RAAF’s centenary photo shows every aircraft together

written by Adam Thorn | March 31, 2021
Air Force personnel representing all specialisations and musterings form the number 100 with all in-service RAAF aircraft and ground assets at RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland. (Defence, Corporal Nicci Freeman)

The RAAF has released this incredible photo showing one example of every active aircraft in its fleet to mark its centenary.

Personnel representing every specialisation and mustering also stood in a 100 formation on 17 March at RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland. Click the photo to enlarge it.

RAAF photographer Warrant Officer Ian Gosper said a gathering of this scale hadn’t been attempted in more than 50 years.

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“We’ve been on continuous joint operations for more than 20 years and quietly been doing our jobs and achieving outcomes, but to rack and stack every aircraft type in the inventory into one place at one time, and have the people represented, is quite unique,” he said.

“I wish the weather had been kinder to us, but even it gave us a nudge.

“It got a bit breezy out there while the imagery specialists were getting the shots from the chopper, but I think even the military working dog enjoyed it.

“Considering all that conspired against us, and how we overcame them all, it was a beautiful thing.”

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Air Command planner Flight Sergeant Tim Muehlberg said the shot had to be planned with consideration of Canberra’s RAAF flypast on 31 March.

“While that’s dynamic and this is a static event, it’s still interesting how much work is involved in bringing so many assets together at one time,” FSGT Muehlberg said.

“To get most of the aircraft positioned in one morning, it showed the teamwork between air crew and ground support. It was a stellar effort.

“All the units were excited to participate and have been fantastic to deal with; everyone had a ‘can do’ attitude.”

On this very day 100 years ago, the Australian Air Force was formed, and five months later, its Royal designation was added to create the Royal Australian Air Force.

It was only the second “Royal” air arm in the British Commonwealth, following the formation of the RAF.

To celebrate, Australian Aviation has also been opening our archive to show you our best photos of RAAF aircraft during the organisation’s 100-year history. But then we thought, what’s the best?

Our poll received more than 1,300 votes but the winner, unsurprisingly, was the F-111, which smashed its rivals with more than 40 per cent of the vote.

You can see the full rundown, with bios and links to our archive, in our special RAAF 100 In Focus digital edition, released today to mark the big occasion. Click this link to subscribe and read.

It features an exclusive interview with the Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld; an introduction from Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price; as well as some of the best features from Australian Aviation’s history, examining the inner workings of the RAAF.

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4 Comments

  • Marianne Flint

    says:

    Unbelievable display. So wonderful to watch. Congratulations to ALL who made it such a special display. Our only regret was that we had to watch it on TV and not in person in Canberra.
    The changing of the Queen’s colour was also great.

  • Bernie

    says:

    Interesting shot. Does anybody know what the light aircraft with what appears to be a T Tail in white and orange is?

  • Stalker

    says:

    No balloon?!?

  • David Palmer

    says:

    Congratulations to the RAAF on their centenary but ‘image specialists’? I thought they were called ‘photographers’.

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