Avalon Airshow (Melbourne, Australia)

12-13 March 2009

Part of the conference package was a visit to the Avalon Air Show (which is, like the AIAC conference, held once every 2 years). In the morning we visited a lot of stands of aeronautical industries, defence organizations, engineering agencies, software developpers, ... In the afternoon there was a "warming up" of flight events. The actual show for the general public would be the next 3 days, but before that, on the "trade days" they do some repetitions. Luckily the weather cleared up a bit (it was heavy rain in the morning) so it was nice to walk around the static outdoor aircraft exhibition as well.

[HDR] Royal Australiaan Air Force (RAAF) C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft

RAAF Caribou tactical transporter

The Lockheed Super Constellation ('Connie' for friends) is a historic plane, but has been restored and returned to airworthiness by volunteers. Apparently this type of plane was commonly used for flights to and from Australia in the late 1940s and the 1950s. A funny thing is that it actually has 3 vertical tail planes, but most people seem to be more charmed by the sound of its engines...

Nice aerobatics of Kent Pietsch in his Interstate Cadet called "Jelly Belly". He came by several times in the program to fill some "gaps" and amuse the crowd with his weird tricks. To be continued...

RAAF F-111 ready for landing (but it didn't and did an encore instead!)

BAE Syatems' HERTi unmanned aircraft

[HDR] I didn't bother waiting in line to get inside (I've been waiting in line for boarding a B777 often enough...). Instead, I took some pictures which are normally more difficult to take.

[HDR] (same as above)

The official opening of the performances on the first day for the general public was the 'flag drop' by parachutist Dave Benson. He jumped together with some friends who had the state and city flags or so.

Jeff Trappett in his P-51 Mustang

(same as above)

The Jelly Belly again! Now doing some weird stunts where during the flight one of the ailerons (deliberately) fell off (you can see the gap in the wing). Crazy stuff also, like going down vertically (tail first) and then up again...

Some more funny stuff: Bob Carlton in his Jet powered glider. Jet? Glider? huh? yeah! Funny stuff indeed. He performed a combination of nice slow and elegant sailplane glides and high speed pushing-the-envelope jet aerobatics.

Erickson Aircrane (Skorsky S-64), also known as "Elvis" according to reliable sources. Apparently they used it in combat missions agains Bush(fires).

And once more the Jelly Belly! After all his weird tricks with ailerons and wheels falling from the aircraft, the announcer remarked: "This time Kent ignited the smoke trails; as long as he can see the trails, he can be sure his wings are still attached." (Later he would still land on top of a truck driving along the runway, but it was difficult to get a good picture because of the crowds.)

Synchronised `dance' of 2 RAN [Royal Australian Navy] AS-350 Squirrels. They performed some nice maneuvers, such as twisting around eachother and synchronized hover & climb (very close to eachother and in strong crosswind).

one of the Squirrels at sunset

I think "MAD" is an understatement here: Ron Laycock equipped a pick-up truck with a jet engine complete with afterburner! Maybe even worse: he put the same type of jet engine (but with smaller afterburner) on a motor bike!

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