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Air Force 100

Inside the Archive: F/A-18A/B Classic Hornet

In honour of the retirement of the F/A-18A and F/A-18B Classic Hornets, scroll through Australian Aviation's photo gallery of what was the backbone of the RAAF for over 35 years.

Inside the Archive: F-35 Lightning II

The F-35 is the future of the RAAF: a swiss army knife aircraft that defines itself as a fighter but can take on almost any mission conceivable.

Inside the Archive: Loyal Wingman

Loyal Wingman uses AI to fly alongside both manned and unmanned aircraft in mid-air and is the first military aircraft to be designed, engineered and manufactured in Australia in more than 50 years.

Inside the Archive: Spitfire

The all-metal, single-seat fighter with its iconic elliptical wing became a symbol of the UK's defiance during the Battle of Britain – and a hugely important part of the RAAF's WWII fleet.

Inside the Archive: Wedgetail

RAAF’s command centres in the sky can communicate with up to 80 aircraft, ground and sea units over an eye-popping distance of 4 million square kilometres during a single mission.

Inside the Archive: Bell Iroquois

The iconic Bell UH-1B was a coming-of-age moment for military helicopters and gave RAAF real rotor power when it was first introduced to No. 9 Squadron in 1962.

Inside the Archive: Poseidon

RAAF's new fleet of Poseidons excel at anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and search and rescue.

Inside the Archive: EA-18G Growler

The superpowered EA-18G Growler can shutdown enemy defences if it senses they’re onto it or proactively jam them anyway using its radar, making it one of the most advanced aircraft ever made.

Inside the Archive: Pilatus PC-21

The turboprop Pilatus PC-21 is arguably the first trainer that schools can use to skill up Topguns from start to finish, and provides a gateway to fifth-generation aircraft.

Inside the Archive: Hudson

Long-range bombing, reconnaissance, air-sea rescue: the quiet Hudson's can-do attitude made it an invaluable team-player for RAAF during WWII.

Inside the Archive: Orion

Australia's Orions were some of the first international aircraft on the scene to look for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, and have clocked up more than 50 years of service for the RAAF.

Inside the Archive: English Electric Canberra

The Canberra set a world altitude record of 70,310ft in 1957 and its range rivalled the best, while its ability to evade the early jet interceptors made it a famous export.

Inside the Archive: Mustang

The P-51 Mustang's engine upgrade to a Rolls-Royce Merlin allowed it to totally dominate the German Me 109 and Fw109 during WWII.

Inside the Archive: PAC CT4 Airtrainer

Referred to as ‘parrots’ due to its green and yellow livery, the aircraft served as the basic training aircraft for No 1 Flying Training School out of Point Cook until it retired from service in 1992.

Inside the Archive: CAC Boomerang

The CAC Boomerang answered Australia's SOS for a fighter in the face of the threat from Japan, and its quick production turnaround time still stands as one of Australia's greatest military achievements. 

Inside the Archive: CA-25 Winjeel

The Australian designed and built trainer was introduced back in 1948 to replace the Tiger Moth, but continued to serve the RAAF in various roles until 1994.

Inside the Archive: F/A-18F Super Hornet

The F/A-18F Super Hornet maybe the semi-successor to Classic Hornet, but its more powerful engines and ability to carry modern weapons make it far more adept at air combat.

Inside the Archive: Globemaster III

The C-17A Globemaster III's flexibility comes from its savvy design that allows it to both accommodate huge payloads and land on short runways.

Inside the Archive: Gloster Meteor

British planemaker Gloster Aircraft Company came into its own shortly after World War II with its globe-conquering Meteor.

Inside the Archive: Hawk 127

The aircraft is known as one of the world’s most successful jet trainers with more than 1,000 ordered and delivered to 18 countries.

Inside the Archive: KC-30A

The aircraft is a substantially modified military derivative of the Airbus A330-200 airliner, which can carry a fuel load of more than 100 tonnes.

Inside the Archive: King Air

Australian Aviation opens its archive to show pictures of RAAF's trusty fleet of Beechcraft King Airs, which are used for both training and surveillance missions.

Inside the Archive: F-111

How General Dynamics’ F-111 revolutionised RAAF's capability after it finally replaced the venerable Canberra bomber in the mid-’70s.

Inside the Archive: Sabre

How Australia built the definitive version of the US Air Force's F-86 Sabre, which went on to became the first aircraft to break the sound barrier in this country.

Inside the Archive: C-27J Spartan

How No. 35 Squadron's C-27J Spartans have tried to live up to the legendary fleet of Caribous that they replaced.

Inside The Archive: The Vampire

Powered by a single de Havilland Goblin engine, the de Havilland DH-115 Vampire was considered experimental in its time, due to its use of just one, powerful engine.

Inside the Archive: Pilatus PC-9

The single-engine, low-wing tandem-seat turboprop has trained thousands of aircrew across the Australian Army, Navy and Air Force over three decades.

Inside The Archive: Mirage III

How the Dassault Mirage overcame a tricky start to become RAAF’s first fighter capable of flying at twice the speed of sound, and its longest-serving, too.

Inside The Archive: The Caribou

The unassuming Caribou's ability to land on rough dirt runways near the battlefield made it a favourite of the RAAF when troops were in trouble and reinforcements needed.

Inside The Archive: C-130 Hercules

Why the C-130 Hercules, in service for more than 60 years, deserves to be considered one of the all-time great military aircraft.

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