RAAF Centenary Flypast 2021 – 100 years of the RAAF
Report by Stocky
Photos by Ryan Imeson
May 22, 2021
The spectacular flypast of jets helicopters and transport aircraft wowed crowds in the nation’s capital on Wednesday March the 31st as the Royal Australian Air Force celebrated its 100th anniversary.
Past and present aircraft of the RAAF flew over Canberra marking the centenary in various formations throughout the morning highlighting the Past Present and Future of military aviation in Australia.
Defence Personnel Minister Darren Chester said the day recognised 350,000 people who served in Air Force and thanked those who continued to do so.
“One thing that is consistent right across Air Force is the incredible amount of professionalism and commitment to service, and today we say thank you for your service and we wish Air Force a happy 100th birthday,” Mr Chester said.
Above, the latest F-35A Lightning II from 3 Squadron and F/A-18F Super Hornets from 1 Squadron loudly announced themselves before flying past Government House and over Lake Burley Griﬃn with banks of the lake teaming with the general public all looking to get a glimpse of the Air Combat Group assets.
Three giant C-17A Globemaster III transports from 36 Squadron appeared overhead in a loose V formation, preceded by high-tech P-8A Poseidons which were in a nice tight diamond formation followed by E-7A Wedgetails.
One extra E-7A was positioned out to the South West of Canberra coordinating all the formation flights for the flyover.
RAAF’s WWII-era aircraft weren’t forgotten with appearances from Temora Museums Spitfire and Kittyhawk fighters, the Catalina flying boat and a Dakota transport from HARS.
They were part of 60 current and historic aircraft to fly over Canberra, followed by a 14-minute display from the Roulettes in their PC-21’s featuring smoke trails and aerobatics.
Before the flypasts, Governor- General GEN (retd) David Hurley presented Air Force with a new Queen’s Colour during a parade at Government House. It replaced an older colour presented by the Queen in 1986.
Chief of Air Force AIRMSHL Mel Hupfeld said colours were the embodiment of service traditions, achievements and history.
“Since the earliest times, warriors have carried standards or flags as a distinguishing mark and to serve as a rallying point during battle,” AIRMSHL Hupfeld said.
“Although they are no longer carried into combat, all the colours of the Australian Defence Force hold a revered position of honour.”
Unfortunately because there was a Covid outbreak in Queensland and the state government had shut down the City of Brisbane our video team could not make it onto their flights down to Canberra for the day, as a special flight from Alliance Airlines was arranged to take those wanting to celebrate the occasion in Canberra from Brisbane.
Alas that’s how things go in the post 2020 world I guess.
So enjoy these images from out photog on the ground Ryan Imeson.