Story Phil Buckley Photos by Matieu Macey
On November 20th, 2021, the Temora Aviation Museum held one of their Aircraft Showcase events at their home field in Temora, New South Wales, Australia. The air show featured several aircraft from No.100 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), the civilian-military partnership which operates a fleet of historically significant former military aircraft to help celebrate the RAAF’s centenary as an independent air arm. Some of the unit’s aircraft taking part included Supermarine Spitfire Mk.VIII A58-758, CAC CA-13 Boomerang A46-122, Cessna O-2A Skymaster 67-21407, Lockheed Hudson Mk.III A16-112, CAC CA-16 Wirraway A20-653 and English Electric Canberra TT.18 WJ680. Several visiting warbirds also joined in, like the brace of CAC Winjeels (one of which came from RAAF Point Cook), a Curtiss P-40N Warhawk, Vultee BT-13A Valiant, North American Harvard, PAC CT-4A and Cessna L-19A Bird Dog.
While the wet conditions did prevent a number of aircraft from taking part, such as the open-cockpit Ryan STM and deHavilland Tigermoth, this didn’t dampen the spirits of those in attendance. Of real note, this air show saw the first official flying display from the locally-based Canberra TT.18 following its recent refurbishment. As regular readers will recall, this former Royal Air Force bomber arrived at the Temora Aviation Museum in airworthy condition during 2002, but her operating costs were such that she fell dormant by 2010. However, a few years ago, with the upcoming RAAF Centenary in mind, museum personnel began a methodical refurbishment program for the airframe and its systems, achieving a first post-restoration flight in late June this year. It was marvelous to see this historic aircraft back in the air again, resplendent in No.2 Squadron RAAF livery from the period when that unit flew and fought in the Vietnam War.
This air show also marked the penultimate public flying display by a McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A in Australia, as the RAAF retired the remainder of their legacy Hornets on November 29th. While some 25 of these airframes may live on for a while, supplementing the Royal Canadian Air Force fleet, the remainder are likely soon bound for museums. Interestingly, the Hornet which performed at Temora, A21-8, became the first operational RAAF example when it joined No.3 Squadron at Williamtown on August 29th, 1986.
Despite the clouds and damp conditions, the Temora’s November Aircraft Showcase proved a great success, if for no other reason than it actually took place at all. Indeed, the show was one of just a handful of large scale aviation events which took place in Australia during 2021, a year blighted by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hopefully 2022 will see much more flying action across the nation – and at Temora, which currently has Aviation Showcase displays scheduled for March, April, May and September next year, complemented by their ever-popular, larger scale Warbirds Downunder event in October.
Many thanks to Phil Buckley and Matieu Macey for their excellent photographs and air show details! We hope you have enjoyed this report.