Six decades of fast jets on show at aviation museum

All aboard: Visitors are able to sit in the cockpit of the former RAAF F-111C at the HARS Aviation Museum during its tarmac days.
All aboard: Visitors are able to sit in the cockpit of the former RAAF F-111C at the HARS Aviation Museum during its tarmac days.

Six decades of fast military jets will be on show when the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society Aviation Museum hosts open days next weekend.

And the best part is – visitors are encouraged to climb inside the planes.

The six jets, covering six decades of service with the Royal Australian Air Force are a Vampire trainer, Sabre jet, Canberra bomber, supersonic Mirage fighter and an impressive F-111C strike bomber.

Residents are invited to visit the museum and see the jets during the museum’s monthly tarmac days on Friday, Saturday and Sunday 14-16 September at the Illawarra Regional Airport at Albion Park.

The volunteers at the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society are refurbishing the two ex-RAAF Vampire jet trainers which were two of 80 built at De Havilland’s Bankstown factory during the 1950s. 

The Vampires were in service in the 1950s and 1960s and from 1963 to 1967 were in the famous RAAF aerobatic team called the TELSTARS.

The Avon Sabre on show at the museum was the second built in Australia by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation and the first 112 of its type to enter service with the RAAF in July 1954. A British designed Rolls Royce Avon jet engine powered the plane.

A need for Australia to have a high-altitude interceptor jet that could exceed Mach 2 (2,500 km/h) saw the Sabre replaced by the French-designed Dassault Aviation Mirage 111 with the one on show (A3-42) delivered in 1966.

Serving with the RAAF from 1953 until 1964, the British Electric Company Canberra was an unarmed, high altitude fast jet-bomber and reconnaissance aircraft with the one on show being a two-seat trainer, powered by two Avon jet engines (the same as used in the Australian Sabres).

Crewed by a pilot and weapons operator, the swing-wing F-111C strike bomber is still known as one of the 10 fastest aircraft of all time and served with the RAAF from 1973 until 1996. 

While the HARS Aviation Museum is open daily from 9.30am to 3.30am for visitors, and groups, the monthly “Tarmac Days” allow HARS volunteers to put the spotlight on selected aircraft unique to Australian aviation history.

Comments