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Send My Conscience Home in a Taxi

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Air Pageant, Feb 2010
(Picture from Numnunts flickr stream.)

At the end of Summer, February 28th, I headed out to RAAF Point Cook, the oldest still operating airbase in the world, and home to the RAAF Museum. Point Cook used to be relatively deserted area of wind-blown paddocks, but of late has turned into a suburb of sorts.

I digress.

Every couple of years the museum has an "Air Pageant", which makes it sound like something that would take place at a primary school! It actually an airshow, concentrating on old warbirds - vintage military aircraft.

There's a surprisingly large number of these flying in Australia. It must be incredibly hard work keeping these things flying. Many of the planes are more than 50 or 60 years old. So imagine your grandfathers old car that someone actually gets into and flings around the sky!

The whole thing was actually quite impressive. I've been to the Airshow out a Avalon a few times, but there's mostly modern aircraft flying there. This was far more interesting.

The highlight for me was the CAC Sabre, the only flying example of the Australian version of the American F-86. Years ago I worked at a DSTO site where there was one of these parked near the main gate.

It's the lead plane in the photo above. Above it is a Spitfire, the bottom aircraft is a P-51 Mustang. All of which, uniquely, where built in Australia, indeed I believe they were all built at Fisherman's Bend here in Melbourne.

Here's another shot:
(Also borrowed from someone else's photo stream.)

This plane first flew in 1957, and was restored to flying condition only in late 2009. Still, was flung around the sky with indecent hast for a 53 year old jet! It's run by the Temora Aviation Museum, which I plan to make a trek to one day.

Other aircraft of note:
A de Havilland Vampire, which is even older than the Sabre. Well, the model is, it first flew during the second world war. I can't identify this exact aircraft, it's probably a trainer from the late 1950's, possibly from the Rhodesian airforce.

And finally this unique plane:
The only flying P-40F Kittyhawk in the world. I'd read about this plane for a few months, following it's relatively recent return to the air.

I also got chatting to a couple of volunteers who were restoring a Mosquito. A unique plane, made from wood. Which was quite clear from the stripped down aircraft they had there - it looks like it was a piece of furniture!

I also managed to sunburn my face and the backs of my hands, all the areas I didn't have covered up. Stupid pale skin :-/

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Paulpaul went to that! His dad organised it.

No shit! It was pretty damn good - the weather helped. Also the free entry :-)

that Vampire is just gorgeous!

I'm kinda partial to the kittyhawk and the spitfire, too.
The sabre is nice -- I've got a feeling I should know about them (they likely flew in Bougainville - I read HB's thesis enough times, I should know!), but I'm not overly familiar with them.

It was amazing to see then flying about - they didn't just fly straight and level, that's for sure.

Not sure the Sabre would have been in Bouganville, it's post WWII, but they did serve in Malaysia....

a quick Ctrl-f on the .pdf of his thesis suggests you're correct! :)

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