Aviation Spotters Online

Aviation Spotters Online

All posts by Motty

Wings Over Illawarra 2018-Aerobatics

No airshow would be complete without the thrilling spectacle of high performance aerobatics and WOI 2018 certainly didn’t disappoint, with a gathering of the very best solo and formation displays that Australia has to offer dazzling the crowds with their physics-defying gyrations and coordinated formation maneuvers.Mottys-Aeros-Paul Bennet-WOI-2018-16282-001-ASO

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Glenn Graham, Rebel 300, VH-TBN

In between the seemingly endless tasks of planning and organising events for the Paul Bennet Airshows (PBA) team, two-time Australian Advanced Aerobatic Champion Glenn Graham somehow finds the time to maintain his skills as an aerobatic display pilot as well.Mottys-Aeros-Glenn Graham-WOI-2018-07740-001-ASO

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The first of the aerobatic performers at the show, Glen flew a very crisp routine in the Rebel 300; a machine which is unique in the PBA aerobatic fleet as the only monoplane amongst the flock of Pitts Special biplanes. Mottys-Aeros-Glenn Graham-WOI-2018-04930-001-ASO

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Chris Clark, Stearman, VH-ILW

Chris Clark, from Southern Biplane Adventures, displayed his Boeing Stearman; a large biplane which was originally designed and built as a primary trainer for the US and many other air arms during WWII.Mottys-Aeros-Stearman-WOI-2018-16798-001-ASO

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Despite the Stearman’s large size and seemingly sedate performance, Chris showed the type’s true agility with a graceful and flowing routine of rolls, loops and turns in the big, bright red machine and its trail of thick white smoke. A striking sight against the clear blue sky.Mottys-Aeros-Stearman-WOI-2018-16820-001-ASO

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Paul Andronicou, Extra 330SC, VH-IXC

Paul Andronicou displayed his new Extra 330SC to great effect at WOI 2018. Only built last year, Paul’s is the latest version of the well-known aerobatic type manufactured by Walter Extra of Germany and is designed specifically for Unlimited category aerobatic competition with improved roll rate and easier roll stops over earlier models.Mottys-Aeros-Paul Andronicou-WOI-2018-07687-001-ASO

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Based in Victoria, Paul has secured wins in both the Australian Aerobatic Championship (unlimited category) and Australian Freestyle Championship as well as being the most successful Australian pilot at two World Aerobatic Championships, since he began performing in the 1990s. Skills which were well demonstrated during his amazing displays at Illawarra.Mottys-Aeros-Paul Andronicou-WOI-2018-10856-001-ASO

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Paul Bennet, Wolf Pitts Pro, VH-PVB

Head of the aptly named Paul Bennet Airshows team, Paul has been a regular performer at Australian airshows for many years now, in ever more powerful versions of his favoured type, the Pitts Special, which has culminated in his current mount, the bright yellow Wolf Pitts Pro, which is a far cry from the type’s simple origins with its hand-crafted lines and raw power.Mottys-Aeros-Paul Bennet-WOI-2018-11947-002-ASO

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Paul used the Wolf Pitt’s performance to full advantage in his solo display as he threw the machine into maneuvers that looked like an aeroplane really shouldn’t be able to do, with tumbles end-over-end, flat turns climbing from a knife-edge pass and more.Mottys-Aeros-Paul Bennet-WOI-2018-15814-001-ASO

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Tim Dugan, Pitts Model 12, VH-TYJ

Also with PBA, Tim Dugan displayed the Pitts Model 12, yet another variation within the team’s Pitts fleet. The Model 12 is a relatively large member of the Pitts family and is somewhat unusual in having a radial engine, rather than the in-line power plants more commonly seen on the type, which gives it a somewhat “classic” look, suggestive of some 1930s designs.Mottys-Aeros-Tim Dugan-WOI-2018-17422-001-ASO

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Its performance is certainly not that of a sedate classic machine though and Tim used this to full advantage to put on a great display, all with the added benefit of that radial “sound of round”.Mottys-Aeros-Tim Dugan-WOI-2018-17079-001-ASO

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Russian Roolettes, Jim Eaglen, Egon Mahr, Sean Trestrail, Al Pickering and Niall Higgins; Nanchang CJ-6s, VH-NNG, VH-CJX & VH-CPX and Yak-52s, VH-VHV & VH-XRO

Another popular act at many Australian shows is Australia’s largest civilian formation display team, the Russian Roolettes, in their mix of Yak-52 and Nanchang CJ-6 warbirds . Being based just a few minutes away at Mittagong, it was only natural that the team would look forward to supporting Australia’s largest annual airshow just down the road.Mottys-Aeros-Russian Roolettes-WOI-2018-14471-001-ASO  Mottys-Aeros-Russian Roolettes-WOI-2018-15159-001-ASO

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Following their show entrance, the team split in two (into Yak and Nanchang formations) and performed a very well-coordinated series of maneuvers, and  the clever use of the separate formations ensured that there was always something happening for the crowds to enjoy.Mottys-Aeros-Russian Roolettes-WOI-2018-24372-001-ASO

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Sky Aces, Paul Bennet, Glenn Graham & Ben Lapin, Wolf Pitts VH-PVB, Pitts S-1Ss VH-UDP & VH-IPB

As if their individual displays weren’t impressive enough, the PBA team also perform high energy formation aerobatics in a trio of Pitts Specials as the Sky Aces, led by Paul in his bright yellow Wolf Pitts.Mottys-Aeros-Sky Aces-WOI-2018-17045-001-ASO

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Their routine is a combination of traditional formation maneuvers such as loops and rolls combined with more dynamic elements which highlight the power and agility of their mounts. This is evident from the very beginning when, immediately after take-off, the team separate for a set of opposing passes where Paul threads the gap, head-on, between wingmen Glenn Graham and Ben Lappin; to the very end where the three of them enter a vertical climb into stall turns off the end of the runway threshold before making their landings on the decent.  Mottys-Aeros-Sky Aces-WOI-2018-16441-001-ASO

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Matt Hall, Extra 300L, VH-IOG

Fresh from his win in the Red Bull air race competition at the inaugural French event at Cannes on the French Riviera, Matt Hall performed an amazing routine as the final aerobatic display each day. While his Red Bull racing machine, an Edge 540, was on static display at Illawarra, Matt flew his more familiar (to us back here in Australia) Extra 300L for his performances.Mottys-Aeros-Matt Hall-WOI-2018-19427-001-ASO

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Matt’s display gave a great feel for the skills which have brought him such success on the racing circuit with high energy, low level snap turns, loops and rolls, along with more typical aerobatic maneuvers (and those fortunate enough to be at ASO’s “premium Spotter” location were given a great view as well). To top off his great performance at Illawarra, Matt went on to score a back-to-back victory in the third race of the season at Chiba, Japan, just a couple of weeks later and currently (as at the time of writing) leads the 2018 Red Bull Air Race World Championship.Mottys-Aeros-Matt Hall-WOI-2018-20128-001-ASO

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Our thanks go out to all the pilots and their teams and congratulations to the WOI 2018 crew for the spectacular displays of aerobatic skills and performance that wowed the crowds and fosters a greater passion of aviation in all its forms.Mottys-Aeros-Paul Andronicou-WOI-2018-11440-001-ASO

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Please click HERE to see the full gallery of images.

 

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Warbirds Over Scone 2018

Our Kiwi cousins have had Warbirds Over Wanaka for many years, and now we’ve got Warbirds Over Scone (I wonder if the city council can be convinced to change their name to something beginning with ”W”?)Mottys-Scone_2018_Sunday_0_3821-ASO

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Warbirds Over Scone was originally a popular  series of shows organized by the late Col Pay and his team back in the late ‘90s and early 2000’s which, unfortunately, came to a halt due to the ever increasing costs involved. But thanks to the efforts of Col’s son Ross, with the assistance of the Scone Council and Paul Bennet Airshows, the show is back!Soda Scone 28 (1 of 1)

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Following on from the success of the Flight of the Hurricane show back in 2016 (see our report HERE) where Australia’s first (and so far, only) airworthy Hawker Hurricane restoration made its public debut, it was decided to resurrect this great show in 2018, the highlight of which was to be the chance to see the Hurricane and another unique machine in Australian skies, Chris Mayr’s awesome FW-190, in the air together, for the first time ever.

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Participants began arriving early with Paul Bennet bringing Judy Pay and Dick Hourigan’s beautiful Mustang and Chris in his ‘190 on Friday afternoon and we had the awesome opportunity to do some night shots in and around the Vintage Fighter Restorations’ hangar on Friday night.Mottys-Scone_2018_Friday_0523-ASO

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Saturday saw the arrival of the Russian Roolettes team in their Yak-52s and Nanchang CJ6s, Doug Hamilton in Temora’s Mk XVI Spitfire, Beech adventures’ Beech 18 and Paul Bennet’s Avenger, among others.

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The opportunity was also taken to fly some practice routines on the Saturday which saw the Russian Roolettes, Ross Pay’s SNJ, both Ross & Judy Pay’s Mustangs, Ross’ Kittyhawk and the FW190 and Hurricane all put through their paces throughout the day. Vintage Fighter Restorations also opened their hangar doors for visitors to get a look at the quality restoration work they are carrying out on a pair of Spitfires at the moment.Soda Scone 7 (1 of 1)

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Sunday dawned beautifully clear and there was the usual hustle and bustle of positioning of aircraft for display and operation, setting up the many displays and vendors and a constant flow of arrivals as visitors flew in, as well as more machines for display.  A particularly impressive arrival was the team from the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS), Albion Park, in one of their ex-RAAF Caribou. Always a crowd favorite, the crew used one the Caribou’s “party tricks” to reverse the large machine into its corner parking position before opening it up for the public to get a great view of this unusual warbird.Mottys-Scone_2018_Sunday_1_8750-ASO

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Vintage Fighter Restorations once again opened their hangar to allow visitors to get a close look at the Spitfire, Hurricane and FW-190.

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The day’s aerial activities kicked off with a parachute flag drop by Paul Smith from SkydiveOz while being circled by Paul Bennet in his Wolf Pitts Pro, during which the National Anthem was played on the ground. This was followed by Jeff Sparkes displaying his very impressive and realistic radio controlled Hornet model.Mottys-Scone_2018_Sunday_0_0941-ASO

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Displays then began in earnest with the Russian Roolettes’ skilled and well-coordinated formation routine in their Yak-52s and Nanchang CJ6s followed by Ben Lappin and Tim Dugan providing a great comparison of the CAC Wirraway and SNJ/Texan and their shared lineage, before splitting off and performing solo routines in each.Mottys-Scone_2018_Sunday_0_1893-ASO

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Paul Bennet and Chris Tibbets then put Chris’ Beech 18 through its paces, showing the medium twin’s surprising agility before Glenn Graham gave a very crisp aerobatic performance in a Yak-52.

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Things then kicked up a notch in terms of speed and performance as Mark Pracy displayed his L-39 Albatros jet trainer, a very graceful aircraft and routine, followed by Paul Bennet in his T-28 Trojan; a powerful, prop-driven machine which was designed to have similar performance and handling to early jets.

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While the sky was nice and mostly clear, as the day progressed it was observed that the wind speed was picking up and that there was a noticeable element of cross-wind to it as well. Unfortunately this posed a problem for many of the most eagerly awaited aircraft such as the Spitfire, Hurricane, Kittyhawk and FW-190 as well as other machines such as the Triplane replica and DH.60, as they have fairly restricted safety limits for take-off and landing in such conditions and, as the time approached for their scheduled displays, the decision was made to postpone their flights in the hope that conditions may ease later in the afternoon. The effort was made, in the mean-time, to start the Hurricane and FW-190 up and taxi them around a little so that visitors could at least listen to the magnificent sounds of their engines and get to see them in some sort of motion.

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After a short break, Paul swapped the large Trojan for his tiny, but incredibly powerful and agile Wolf Pitts Pro for an amazing display of high performance aerobatics.Mottys-Scone_2018_Sunday_0_7133-ASO

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Throughout the day’s flying, commentary was provided by well-known aviation personality Peter Anderson, in his usual entertaining and informative style, with plenty of pauses to allow the crowds the chance to enjoy the sounds of the aircraft engines too.Mottys-Scone_2018_Sunday_0_0033-ASO

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Tim Dugan displayed Paul Bennets’ mighty Grumman Avenger; a very impressive machine which was also the largest single-engined aircraft of WWII, after which Glenn Graham once again displayed his aerobatic skills, this time in the Rebel 300.Mottys-Scone_2018_Sunday_0_8476-ASO

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Paul Bennet and Steve Death made some formation passes in Judy Pay’s and Ross Pay’s (no relation) Mustangs respectively before separating and giving individual handling displays of each.

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Tim Dugan then gave another aerobatic display in the radial engined Pitts Model 12 followed by Harley McKillop in the impressive AT-802 Fire Boss water bomber. A machine which is a contender for the current, largest single-engined prop-powered aircraft and a key element of the Pay’s Air Services fleet of aircraft which provide such a vital service during Australia’s fire seasons each year.Mottys-Scone_2018_Sunday_1_2893-ASO

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Paul Bennet, Glenn Graham and Ben Lapin performed a great display of formation aerobatics as the Sky Aces team in their trio of Pits Specials, in quite difficult conditions as the wind had only increased by this stage.Mottys-Scone_2018_Sunday_1_3913-ASO

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The Royal Australian Air Force was next on scene with a very impressive display by a Hawk 127(LIFCAP) from 76Sqn at Williamtown (not that I’m biased at all).

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Regrettably, as the day’s flying drew to a close, the wind had still not subsided enough to safely fly the main attractions of the Hurricane and FW-190. As Peter Anderson explained to the disappointed crowds, when these aircraft were designed and flown operationally, they usually flew from grass fields where they could simply take-off into whichever direction the wind was blowing from and weren’t as restricted to the fixed directions of paved runways as they are today. And, of course, the most important consideration above all must always be the safe operation of such rare and valuable machines as these. Both for the personal safety of their pilots and to ensure that they remain available for future generations to experience in years to come.Mottys-Scone_2018_Sunday_1_9844-ASO

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So, while the original intention had been to put up a great balbo of Warbirds as is often seen at shows in the UK and New Zealand, Tim Dugan, Paul Bennet and Steve Death were at least able to close the show with some formation and individual passes in the Avenger and the two Mustangs (types which have a higher tolerance of cross-wind). They also made a particularly moving “Missing Man” pass as a salute to Ross’ late father, Col Pay, who had originated the idea of this show back in the ‘90s and who was such a pivotal part in the creation of the Australian Warbird scene as it is today.Mottys-Scone_2018_Sunday_1_9885-ASO

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After the formal flying had wrapped up, there was usual flow of visiting aircraft all making their way home, including the impressive Caribou from HARS; a stark contrast to the string of smaller, light-aircraft around it.Mottys-Scone_2018_Sunday_1_10092-ASO

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While the inability to safely fly the day’s main attractions was obviously a great disappointment to many (some visitors had even travelled from overseas to witness the event), it is hoped that, with continued local support, this show will become a regular feature on the Australian airshow calendar in years to come. Our thanks to all involved for a great show and fantastic effort.Soda Scone 21 (1 of 1)

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If you were one of the many people who flew in or were on static display, Click HERE for a gallery of other attendees

To see Dave “Soda” Soderstrom’s gallery, Click HERE

To see Motty’s full show gallery, Click HERE

 

 

 

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Warbirds over Scone-Heads Up

Australian spotters will be treated to many great airshows this season but one of the must-see highlights on this years calendar will surely be the Bengalla Warbirds over Scone event on Sunday 25th March 2018 at Scone and Upper Hunter Airport.Mottys Flight of the Hurricane Scone 2 4874 Hurricane VH-JFW-001-ASO

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Following on from the very successful Flight of the Hurricane show in 2016 (see our report on that great show HERE), this year will see some of Australia’s rarest and most iconic warbirds come together to display for the crowds.Mottys Flight of the Hurricane Scone 2 4594 Spitfire MkVIII VH-HET-001-ASO

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A highlight for many will be the chance to see allied classics like the Spitfire, Mustang, Hurricane and P-40 joined by one of their wartime adversaries, the amazing FW-190.Mottys Flight of the Hurricane Scone 2 5102 Spitfire MkVIII VH-HET & Hurricane VH-JFW-001-ASO

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It won’t just be warbirds on show though with aerobatic displays by Paul Bennet Airshows and the Russian Roolettes as well as adventure flights for those who want to experience the thrill of flying for themselves.Mottys Flight of the Hurricane Scone 2 6859 Paul Bennet Wolf Pitts Pro VH-PVB-001-ASO

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Gates open at 9am to enjoy the amusements, live music and exhibits, including the opportunity to explore the restoration projects in the Vintage Fighter Restorations workshop hangars. 

Flying displays begin at 11am

For more information about the show and ticketing, check out the website HERE.

See you there!

 

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Aerobatic Aussies Abroad.

We are about to enter “airshow season” here in Australia, with a wide range of aircraft and displays on show for aviation enthusiasts around the country. Star performers at many of these events will be the team from Paul Bennet Airshows with their routines of high performance solo and formation aerobatics as well as a fleet of warbirds.

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The team enjoys sharing the joy and experience of aviation for the appreciative crowds at these shows here in Australia whenever they can but, as if this doesn’t keep them busy enough, for many years they have also taken their shows to South Korea as well as China. Neither of which really has had much exposure to the idea of private aviation.Mottys-Paul-Bennet-Airshows-Seoul-ADEX-2017-2-THUR-1980-ASO

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Last year they once again displayed at the Seoul Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (ADEX), South Korea’s major international trade and air show. It is held biennially at Seongnam, a Republic Of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) air base just to the south-east of the capital city, Seoul. Paul Bennet’s team were the only civilian performers at the largely military display (see our report on that show HERE).Mottys-Paul-Bennet-Airshows-Seoul-ADEX-2017-3-FRI-0753-ASO

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After arriving from China inside shipping containers, the team reassembled and test-flew their bright orange Pitts S1-11X and radial engined Pitts Model 12, ready for the week long exhibition.
These colourful, light aerobatic biplanes made for an incredible contrast to the very latest in front-line military hardware on display. Whether it was the gulf in technology between the Pitts and the United States Air Force’s (USAF) F-22 and F-35 stealth fighters which were on show; the vast difference in size to the Airbus A400M and C-17 or their tight and dynamic maneuvers compared to the fast, loud and flowing aerobatic displays put on by the Republic Of Korea Air Force’s (ROKAF) Black Eagles aerobatic team in their locally built T-50B trainers.Mottys-Paul-Bennet-Airshows-Seoul-ADEX-2017-2-THUR-3787-ASO

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Paul Bennet and USAF F-22 display pilot Maj Dan “Rock” Dickinson share the common language and love of flying and their respective displays.

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Paul and Glenn rehearse their formation routine against the backdrop of one of the USAF’s F-35s at the show.

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Paul performed solo routines in the S1-11X during the trade days of the show while, on the public days of Friday to Sunday, he was joined by Glenn Graham to open the show with their formation routine while Paul closed each day with another solo display.Mottys-Paul-Bennet-Airshows-Seoul-ADEX-2017-2-THUR-1528-ASO

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These performances were extremely popular with the crowds as formation and high energy aerobatics by private pilots is very rarely seen in Korea, due to the limited and restricted private aviation scene. At the end of each display the team would taxi their aircraft up to the crowd and get out to sign autographs and hand out photos where they were mobbed like rock stars! The team’s appearances are a family affair too, with wives Rachael and Heather on hand to help with signing sessions (and crowd control!) as well as keeping the two Pitts in top shape between displays.Mottys-Paul-Bennet-Airshows-Seoul-ADEX-2017-4-SAT-9+_3677-ASO

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After their week at Seoul, Paul and Glenn then flew their machines to Sacheon, a ROKAF training base in the south of the country, where they appeared at another airshow for a few days, before disassembling the two Pitts and packing them up for their return to Australia. I left the team before they traveled to Sacheon but it is a testament to the professionalism and breadth of talent that makes up the Paul Bennet Airshows team that, after my return to Australia, I was able to catch Glenn Collins, Tim Dugan and Ben Lappin putting on a show at the Rathmines Catalina Festival in the CAC Wirraway, Yak-52, Rebel 300 and Grumman Avenger on the same weekend that Paul and Glenn were still wowing the crowds back in Korea (see that report Here).Mottys-Paul-Bennet-Airshows-Seoul-ADEX-2017-5-SUN-9+_4433-ASO

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Keep an eye out for Paul and the team at any of the upcoming shows here in Australia and stop by to say G’day.Mottys-Paul-Bennet-Airshows-Seoul-ADEX-2017-4-SAT-9+_5421-ASO

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My sincere thanks to the PBA team for the chance to show this great Aussie team proudly waving the flag overseas.

Click HERE to see the full gallery of images.

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Felix Flies Home

In late October last year, crowds lined the waterfront at the ex-RAAF seaplane base at Rathmines, on the shores of Lake Maquarie near Newcastle, in eager anticipation of the arrival of the star attraction at the annual Rathmines Catalina Festival; the majestic black PBY-6A Catalina (registration VH-PBZ) from the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) at Albion Park, Illawarra near Woolongong (see our report on that event HERE).Mottys-HARS Black Catalina Felix VH-PBZ 3400 -001-ASO

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The Cat (also known as “Felix, after a wartime cartoon feline character which is also displayed on the aircraft’s nose) appeared in the distance but continued to the north-west and didn’t return. As became clear afterwards, the crew had experienced some problems with the No2 engine so, in the interests of safety, they elected to make a precautionary landing at Rutherford airport near Maitland. This marked the beginning of an extended stay at Rutherford for Felix as the team from HARS began the long and difficult task of changing the suspect engine on a large and historic warbird, a long way from home base.Mottys-HARS Black Catalina Felix VH-PBZ 2511 -001-ASO

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Whilst it’s due to an unfortunate situation, having Felix at Rutherford has been a great chance for Newcastle and Hunter Valley locals to see the rare machine and, wherever possible, the crews have generously allowed visitors to get up close and have a good look at the old girl, including a rare glimpse of the cramped interior.Mottys-HARS Black Catalina Felix VH-PBZ 0038 -001-ASO

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A look forward into the cockpit and nose turret area.
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A better look at the “office”.
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The crew area immediately behind the cockpit.
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Looking rearward from the crew area seen above. Of particular interest is the flight engineer’s unusual position, located in the “mast” area, just below the wing, at the top of the photo.
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The gunner’s compartment under the large, distinctive “blister” windows.
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Looking forward from the gunner’s compartment, through a crew rest area, to the forward compartments and cockpit.
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The flight engineer’s panel in the “mast” area below the wing. Not for the claustaphobic1

Whilst the Catalina has been a welcome visitor at Rutherford, it was not the best conditions for the storage of such a large and historic airframe, which is normally well looked after inside a large hangar at Albion Park (especially during an Australian Summer). So, after a magnificent effort by everyone at HARS, the engine was successfully replaced and, following test runs and system checks, Felix was ready to return home to Illawarra.

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The crew prepares Felix for its flight home.
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The new #2 engine.
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Doing the water drains on a Catalina is a little more convoluted than on your average lightie. This is from the flight engineer’s position seen previously.
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The job’s not finished until the paperwork is done.
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Warming up the engines prior to departure.
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Lined up for take-off.

The time finally came last weekend (Saturday 10th of February to be precise) for Felix and her crew to bid farewell to their temporary home in the Hunter Valley and make their way down the coast to Albion Park. As the crew got the large machine airborne after midday, I was lucky enough to be able to acompany them on the first stage of the trip to around the southern end of Lake Macquarie and get these photos. After passing by Sydney Harbour, Felix and her crew finally arrived home to Albion Park just after 2pm, to the delight of all involved.Mottys-HARS Black Catalina Felix VH-PBZ 0521 -001-ASO

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A pass over Luskintyre before heading home.

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Congratulations to everyone involved in what has been a huge effort to get the Catalina back into the air. A lot of time and effort has been put in by a lot of people, often in difficult conditions, to ensure that this rare and historic aircraft could make it home safely once again.Mottys-HARS Black Catalina Felix VH-PBZ 2562 -001-ASO

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My sincere thanks to the team from HARS and Paul Bennet for the very rare opportunity to capture Felix in her element.

Motty.

Please click HERE to see the full gallery of images.

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Luskintyre Christmas Party 2017

The close-knit community at Luskintyre, a small grass airfield west of Newcastle NSW, held a wonderful afternoon for friends and family back in November to mark the Christmas Season for 2017.Mottys-Luskintyre-Christmas-2017-5-5638-Chris-Tibbetts-Beech-Adventures-Beech-18-VH-BHS-001-ASO

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Mottys-Luskintyre-Christmas-2017-9-1744-Waco-VH-EGC-001-ASOThe afternoon was blessed with great weather which helped ensure a great turnout of both locals and visitors and their machines. A range of interesting and historic aircraft were on show, including a pair of Stearmans, various Yaks, a Chipmunk, Fox Moth, Waco biplane, Stampe, Cubs, Stinsons and even TAVAS’ Fokker Triplane replica, which is still at Luskintyre for the time being (see our earlier report on this HERE).Mottys-Luskintyre-Christmas-2017-6-6696-Paul-Bennet-Triplane-VH-FXP-001-ASO

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Mottys-Luskintyre-Christmas-2017-6-6549-Paul-Bennet-Triplane-VH-FXP-001-ASOAnd, naturally, Tigermoths were well represented too.Mottys-Luskintyre-Christmas-2017-1-2106-Tigermoth-VH-BBC-&-VH-JME-001-ASO

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Mottys-Luskintyre-Christmas-2017-1-2359-Tigermoth-VH-BBC-&-VH-JME-1-001-ASOBeing based just “next door” at Maitland, the Paul Bennet Airshows team also stopped by with their Wolf Pitts Pro, Rebel 300, Trojan and Wirraway.Mottys-Luskintyre-Christmas-2017-2-1192-Paul-Bennet-Wolf-Pitts-Pro-VH-PVB-&-Glenn-Graham-Extra-300-VH-TBN-001-ASO

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Mottys-Luskintyre-Christmas-2017-3-2850-Paul-Bennet-Trojan-VH-FNO-001-ASOBeech Adventures, also from Maitland, had their beautiful Beech 18 on show as well.Mottys-Luskintyre-Christmas-2017-5-5585-Chris-Tibbetts-Beech-Adventures-Beech-18-VH-BHS-001-ASO

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Mottys-Luskintyre-Christmas-2017-5-5654-Chris-Tibbetts-Beech-Adventures-Beech-18-VH-BHS-001-ASOLauren Fletcher and Rob Jackson performed a parachute display, making the jump from the slightly unusual platform of a pair of Tigermoths piloted by Andrew Biggs and Jon Totti (very appropriate for Luskintyre though and even in Christmas colours) which I was able to capture from the air.Mottys-Luskintyre-Christmas-2017-1-2222-Tigermoth-VH-BBC-&-VH-JME-001-ASO

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Mottys-Luskintyre-Christmas-2017-1-2679-Tigermoth-VH-JME-001-ASOSanta also took time out from his busy schedule to stop by and do a lolly-drop and visit the kids.Mottys-Luskintyre-Christmas-2017-10-3283-Santa-&-Matt-Webber-OY-1-VH-NOY-001-ASO

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As the afternoon progressed we were treated to displays by Glenn Graham in the Extra 300, Paul Bennet in his Trojan, Wolf Pitts Pro and the Triplane as well as the Beech-18 with owner Chris Tibbetts and lots of other comings and goings as everyone enjoyed a great afternoon of aviating until the fading light put an end to the day’s flying.Mottys-Luskintyre-Christmas-2017-11-3431-Yak-52-VH-VMI-001-ASO

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Mottys-Luskintyre-Christmas-2017-8-8210-Matt-Webber-Fox-Moth-VH-UVL-001-ASO

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Mottys-Luskintyre-Christmas-2017-7767-DTLR-1-001-ASOA big thanks to everyone involved for another great afternoon at this wonderful little rural airfield and Merry Christmas.

Motty

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Air to Air with a Beaver

Last week I had the opportunity to capture some images of the latest production from Luskintyre Aircraft Restorations, a magnificent Beaver seaplane for Blue Sky Airways.Mottys-DHC-Beaver-VH-CXS-Luskintyre-1410-ASO

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The aircraft is surprisingly large, and even more so on a pair of floats, and it towered above everything else in the hangar.Mottys-DHC-Beaver-VH-CXS-Luskintyre-1485-ASO

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We headed down to Lake Macquarie to capture the aircraft in a more suitable environment.Mottys-DHC-Beaver-VH-CXS-Luskintyre-2029-ASO

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My sincere thanks to Ben Lappin and Toby Dorn for their skills and assistance and Matt Webber and the team at Luskintyre Aircraft Restorations for the opportunity to capture another of their quality products.Mottys-DHC-Beaver-VH-CXS-Luskintyre-0188-ASO

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Motty.

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SEOUL ADEX 2017

The very latest technology and hardware in fighter, maritime patrol, surveillance and transport airpower alongside some true classics and a couple of Aussie blokes in their diminutive biplanes wowing the crowds with their displays of formation and solo aerobatic skills.Mottys-ROKAF-Black-Eagles-KAI-T-50-Seoul-ADEX-2017-4-SAT-9+_1516-ASO

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The Seoul Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (ADEX) is South Korea’s major international trade and air show, held biennially at Seongnam , a Republic Of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) air base, housing transport and VIP squadrons as well as a US Army Blackhawk unit, just to the south-east of the capital city, Seoul.Mottys-ROKAF-KAI-TA-50-Seoul-ADEX-2017-4-SAT-9+_706-ASO

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South Korea has a highly developed aerospace industry in its own right with major companies such as Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and Korean Air making and assembling components for Boeing and Airbus.  KAI and Korean Air are also active in developing indigenous aircraft and technology such as UAVs, helicopters and fixed wing airframes such as the KT-1 turbo-prop trainer and the T, T/A and F/A-50 family of lead-in fighter and light attack jets, and the ADEX provides an opportunity for both Korean and International companies to display the latest developments and technology to the aerospace industry and public during the seven days of the exhibition.Mottys-CSAR-ROKAF-FA-50-Seoul-ADEX-2017-3-FRI-7011-ASO

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Aircraft on static display included examples of the C-130, CN-235, KT-1, KA-1, T-50, F/A-50, F-15K, KF-16, F-5E and F-4E from the ROKAF, a ROK Navy P-3, UH-60, CH-47 and KUH-1 Surion (a locally produced utility helo) from the ROK Army, an A-400 from the Royal Malaysian Air Force (for the trade days only),  a P-8 Poseidon from the US Navy and E-3 AWAC, C-130, C-17, A-10, Global Hawk drone and a pair each of F-22s and F-35s from the USAF.Mottys-USAF-F-35-Lightning-II-Seoul-ADEX-2017-4-SAT-9+_4035-ASO

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Amongst all this technology and military hardware, Paul Bennet and Glenn Graham from Australia’s Paul Bennet Airshows team, supported by Matt Webber from Luskintyre Aircraft Restorations, were a highlight as the only civilian performers at the show, with their bright orange Pitts S1-11X and Pitts Model 12 aerobatic biplanes. Paul & the team have performed at many shows in South Korea (and China) for several years and are always very popular with the huge crowds, both for their skillful displays and that a civilian individual can achieve such performances, as the concept of private flying is still very limited in this region.Mottys-Paul-Bennet-Airshows-Seoul-ADEX-2017-2-THUR-1528-ASO

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The Aussies displayed alongside the U.S.Air Force’s Air Combat Command F-22 display team and the ROKAF’s Black Eagles aerobatic team in their T-50B lead-in-fighter-trainers, locally manufactured by Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI). There was also a display by the ROKAF’s parachute team and individual handling displays of the KAI KT-1 turboprop trainer and T/TA-50 trainer / light attack jet and a USAF C-17.Mottys-USAF-F-22-Raptor--Seoul-ADEX-2017-4-SAT-9332-ASO

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A major attraction on the public days was a Combat Search And Rescue (CSAR) set-piece involving USAF A-10s and ROKAF F/A-50s, HH-60 Blackhawks and a KA-1 Forward Air Control (FAC) version of the KT-1. Saturday also saw flypasts by a pair of USAF B-1B bombers and a U-2 high altitude reconnaissance machine.Mottys-CSAR-USAF-A-10-Seoul-ADEX-2017-3-FRI-7741-ASO

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An added bonus from a spotting point of view was that as the ADEX is hosted at the ROKAF’s Seoul base, there was also the chance to catch a variety of other ROKAF types, either locally based or just passing through. Seongnam is the home base for the ROKAF’s VIP fleet which includes Blackhawk, S-92 and Puma helicopters and a pair each of CN-235s and HS-748s as well as a 737 and even a 747. The base is also home to C-130 and CN-235 transport squadrons along with a surveillance unit equipped with reconnaissance versions of the HS-125.Mottys-ROKAF-S-92-Seoul-ADEX-2017-2-THUR-2839-ASO

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While political tensions with North Korea meant that there were probably a few less displays than usual for an event like this, the weather was marvelous for most of the week and it was a great opportunity to catch some interesting and exotic types in action as well as getting to see a great Aussie team waving the flag and promoting an aspect of aviation that is still an exotic curiosity to many in this part of the world.Mottys-ROKAF-Black-Eagles-KAI-T-50-Seoul-ADEX-2017-5-SUN-1622-ASO

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In fact, there was so much great stuff to see that we plan on bringing you further mini-articles and galleries covering the various parts of the show.Mottys-ROKAF-Black-Eagles-KAI-T-50-Seoul-ADEX-2017-3-FRI-4269-ASO

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My sincere thanks to the Paul Bennet Airshows team for allowing me to join them during their week at the show.Mottys-Paul-Bennet-Airshows-Seoul-ADEX-2017-5-SUN-9+_4421-ASO

Motty.

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3 Squadron Flypast.

Friday 8th of December saw 3 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) make a flypast over the city of Newcastle, Australia, followed by their home base of RAAF Williamtown, just north of Newcastle, in the shape of a giant number 3.

10 classic Hornets took part, along with a single Hawk 127 from 76 Sqn as a camera-ship.Mottys-RAAF FA-18 Hornet 3Sqn-0052-ASO

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They then formed up into the “3” formation and flew over Newcastle and North to Williamtown.Mottys-RAAF FA-18 Hornet 3Sqn-1068-ASO

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After the fly-over, they broke into smaller groups and returned to base, performing low level initial’and-pitch entries into the circuit.Mottys-RAAF FA-18 Hornet 3Sqn-0747-ASO

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Please click HERE to see the full gallery of images.

 

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Newcastle V8 Flying Displays 2017

The noise! The Power! The agility! The simply incredible performance of such an awesome machine. No, I’m not talking about the powerful racing machines that are the V8 Supercars, but rather, the Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18 Hornet tearing through the skies above.Mottys-Newcstle Coats Hire V8 Supercars RAAF Hornet Display-2122-ASO

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Newcastle recently saw its first ever event as part of the V8 Supercars series with the final race of the season being held at the beautiful harbourside circuit. While for many the attraction of these events is the spectacle and power of the cars and the various races and associated entertainment over the course of the weekend, for some of us, it’s a rare opportunity to catch some of the RAAF’s airpower in action.Mottys-Newcstle Coats Hire V8 Supercars RAAF Hornet Display-1313-DTLR-1-1-001-ASO

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Not only does the new Newcastle circuit boast a beautiful location, between the harbour and the sea, but it also has the advantage (to us) of having Australia’s main fighter base, RAAF Base Williamtown, just a couple of minutes (if not seconds) flying time, up the coast to the north.Mottys-Newcstle Coats Hire V8 Supercars RAAF Hornet Display-1516-DTLR-1-1-001-ASO

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Newcastle was blessed with some fantastic weather for the weekend and I was able to catch the display performed just before the very final race of the season, on Sunday afternoon in some great light.Mottys-Newcstle Coats Hire V8 Supercars RAAF Hornet Display-1168-ASO

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The Hornet display was followed up with a flypast of an E-7 Wedgetail from 2 Squadron during the national anthem and a couple of passes by a 737 from one of the V8’s major sponsors, Virgin Australia, before the start of the final race of the weekend, and season. It’s definitely an unusual sight to catch an airliner maneuvering quite low above a beautiful backdrop like Newcastle.Mottys-Newcstle Coats Hire V8 Supercars RAAF Wedgetail AWAC Display-2236-ASO

Mottys-Newcstle Coats Hire V8 Supercars Virgin Australia 737 Display2370-ASO

Mottys-Newcstle Coats Hire V8 Supercars Virgin Australia 737 Display-0076-ASO

The race itself turned out to be a tense and dramatic conclusion to the racing season and a great finish to Newcastle’s first weekend as part of the V8s events. Here’s hoping we can look forward to this great setting becoming a permanent fixture of the V8 season in years to come, with the added bonus of a great chance to catch some impressive flying as well. How long before we see an F-35……?Mottys-Newcstle Coats Hire V8 Supercars RAAF Hornet Display-0940-ASO

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Motty.

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