Canberra’s RAAF 100 flypast: every time of every aircraft

written by Adam Thorn | March 30, 2021
A Hudson leads the formation with two CA-13 Boomerangs at the Temora Air Force Centenary Showcase 2021, Temora Aerodrome, NSW.

Today, to celebrate RAAF’s centenary, 60 warbirds and modern aircraft will fly in waves over Lake Burley Griffin from 10:30am followed by a full display by the Roulettes aerobatic team.

This event will feature the Spitfire, Caribou, C-130J, F/A-18 Hornet and the F-35A Lightning II. Below we outline every aircraft that will be flying and at what times. Click the links to see our Inside the Archive coverage, too, featuring never-before-seen images from Australian Aviation’s 40-year archive alongside profiles.

For those attending in person, check out the best viewing points. If you can’t make it, the ABC will broadcast live coverage hosted by Lisa Millar.

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Please note, the start time may vary, but the schedule should remain the same. The aircraft will fly in the order shown below, with each group separated by a dash (–).

9:30am

Seahawk

The MH-60R Seahawk is an anti-submarine, anti-surface and search and rescue helicopter powered by two turboshaft engines and entered service with the Royal Australian Navy in 2013.

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10:30–10:35am

C-27J Spartan

The C-27J Spartan is a light tactical aircraft powered by two turboprop engines and entered RAAF service in 2015. The C-27J conducted flood relief operations in Queensland, airdropped goods to remote communities as part of Operation Christmas Drop Australia 2019, and supported bushfire relief efforts in early 2020. See more here.

F-35A Lightning II

The F-35A Lightning II is a single-seat multi-role fighter powered by a single turbofan engine and entered RAAF service in 2018. Possessing speed, agility, stealth technology, advanced datalinks, mission systems and sensor fusion; the F-35 is the most advanced multi-role stealth fighter in the world.

F/A-18F Super Hornet

The F/A-18F Super Hornet is a two-seat multi-role fighter powered by two turbofan engines and entered RAAF service in 2010. Super Hornets and the older Classic Hornets contributed to the defeat of the Islamic State in Iraq from September 2014 until January 2018. See more here.

EA-18G Growler

The EA-18G Growler is a two-seat airborne electronic attack aircraft powered by two turbofan engines and entered RAAF service in 2015. The Growler is based on the airframe and engines of the Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet, but with the addition of unique electronic warfare equipment. See more here.

C-130J Hercules

The C-130J Hercules is a medium-range transport powered by four turboprop engines and entered RAAF service in 1999. The RAAF has operated four versions of Hercules aircraft since the C-130A model entered service in 1958. In addition to their military roles, Hercules aircraft have provided extensive humanitarian aid and disaster relief in Australia and around the world. See more here.

11.05–11:15am

S-70A-9 Black Hawk

The S-70A-9 Black Hawk is a utility helicopter powered by two turboshaft engines and entered service with the Royal Australian Air Force in 1988 before transferring to the Australian Army in 1989.

11:20am

Hudson

The Hudson is a general reconnaissance bomber with five crew powered by two radial piston engines, operated by the RAAF from 1940 until 1949. On 8 December 1941, Hudsons based at Kota Bharu were the first aircraft from a Commonwealth nation to engage the Japanese and sink a Japanese ship, an hour before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. See more here.

Boomerang

The Boomerang is a single-seat fighter and Army cooperation aircraft powered by a radial piston engine operated by the RAAF from 1943 until 1945. The Boomerang is the only Australian designed and built fighter to see active service. See more here.

Harvard

The Harvard is a two-seat pilot training aircraft powered by a radial piston engine. Under the Empire Air Training Scheme, which operated during World War II, many RAAF aircrew trained on Harvards in Canada or Rhodesia after finishing basic pilot training in Australia.

Wirraway

The Wirraway is a two-seat general purpose and advanced trainer powered by a Pratt & Whitney radial piston engine and was operated by the RAAF from 1939 until 1959. Thousands of RAAF pilots trained on the Wirraway during World War II at Flying Training Schools in locations such as Uranquinty and Deniliquin. See more here.

Mustang

The Mustang is a single-seat fighter-bomber powered by a V12 piston engine and was operated by the RAAF from November 1944 until June 1960. In June 1950, RAAF Mustangs based in Japan were the first Australian forces to go into action in the Korean War. See more here.

Spitfire

The Spitfire is a single-seat fighter powered by a V12 piston engine and was operated by the RAAF from 1942 until 1945. Known for their role in the Battle of Britain, Spitfires were operated by the RAAF in northern Australia and Morotai Island, fighting Japanese forces in the latter years of World War II. See more here.

P-40 Kittyhawk

The P-40 Kittyhawk is a single-seat fighter-bomber powered by a V12 piston engine and was operated by the RAAF from December 1941 until late 1945. The Kittyhawk was the mainstay of the RAAF’s fighter force in the Pacific and was decisive in the defeat of Japanese forces in Papua New Guinea.

5 AP-3C Orion

The AP-3C Orion is a 10-12 crew long-range maritime patrol aircraft powered by four turboprop engines. The AP-3C version of the Orion entered RAAF service in 2002, and most of the fleet was retired by late 2018. The Orion has served Australia around the world for over 50 years since the first P-3B Orions flew in 1968. See more here. 

Neptune

The Neptune is a maritime reconnaissance, patrol and antisubmarine aircraft powered by two radial piston engines and two turbojet engines, and was operated by the RAAF from 1951 until 1977. Neptunes routinely monitored foreign fishing vessels and conducted disaster relief reconnaissance.

Dakota

The Dakota is a military transport with a crew of three or four, powered by two radial piston engines, operated by the RAAF from 1943 until 1999. RAAF Dakotas served in the Pacific during World War II and later carried more than 12,000 wounded to hospitals in Japan during the Korean War.

Caribou

The Caribou is a Short Take-Off and Landing tactical transport powered by two radial piston engines, operated by the RAAF from 1964 until 2009. Six Caribous were delivered directly to Vietnam in 1964, where they operated under the “Wallaby” callsign until 1972. See more here.

Catalina

The Catalina is a general reconnaissance flying boat with eight or nine crew, powered by two radial piston engines, and was operated by the RAAF from 1941 until 1952. RAAF Catalinas played a vital role in the Pacific theatre during World War II, including the pivotal Battle of the Coral Sea.

Iroquois

The Bell Iroquois, commonly known as the Huey, is a utility helicopter and gunship powered by a turboshaft engine. The RAAF operated UH-1B and UH-1H Iroquois from 1966 until 1988 before they were transferred to the Army. The Iroquois flew in Vietnam until 1971, including providing resupply and medivac during the Battle of Long Tan. See more here.

11.30–11:45am

F-35A Lightning II

The F-35A Lightning II is a single-seat multi-role fighter powered by a single turbofan engine and entered RAAF service in 2018. Possessing speed, agility, stealth technology, advanced datalinks, mission systems and sensor fusion; the F-35 is the most advanced multi-role stealth fighter in the world.

F/A-18F Super Hornet

The F/A-18F Super Hornet is a two-seat multi-role fighter powered by two turbofan engines and entered RAAF service in 2010. Super Hornets and the older Classic Hornets contributed to the defeat of the Islamic State in Iraq from September 2014 until January 2018. See more here.

EA-18G Growler

The EA-18G Growler is a two-seat airborne electronic attack aircraft powered by two turbofan engines and entered RAAF service in 2015. The Growler is based on the airframe and engines of the Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet, but with the addition of unique electronic warfare equipment. See more here.

F/A-18A Hornet

The F/A-18A Hornet is a single-seat multi-role fighter powered by two turbofan engines. Entering RAAF service in 1985, they are due to be retired at the end of 2021. “Classic” Hornet aircraft deployed to the Middle East in 2003 and again in Iraq from March 2015 until May 2017. See more here.

PC-21 The Pilatus

PC-21 is an advanced trainer powered by a single turboprop engine, and entered RAAF service in 2017. In addition to its pilot training role, the PC-21 is used for the training and development of Joint Terminal Attack Controllers and by the RAAF Roulettes formation aerobatic team. See more here.

B300 King Air 350

The B300 KA 350 is a mission aircrew trainer or eight seat utility aircraft powered by two turboprop engines, and entered RAAF service in 2003. A variety of different King Air models have been operated since 1997. The current fleet consists of 12 B300 King Air 350s based at RAAF Base East Sale.

C-27J Spartan

The C-27J Spartan is a light tactical aircraft powered by two turboprop engines and entered RAAF service in 2015. The C-27J conducted flood relief operations in Queensland, airdropped goods to remote communities as part of Operation Christmas Drop Australia 2019, and supported bushfire relief efforts in early 2020. See more here. 

C-130J Hercules

The C-130J Hercules is a medium-range transport powered by four turboprop engines and entered RAAF service in 1999. The RAAF has operated four versions of Hercules aircraft since the C-130A model entered service in 1958. In addition to their military roles, Hercules aircraft have provided extensive humanitarian aid and disaster relief in Australia and around the world. See more here. 

P-8A Poseidon

The P-8A Poseidon is a maritime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and response aircraft powered by two turbofan engines which entered RAAF service in 2016. A 34-tonne internal fuel capacity allows the P-8A to conduct low level maritime operations missions more than 2000km from their home base.

AP-3C Orion

The AP-3C Orion is a 10-12 crew long-range maritime patrol aircraft powered by four turboprop engines. The AP-3C version of the Orion entered RAAF service in 2002, and most of the fleet was retired by late 2018. The Orion has served Australia around the world for over 50 years since the first P-3B Orions flew in 1968. See more here. 

E-7A Wedgetail

The E-7A Wedgetail is an Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft powered by two turbofan engines, and entered RAAF service in 2010. The Wedgetail’s distinctive ‘surfboard’ scanner enables the RAAF to monitor about four million square kilometres over a 10-hour mission. See more here. 

C-17A Globemaster III

The C-17A Globemaster III is a heavy strategic airlifter powered by four turbofan engines and entered RAAF service in 2006. The C-17 can carry up to 74 tonnes of cargo worldwide. It has the capability to carry up to six Intensive care unit patients and allow six airborne medical teams to perform significant medical procedures. See more here. 

KC-30A MRTT

The KC-30A is a multi-role tanker transport powered by two turbofan engines and entered RAAF service in 2011. It has supported both RAAF and Coalition aircraft in the Middle East. It is equipped with under-wing refuelling pods and the Aerial Refuelling Boom System at the rear of the fuselage which can transfer fuel at up to 4,600 litres per minute. See more here. 

F/A-18F Super Hornet

The F/A-18F Super Hornet is a two-seat multi-role fighter powered by two turbofan engines and entered RAAF service in 2010. Super Hornets and the older Classic Hornets contributed to the defeat of the Islamic State in Iraq from September 2014 until January 2018. See more here. 

11:45: The Roulettes

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Canberra’s RAAF 100 flypast: every time of every aircraft Comment

  • Q15

    says:

    Thanks for great photos and info, including the comments

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