THE RAAF MUSEUM, POINT COOK, VICTORIA: Appropriately located at the birthplace of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), the Museum houses the largest collection of Australian Military Aviation Memorabilia in the world. The Museum consists of three main display areas, the Heritage Galleries, the Training Hangar and the Technology Hangar, additionally the Restoration Hangar offers views of ongoing aircraft restorations.
1912: DEPERDUSSIN TYPE A MONOPLANE: Amongst the first aircraft ordered by the Central Flying School at Point Cook, Victoria, the Deperdussin was a Trainer aircraft. Only two examples were ordered, one performed ground training duties, the other as a Trainer, incredibly the latter lasted just eight days before being written off. The aircraft was powered by an Anzani three cylinder radial engine which produced 35HP. The aircraft had a maximum speed of 80kmh.
The Museum's exhibit is a replica, representing the destroyed Trainer aircraft, 'CFS-4'.
1916: MAURICE FARMAN SHORTHORN: Originally built in France by the Farman Brothers, a pioneer aircraft manufacturer, the Farman was the first aircraft to engage in aerial combat during World War 1. In 1916 the first of five Farman's was used by the Australian Flying Corps (AFC) for training purposes. The aircraft was powered by a Wolseley-Renault V8 air cooled engine which produced 80HP. The aircraft was constructed mainly of wood and fabric covering.
The Museum's exhibit, 'CFS 20', was restored by cannibalising components from three of the four remaining Farman's, the restoration started in the early 1980's and completed in 1993.
1918: AVRO 504K: The Australian Flying Corps (AFC) used the 504K in England throughout World War 1 as an Elementary Trainer. Subsequent to World War 1 Australia ordered 20 aircraft and a further 35 were 'gifted' from Britain which assisted the then newly formed RAAF to become operational throughout the 1920's. The 504K was the first Trainer aircraft used by the RAAF that was capable of aerobatics.
The Museum's exhibit, 'A3-17', is a replica, rated as airworthy. The RAAF retired all 504K aircraft from service in July 1928, incredibly all surviving aircraft at that time were destroyed with the exception of 'A3-4' which is on display at the Australian War Memorial.
1918: ROYAL AIRCRAFT FACTORY SE5A: Classed as a Single Seat Fighter, 35 SE5A's were 'gifted' to Australia by Great Britain in recognition of Australia's contribution to the British Empire's defence throughout World War 1. The aircraft was powered by a Wolseley Viper V8 water cooled engine which produced 200HP. The aircraft had maximum speed of 202kmh, a range of 482km and a service ceiling of 5,180 metres.
The Museum's exhibit, 'A2-31', is a replica, manufactured by AJD Engineering, Britain. The RAAF retired all SE5A aircraft from service by March 1928, they were deemed beyond economically use. The only surviving original SE5A in Australia is 'A2-4' which is on display at the Australian War Memorial.
1931: DE HAVILLAND DH82A TIGER MOTH: A trainer aircraft, the Tiger Moth was the main Trainer throughout the British Commonwealth during World War 2. Production world wide peaked at 9231 aircraft, 20 were initially supplied to the RAAF from British Manufacturers in 1938, by the third quarter of 1939 Australian manufacture was underway, ultimately 1070 aircraft were delivered from the De Havilland Factory located in Bankstown, New South Wales.
The Museum's exhibit, 'A17-711', was manufactured in Australia for the Rhodesian Air Force, war activities prevented delivery and the aircraft was used by the RAAF. Various training duties and storage ultimately led to the Museum acquiring the aircraft for static display in 1999.
1933: SUPERMARINE SEAGULL V / WALRUS: A Spotter/Reconnaissance aircraft, the Walrus was designed by the Spitfire Designer, R.J. Mitchell. The Walrus first flew in 1933, a total of sixty one aircraft were ultimately supplied to the RAAF. The Walrus was powered by a Pegasus VI nine cylinder radial engine producing 775hp. Armament was limited to 2 x .303 Vickers or Lewis machine guns with a limited bomb load capability under the wings. The maximum speed was 217kmh, a service ceiling of 5,639 metres and a maximum range of 965km.
The Museum's exhibit, 'HD874', was supplied by the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm to QANTAS, Rose Bay, New South Wales in 1943. Duties included target towing and participation in the first Australian Expedition to the Arctic subsequent to World War 2, hence the bright yellow colour scheme. Destroyed by a storm in 1947 the aircraft was recovered by the RAAF in the 1980's and restoration was undertaken at the RAAF Museum from 1993 to 2002, note the clear plastic covering to the wing section added by the Museum to display the airframe.
1935: AVRO 643 Mk II CADET: Thirty four Cadets were constructed by A.V. Roe and Co., Manchester, England and they were delivered to the RAAF between 1935 and 1939. The aircraft were used in Military and Training roles. The aircraft was powered by an Armstrong Siddeley Genet Major 1A engine producing 150hp.
1941: CONSOLIDATED PBY-5A CATALINA: The Catalina commenced service with the RAAF in 1941, a multi-role aircraft, the 'Cat' was used in training, air/sea rescue, mine laying, bombing and reconnaissance roles. A typical crew consisted of eight personnel and the aircraft had a maximum capacity of twenty.
The Museum's exhibit is a Canadian built 'Canso' displayed without wings, modified to display as 'A24-104', a Catalina that served with the RAAF during World War 2.
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