Inside the Archive: King Air

RAAF’s No. 32 Squadron has 12 Beechcraft KA350 King Airs based at RAAF Base East Sale. Eight of these are ex-38 Squadron aircraft, while the other four are newer examples leased from Hawker Pacific. The modern twin-engine turboprop is mostly used for training – both the Air Force Mission Aircrew and Navy Maritime Aviation Warfare Officers at Air Mission Training School – but they’re also dispatched for air logistic support, electronic warfare and surveillance. More regularly, Australia sends the fleet members as its representative to Operation Solania, an international effort to detect and police illegal fishing in the South Pacific. It’s also something of a workhorse: first acquired in 2003, the fleet chalked up 30,000 flying hours in 2011 and 50,000 in 2015.

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