Commonwealth Air Forces

Discussion in 'Aircraft Pictures' started by gekho, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    Royal Australian Air Force

    The RAAF is one of the oldest air forces of the world. In March 1914 the Australian Flying Corps was established. The first unit however was not formed until August 1914. During that month the Central Flying School saw the light of day at Point Cook and up until 1994 this was the principle aviation school of the RAAF. Many squadrons saw action in Europe during the First World War. Four squadrons were used to fight the Germans in Egypt (1sq and 2sq) and France (2sq after it's Egypt adventure, 3sq and 4sq). In 1919 all four units were disbanded again. On March 31st, 1921 the Australian Air Force was established as independent part of the Australian defence. In June of the same year King George V awarded the title "Royal" to this organisation and since than it is known as the Royal Australian Air Force. During these early days the (R)AAF had more aircraft on strength than personnel! The 151 officers and troops were able to utilize 157 aircraft. Reason for this was the large surplus of aircraft after the First World War. In 1923 the RAAF expanded further and started flight operations at RAAF Laverton and RAAF Richmond.

    The crisis during the 1930s resulted in slow growth of the RAAF. Little money was available to replace the mostly obsolete aircraft. When Japan attacked Pearl Harbour the RAAF consisted out of 21 squadrons operating a total of 246 aircraft. Of these only 164 could be called operational fighters or bombers and again, most of them were obsolete. As with the Americans and British fighting forces, the RAAF expanded enormously during the initial years of the Second World War. In 1945 the Air Force was at its largest with a staggering 5,000 aircraft in service. Even though the RAAF decreased in size after 1945, there was little room for rest. The men and women from Down Under were deployed during the Berlin crisis (1948-1949), Malaya civil wars (1950-1958), Korean war (1950-1953), Thai communist clashes (early '60s), Vietnam (1964-1972), the Gulf war (1990-1991) and more recently during Operation Iraqi Freedom (2002). During the last operation, 14 F/A-18A Hornets of 75 sq were deployed under coded-name Operation Falconer to Al Udeid, Qatar. Support was given by three C-130H/J's of 36/37 sqn and the B707 tanker aircraft. Two AP-3C Orions were also deployed. The AAAVN was involved with a couple of CH-47D Chinooks based at Azraq in Jordan while the RAN had a Sea King Mk50 helicopter at the LPA-51 HMAS Kanimbla.

    Over the last couple of years the order of battle is quite stable. The only major change took place end 1989/early 1990 when all helicopters were transferred to the Australian Army Aviation Corps. To be able to defend Australia against foreign attacks the RAAF opened several so called bare bases. During the '90s the last one was opened along the northern coast. These bases consist out of a runway, taxi-ways and a limited number of shelters and buildings. Usually no aircraft can be found here except during exercises. On a regular basis the RAAF front line squadrons deploy to the bare bases for weapons training and war games.
     
  2. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    The F.2B two-seat fighter-reconnaissance aircraft differed from the F.2A in having a revised centre fuselage to provide improved pilot view, an enlarged fuel tank, increased ammunition capacity for the synchronised Vickers gun and a modified lower wing affording a small increase in gross area. New horizontal tail surfaces of greater span and increased aspect ratio were introduced, and after the first 150 F.2Bs had been delivered with the 190hp Rolls-Royce engine - by this time designated Falcon I - the 220hp Falcon II was adopted, this being succeeded in turn by the 275hp Falcon III which powered the majority of the F.2Bs built. F.2B deliveries began on 13 April 1917, and the success of this type led to the decision to re-equip all RFC fighter-reconnaissance squadrons with F.2Bs. Production continued, in the event, until September 1919, by which time a total number of 4,747 had been completed, 3,126 of these by the parent company. Of the final batch, 153 were delivered with the 200hp Sunbeam Arab engine and 18 with the 230hp Siddeley Puma. When the RAF was re-established on a peacetime footing, the F.2B was adopted as standard for the army co-operation role and reinstated in production for this task as the Mk II, others being refurbished to similar standards. Fifty structurally revised aircraft delivered in 1926 were designated as Mk Ills, all surviving aircraft of this mark being converted in 1928 as Mk IVs.
     

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  3. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    #3 gekho, Jun 2, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011
    The Avro 504 was a World War I biplane aircraft made by the Avro aircraft company and under licence by others. Production during the War totalled 8,970 and continued for almost 20 years, making it the most-produced aircraft of any kind that served in World War I, in any military capacity, during that conflict. Over 10,000 would be built from 1913 to the time production ended in 1932. First flown on 18 September 1913, powered by an 80 hp (60 kW) Gnome Monosoupape engine, the Avro 504 was a development of the earlier Avro 500, designed for training and private flying. It was a two-bay biplane of all-wooden construction, with a square-section fuselage.
     

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  4. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    The third prototype of the S.E.5 flew at Farnborough on 12 January 1917 powered by a 200hp geared Hispano- Suiza 8B water-cooled eight-cylinder V-type engine, but otherwise similar to the 150hp-engined earlier prototypes. While production deliveries of the 200hp engine were awaited, airframe modifications were introduced in the light of early experience with the first production batch of S.E.5s. In particular, the wing rear spars were shortened at the tips to provide greater strength, this serving to blunt the previously raked tips and reduce overall span by 39.4cm. At the same time, lateral control was improved by shortening the levers on the ailerons. With a small Avro-type windscreen in place of the S.E.5's voluminous structure, a small fabric-covered head fairing behind the cockpit, the blunt wings and the standard Vickers + Lewis gun armament, the version with 200hp engine became the subject of large-scale production as the S.E.5a, starting with part of the second batch S.E.5s already ordered from the RAF. Two hundred more were built at Farnborough itself and, in addition, by the time the war came to an end in November 1918, some 5125 S.E.5a's had been built by five companies in less than 18 months: Austin (1,550), Bleriot Spad (560), Martinsyde (400), Vickers (2,215) and Wolseley (400). Production of the 200hp Hispano (in several sub-variants, and including licence-production by Wolseley as the W.4B Adder I, II and III) failed to keep pace with this prodigious output, and numerous operational difficulties with the engine enhanced the problem. Consequently, many S.E.5a's were fitted (without change of designation) with the 200hp direct-drive Wolseley W.4A Viper, a derivative of the French engine. At least six S.E.5a's were flown with the 200hp Sunbeam Arab I (geared) or Arab II (direct drive) water-cooled eight-cylinder engine in trials at Farnborough, and some production aircraft received high-compression versions of the French-built Hispano-Suiza engine, increasing maximum" output to 220hp. Twenty-two squadrons of the RFC and the US Air Service were flying the S.E.5a by the time of the Armistice, but this brought an end to planned largescale production by Curtiss in the US when only one of 1,000 on order had been completed (in addition to 56 assembled from British components). Service use continued on a small scale for only a short time after the end of the war, in Australia, Canada and South Africa as well as with the RAF.
     

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  5. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    #5 gekho, Jun 2, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2011
    The Sopwith Camel was produced by Thomas Sopwith and his Sopwith Aviation Company in 1916. Designed by Herbert Smith, the Camel was the first British fighter to be equipped with two fixed synchronized forward Vickers machine guns. The Camel arrived on the Western Front in May, 1917 and went into action two months later. The aircraft quickly achieved a reputation as a deadly trench-strafer. With its fixed guns, pointing downwards though the floor of the fuselage, it could rake enemy troops with fire while flying fast and level above their trenches.

    The Sopwith Camel was a difficult plane to fly, tending to spin out of control during tight turns, and caused the deaths of many young pilots during their training period. However, the Sopwith Camel, with its great agility and good rate of climb, made it a popular fighter plane with experienced and talented pilots. It has been claimed that the Sopwith Camel was responsible for shooting down 1,294 enemy planes during the war. The Admiralty ordered the Camel for the Royal Navy Air Service and they served on four carriers, 10 battleships and battlecruisers and 17 cruisers. Some Sopwith Camels had racks for four 25-pound bombs installed under the centre fuselage. These planes were used for ground-attack operations at were active at the battles of Passchendaele and Cambrai. After suffering heavy losses due to ground fire this strategy was abandoned. By November 1918 over 2,500 Sopwith Camels were being used in France and Belgium. A total of 5,140 were built but they were rarely used by the RAF after the end of the war.
     

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  6. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Another excellent thread!
     
  7. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Sure is, and great, sharp pics too. Looking forward to more.
     
  8. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Good stuff! Looking forward to more.
     
  9. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    The Australian government had shown interest in the Beaufort, and following the visit of a British Air Mission in early 1939, it was decided that railway and industrial workshops could be adapted to produce these aircraft, resulting in the establishment of two final assembly plants (at Fishermen's Bend, Melbourne, and at Mascot, Sydney) with the production backing of railways workshops at Chullora, Islington and Newport. Twenty sets of airframe parts and the eighth Bristol built Beaufort Mk I (L4448, which became A9-1001) was imported for trials, but at an early stage the Australians decided they did not want the Taurus powerplant. Accordingly, they had obtained a licence from Pratt Whitney to build the Twin Wasp (already being licence built by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation in Australia), and these were to power all Australian-built Beauforts, which eventually totalled 700. As from May 1941, several notable long distance flights were carried out by this experimental prototype and all expectations were exceeded. The first DAP Beaufort was tested in August 1941, and was one of a batch of 180 ordered by the RAF for use in the Far East.

    Australian production began in 1940, the first Australian Beaufort Mk V making its initial flight in May 1941. Apart from the change in engines, these were generally similar to their British counterparts except for an increase in fin area to improve stability with the powerful Twin Wasp engine. In fact, engine and propeller changes accounted for most of the different variants produced by the Australian factories. These included the Beaufort V (50) and Beaufort VA (30), both with licence-built Twin Wasp S3C4-G engines; Beaufort VI (40 with Curtiss propellers) and Beaufort VII (60 with Hamilton propellers), all 100 being powered by imported SlC3-G Twin Wasps due to insufficient licence production; and the Beaufort VIII with licence-built S3C4-Gs. This last mark was the definitive production version, of which 520 were built, and had additional fuel tankage, Loran navigation system and variations in armament, with production ending in August 1944. Some 46 of the last production batch were subsequently converted to serve as unarmed transports; designated Beaufort IX, this variant had the dorsal turret removed and the resulting aperture faired in. The powerplant rating of all the Australian versions was 1,200 hp (895 kW). The Beaufort was used extensively by the Royal Australian Air Force in the Pacific theatre, serving from the summer of 1942 until the end of World War II.

    The early trials of the Australian Beaufort V with Twin Wasp engines induced the Air Ministry to specify this powerplant for the next contract, and a prototype with these American engines was flown in November 1940. The first production Beaufort Mk II flew in September 1941, and by comparison with the Beaufort Mk I revealed much improved take-off performance. However, because of a shortage of Twin Wasps in the UK, only 164 production Mk IIs were built before Mk Is with improved Taurus XII engines were reintroduced on the line. In addition to the powerplant change, this version had structural strengthening, a changed gun turret, and ASV radar with Yagi aerials. When production of this version ended in 1944, well over 1,200 Beauforts had been built in Britain.
     

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  10. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    #10 gekho, Jun 3, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2011
    The type was designed to meet RAAF Specification 3/38 for an ab initio training aircraft. It was a tandem seat fixed tailwheel-undercarriage monoplane aircraft with a fuselage of steel tube and fabric construction and wings and tail made of wood. Despite the simplicity of the design, construction of the first of two CA-2 prototypes, begun in October 1938, was not completed until September 1939 (this was partly because CAC was still building its factory during this time period). The first prototype flew for the first time on 19 September 1939 fitted with a Gipsy Major engine. The aircraft proved to be underpowered with this engine so the second prototype was fitted with a Gipsy Six prior to its first flight in early November the same year (the first prototype was subsequently also re-engined with a Gypsy Six). Although in-flight performance was improved, the heavier engine negated any benefits to take-off performance obtained from the increased power, so the decision was made to install a Warner Scarab radial engine driving a Hamilton two-bladed propeller. The two prototypes were fitted with Scarabs in mid-1940.

    Several months passed before the RAAF committed to the type, partly because for a time it appeared that the organisation's training needs could be met with other types already being procured. However RAAF Specification 1/40 for the "Supply of [the] CAC Wackett..." was eventually issued in August 1940 and the Wackett entered production. The first CA-6 Wackett recorded its first flight on 6 February 1941 and entered service in March that year. Supplies of Hamilton propellers, which were being manufactured locally by de Havilland Australia, and the Scarab engines, were erratic during the first half of 1941. The propeller supply problem was not fully resolved until October of that year, so many unflyable aircraft accumulated at the CAC factory at Fisherman's Bend. However during this time the opportunity was taken to incorporate modifications to the thickness of the lower wing skins that in-service use had shown were required. Following the outbreak of the Pacific War production was increased to make way for the Boomerang and the last Wackett was delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force on 22 April 1942.

    In the 1950s several aircraft were converted by Kingsford Smith Aviation Services Pty. Ltd. as agricultural aircraft, being re-named the KS-2 or KS-3 Cropmaster. The KS-2 had a hopper installed in the front cockpit; the single conversion was not a success so it was re-modified as the KS-3 with the hopper located in the rear cockpit. Four more Wacketts were converted to KS-3s and the type was further developed as the Yeoman Cropmaster.

    The Wackett served primarily with No. 1 Wireless Air Gunnery School (WAGS) at Ballarat, Victoria; 1 Elementary Flying Training School at Tamworth, New South Wales; No. 2 WAGS at Parkes, New South Wales; No. 3 WAGS at Maryborough, Queensland and No. 5 Operational Training Unit at Tocumwal, New South Wales. It also served at several other Empire Air Training Scheme establishments in Australia. About one-third of the 200 aircraft were written-off during the type's service with the RAAF and after the end of World War II the remaining aircraft were withdrawn from use and sold to civilian individuals and organisations. About thirty aircraft were subsequently re-sold to the Netherlands East Indies Air Force and the survivors of these were transferred to the nascent Indonesian Air Force at independence, although it is thought that they did not see further use. Several dozen more were placed on the Australian civil register.

    On 14 January 1962 James Knight commenced a flight from Ceduna, South Australia to Cook, South Australia in Wackett VH-BEC (ex-RAAF A3-139). He was never seen again. Over three years later, on 28 March 1965, VH-BEC was found by chance two hundred miles North of Cook. Knight had remained with the aircraft after it force-landed and inscribed a diary and his Last Will and Testament on the fuselage panels; the last diary entry was made on 20 January 1962. It was subsequently determined that the mount of the magnetic compass was loose and displayed headings that were 30 degrees in error. VH-BEC was recovered in 1977 and is now on display at the Central Australian Aviation Museum. Several other Wacketts and a KS-3 Cropmaster are in other museums and in private hands in Australia.
     

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  11. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    #11 gekho, Jun 3, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2012
    Australia placed an order for 400 Vengeances as an emergency measure following the outbreak of war in the Pacific, which was met by a mixture of Lend Lease and diversions from the original British orders. While the first Vengeance was delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in May 1942, the aircraft did not arrive in substantial numbers until April 1943. The RAAF's first Vengeance squadron, No. 12 Squadron flew its first operational mission against Selaru Island in the Dutch East Indies. Squadrons equipped with the Vengeance included Nos. 12, 21, 23, 24 and 25 Squadrons. Of these, all but 25 Squadron served briefly in the New Guinea campaign. Australian Vengeances flew their last operational sorties on 8 March 1944, as they were considered less efficient than fighter bombers, having a short range and requiring a long runway, and were withdrawn to allow more effective fighter bombers to move into the forward area.
     

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  12. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    Following the outbreak of war with Japan, 51 Hurricane Mk IIs were sent in crates to Singapore, with 24 pilots, the nucleus of five squadrons. They arrived on 3 January 1942, by which time the Allied fighter squadrons in Singapore, flying Brewster Buffalos, had been overwhelmed in the Malayan campaign. The Imperial Japanese Army Air Force's fighter force, especially the Nakajima Ki-43, had been underestimated in its capability, numbers and the strategy of its commanders. Arriving by sea in crates, 51 Hurricanes were assembled in 48 hours and ready for testing. Twenty-one were ready for service within three days, thanks to the efforts of the 151st Maintenance unit. The Hurricanes suffered in performance. The crews equipped them with 12, rather than eight, machine guns. This made them slow to climb and unwieldy to manoeuvre, although they were more effective bomber killers.

    The recently-arrived pilots were formed into 232 Squadron. In addition, 488(NZ) Squadron, a Buffalo squadron, converted to Hurricanes. On 18 January, the two squadrons formed the basis of 226 Group. 232 Squadron became operational on 20 January and suffered the first losses and victories for the Hurricane in East Asia. Between 27 and 30 January, another 48 Hurricanes (Mk IIA) arrived with the aircraft carrier HMS Indomitable, from which they flew to airfields code-named P1 and P2, near Palembang, Sumatra in the Dutch East Indies. Because of inadequate early warning systems, Japanese air raids were able to destroy 30 Hurricanes on the ground in Sumatra, most of them in one raid on 7 February. After Japanese landings in Singapore, on 10 February, the remnants of 232 and 488 Squadrons were withdrawn to Palembang. However, Japanese paratroopers began the invasion of Sumatra on 13 February. Hurricanes destroyed six Japanese transport ships on 14 February, but lost seven aircraft in the process. On 18 February, the remaining Allied aircraft and aircrews moved to Java. By this time, only 18 serviceable Hurricanes remained out of the original 99.

    After Java was invaded, some of the pilots were evacuated by sea to Australia. One aircraft which had not been assembled, was transferred to the RAAF, becoming the only Hurricane to see service in Australia, with training and other non-combat units.
     

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  13. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    #13 gekho, Jun 3, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2012
    The Royal Australian Air Force, the Royal Indian Air Force and the RAF also used Spitfires against Japanese forces in the Pacific theatre. The first Spitfires in the Far East were two photo-reconnaissance (PR IV) aircraft which operated from airfields in India from October 1942. In the far east they Spitfires found a worthy adversary in the A6M "Zero" long-range fighter that, like most Japanese fighters, excelled in manoeuvrability. To fight it Spitfire pilots had to adopt a "slash and run" policy and use their superior speed and diving superiority to fight, and avoid classic dogfights. Japanese air raids on Northern Australia hastened the formation in late 1942 of No. 1 Wing RAAF, comprising No. 54 Squadron RAF, No. 452 Squadron RAAF and No. 457 Squadron RAAF, under the command of Wing Commander Clive Caldwell, flying the Spitfire Vc(trop). The wing arrived at Darwin in February 1943, and saw constant action until September. The Mk Vc versions received by the RAAF proved unreliable and, initially at least, had a relatively high loss rate. This was due to several factors, including pilot inexperience, engine over-speed due to the loss of oil from the propeller speed reduction unit (a problem resolved by the use of a heavier grade of oil), and the practice of draining glycol coolant before shipment, resulting in internal corrosion of the Merlin engines.

    Another factor in the initial high attrition rate was the relatively short endurance of the Spitfire: most of the sorties were, as a matter of course, flown over the wide expanse of ocean between Australia, New Guinea and Timor. Even when fitted with drop tanks the Spitfires could not afford to fly too far from base without the danger of running out of fuel over water. As a result, when an incoming raid was detected, the Spitfires were forced to climb as fast as possible in an attempt to get into a favourable position. In the prevailing hot, humid climate this meant that the Merlin engines were often overheating even before combat was joined. The Spitfires were fitted with the Vokes tropical filters which reduced performance: in an attempt to increase performance the filters on several Spitfires were removed and replaced by the standard non-tropicalised air intake and lower engine cowlings which had been manufactured by the base workshops. The experiment proved to be a failure and the Spitfires were quickly refitted with the tropical filters.

    Many of the Australian and British airmen who flew in 1 Wing were experienced combat veterans, some of whom who had flown P-40s with the Desert Air Force in North Africa, while others had flown Spitfires over Europe. They were used to being able to outmanoeuvre opposing fighters and were shocked to discover that the Zeros they were now flying against were able to outmanoeuvre the Spitfire. Several Spitfires were lost before the pilots learned not to attempt to get into a turning dogfight with the agile Japanese fighters. In spite of these problems the Spitfires were reasonably successful and at times were able to catch the Mitsubishi Ki-46 reconnaissance aircraft which had hitherto flown fast enough and high enough to evade interception.

    The first of 410 Spitfire Mk VIIIs started replacing the Mk Vcs from October 1943, although, in the event, they were to see very limited air-to-air combat. By mid-1943 the heavy losses imposed on the Japanese Navy in the Solomon Islands campaign and in New Guinea meant that the JNAF could not keep up its attacks on northern Australia. Other units equipped with the Spitfires in the South West Pacific Area included No. 79 Squadron RAAF, No. 85 Squadron RAAF, No. 548 Squadron RAF and No. 549 Squadron RAF.

    Politics also played a part; the supreme commander of the South-West Pacific theatre Douglas MacArthur did not want Australians or any other non-Americans to share in his triumphant return to the Philippines. As a result of this, RAAF Spitfire Vs and VIIIs were increasingly used in the fighter-bomber role in mopping-up operations against the large pockets of Japanese forces still remaining in New Guinea, and some Australian based units did not get to see any combat at all. The Australian pilots regarded the situation as intolerable and saw this as a waste of effort and lives, especially as many of them were experienced and battle-hardened. By the end of the Pacific war No. 80 (Fighter) Wing was based on the Morotai Island in the Halmaheras Group assisting Australian ground troops in Borneo. It was here that the so-called Morotai Mutiny took place.
     

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  14. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    #14 gekho, Jun 3, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2011
    Developed from the radial-engined P-36A Curtiss Mohawk, the XP-40 of 1938 was a similar fighter fitted with an Allison liquid-cooled in-line engine. The first production P-40s (P-40A, B and C) were supplied to the RAF as Tomahawks and were used by No 3 Squadron, RAAF, in the Middle East, where Wing Commander "Killer" Caldwell scored over 20 victories. The next version of this Curtiss fighter, the P-40D, became known as the Kittyhawk Mk I, and was followed by the P-40E (Mk IA), P-40F (Mk II), P-40K, M (Mk III) and the P-40N (Mk IV). In the US Army Air Force, the latter P-40 series were known as Warhawks. Early in 1942, the Japanese were threatening New Guinea, and great expectations centred around the operational debut of the RAAF's new, and only, fighter which hard-pressed troops were calling the "Never-hawk".

    Then in March 1942, when No 75 Squadron flew its Kittyhawks into operations over Port Moresby, the tide of battle began to turn. For most of the war years, the Kittyhawks of Nos 75, 76, 77, 78, 80, 82, 84 and 86 Squadrons bore the brunt of air warfare in the counter-air and fighter-bomber roles. Many famous RAAF fighter pilots were associated with Kittyhawks, including Squadron Leader "Bluey" Truscott who was killed in A29-150 on 28 March 1943. The 841 RAAF Kittyhawks included 163 P-40E, 42 P-40K, 90 P-40 M and 553 P-40N models. In addition, the RAAF ordered 67 Kittyhawks (C3-500/566) for No 120 (Dutch East Indies) Squadron. The Kittyhawk was retired from RAAF service in 1947.
     

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  15. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Great shots mate, including the 'Australian Spitfires' :)
     
  16. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Wow, had not idea that the P-47s were used. Excellent thread!
     
  17. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Great pics. However, the RAAF did not use the P47. The pic shows P47Ds of 30 Squadron, RAF, when based in India. Note the two-tone blue SEAC roundels, instead of the RAAF blue/white roundels.
     
  18. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Yup, the closest the RAAF got to a Thunderbolt was the P-43. Nice thread Gekho :)
     
  19. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    #19 gekho, Jun 5, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
    The Avro York first flew on 5 July 1942, and was produced as a transport version of the Lancaster bomber, using the same power plants, undercarriage, mainplanes, and tail assembly. When production cased in April 1948, 253 Yorks had been build, including Mr (later Sir) Winston Churchill's 'Ascalon', LV633, which was used in war-time as a flying conference room.

    Early in 1945 the RAAF accepted a VIP-equipped Avro York for the new Governor-General of Australia, HRH the Duke of Gloucester. The aircraft was flown from England to RAAF Base Fairbairn, Canberra, where it joined the Governor-General's Communication Flight in April 1945. Although the RAAF identification number A74 was allocated, the York retained the original serial MV140, but the RAF markings were exchanged for the contemporary RAAF blue and white roundels and flashes. In addition, the Governor-General's cipher, and the name 'Endeavour' (in honour of Captain Cook's ship) were painted near the cockpit on the highly-polished fuselage.

    The York was used for long-range flights, including the Duke's tour of New Guinea, New Britain, and Bougainville Island. The flight was terminated on 5 July 1945 because of the death of the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon John Curtin. On two occasions, 20 September 1945 and 5 October 1945, 'Endeavour' was flown to Singapore to evacuate ex-POWs, and on the first return journey a record flight was established between Perth and Canberra. On 17 January 1947, 'Endeavour' departed from Mascot, arriving in England on 23 January 1947, where the aircraft was handed back to the Air Ministry.

    According to my sources, one single York served with the RAAF. Is it true?
     

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  20. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Did you remove the picture? I don't see it.
     
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