperial German Air Service Albatros D.Va (serial number D.5390/17, manufactured around August/September 1917), a World War One scout aircraft displayed at the Australian War Memorial ANZAC Hall, Over the Front: The Great War in the Air exhibition in Canberra. The predecessor of this aircraft was the Albatros D.III… Read More Australian War Memorial: Knights of the Sky – Albatros D.Va Scout Aircraft

Australian War Memorial: Knights of the Sky – Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5a Scout

During World War One the Australian Flying Corps (AFC) flew air combat over most fronts of the war and especially the Western Front in Europe. In December 1917 AFC No. 2 Squadron was first equipped with the new Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5a scout fighter. This S.E.5a was not only relatively easy to fly but also fast (top speed 222 km/h),… Read More Australian War Memorial: Knights of the Sky – Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5a Scout

Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation: Aussie WWII Battlers & Aviation Pioneers

The Australian aviation industry was in a fledgling state in the 1930’s. With the potential for war brewing in Europe, discussions between the Australian government and numerous companies such as BHP and General Motors Holden began in 1935 to establish a modern aviation company to produce military aircraft and engines. Within a few short years… Read More Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation: Aussie WWII Battlers & Aviation Pioneers