Vinyl LP recording of First RAAF Sabre Breaking the Sound Barrier

The recording via the below link is a pretty amazing piece of Aussie aviation history. It is a recording of A94-101, the first CAC Sabre, the prototype, being pushed through the sound barrier in a dive as the Pilot Flight Lieutenant W Scott chats casually with Geelong Radio station 3GL announcer Bill Acfield on the ground.

It was recorded on the 21st of August 1953 not even one month after the Sabre’s first ever flight (back on the 3rd August) at Avalon airfield near Geelong, Victoria, Australia. The recording was transmitted live and even played by other radio stations and was released on vinyl and sold as a fund raiser for the hospital in Geelong, which is where this recording has been taken from.

The recording is of the first “official” flight of the prototype aircraft. The recording includes the sounds of the sonic booms as the sound reaches the ground where Bill Acfield stands with his recording equipment and casual banter between the radio announcer and the pilot as he hurtles toward the ground exceeding 700mph in the process.

I came across the recording a number of years ago and it blew me away. Having grown up in Geelong at a time when the RAAF’s F/A-18 Hornets were being assembled and flight tested across the bay at Avalon, it was an amazing connection for me, my hometown radio station and hospital. It also gave me a greater understanding of the importance of Avalon to our country’s aviation history.

A94-101 was the first aircraft to break the sound barrier in the southern hemisphere (on a flight prior to this recording) and now resides at RAAF Point Cook Museum.


Press the orange and white button in the top left below to hear the recording.




– courtesy of Craig Meddings ‘retroradio’ on Soundcloud

Feature image

– courtesy of Dave Soderstrom

Additional Information

RAAF Museum Point Cook

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