Oct 062008

Mrs Cook & I took off to the ADF Air Show at Amberley this past weekend, to indulge in a little nostalgia and a lot of photo taking.

I don’t know about the ‘better half’ but I had a ball and could happily have wandered the display area along the main runway at Amberley all day long. There wasn’t a real diversity of aircraft, but there were some outstanding representations of the restorers art. A DC-3, Super Constellation, Lockheed Neptune, Cessna Skymaster, DeHavilland Vampire, Gloster Meteor, Lockheed Hudson and the aged beauty of the English Electric Canberra, pictured above.

Of course, the ‘modern’ aircraft of the RAAF were on display as well. The F-111C performed it’s last public display of the now famous “dump-and-burn” before vanishing into retirement, and the F/A-18A “Hornets” were as spectacular as they were when I first saw them perform at the opening of the Brisbane domestic terminal in 1988. Extremely agile aircraft, flown at the limit of the envelope by highly skilled pilots, are such a pleasure to watch.

I’m glad we endured the almost three hour traffic snarl to get there, and the two hour crawl to get home. History lives on in the minds and hands of enthusiasts. One only hopes that at least one F-111C will be retained in flying condition here in Australia for future airshow events, but I suspect the few remaining aircraft will probably be returned to the United States graveyards to be retired. Occasions like Saturday are too few & far between. From what I understand, with the expansion of RAAF Amberley and re-location of the 24 F/A18 “Super Hornets” when they arrive sometime during 2009, public air shows will be as rare as the proverbial poultry dentures.

If you’re an enthusiast, as I am, the rest of the pics can be viewed on my Flickr site. I hope to have a short video edited within days and uploaded to YouTube. More on that when it’s completed.

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