March 1 and 2 2014 at RAAF Williams, Point Cook, Victoria, Australia, saw the world’s oldest continually operated military air base host a once in life time event – its 100th anniversary which also at same time commemorated the first official military flight in Australia.
100 years ago the only aircraft based at Point Cook was the Bristol Boxkite and BE.2 biplane. Both were the frontline tip spear of the then fledging RAAF which was called the Central Flying School or CFS. The base at Point Cook had been chosen after some discussions and flying operations got underway on 7.40am March 1 1914. At that time a Boxkite took to the air on what would then become the first stepping stone to the RAAF.
Point Cook is the founding basis which stretches from the beginning of the first flight, to WW1, the official creation of the Royal Australian Air Force in 1921, to peacetime development and expansion, the brutal operations of WW2, Korea, further expansion in 1950s, the Vietnam War, peace keeping operations in 1970s-current, Gulf War operations in 2003 and to current situation, where the RAAF is a force undergoing change to a high tech, dynamic and long range defence force.
The Centenary of Military Aviation airshow saw flying from 10am – 330pm. The flying program saw the replica Boxkite fly both days, alongside nearly every ADF aircraft type that was currently flying in Australia from propeller, jet and helicopters which covered trainers, observation, transport, fighters, tankers, maritime and helicopters. Civil and military heritage flight and civil owned warbird aircraft also flew, thus adding a unique chance for the public to see the advances in flights over the 100years.
Alongside the flying displays was a large ground display which kept the public busy. Many interesting and varied setups saw static aircraft, various heritage displays and business exhibitors in the halls. Also present were RAAF fire fighters, RAAF ground defence/air defence, RAAF air traffic control, RAAF communications operations, RAAF band military working dogs and the RAAF Museum displays.
The airshow was also the official launch for the RAAF’s new general everyday purpose uniform, a blue/grey camouflage design uniform which will replace the standard Auscam uniform, except in warzones.
Supporting the RAAF, the Australian Army sent various helicopters, as did the Royal Australian Navy.
I would like to thank the RAAF Public Affairs team for their generous support and help and more importantly acknowledge the ADF members who gave their time to ensure this airshow was a success. From an aviation viewpoint, it would be wonderful to see Point Cook have a dedicated airshow on a regular basis so that the base’s history is kept alive.
Below seen is a overview of the RAAF Williams base on the Sunday (Photo credit RAAF)
My photos are shown below