F/A-18

Hawk LIF

PC-9/A

737 AEW&C




Mc Donnell Douglas F/A-18A

Hornet Data Sheet
Flown by 2OCU,No 3 & No 77 Squadrons

also flown by No 75 Squadron (Tindal RAAF Base) and the Aircraft Research & Development Unit (Edinburgh).

The F/A-18 was developed from Northrop's YF-17 which came out second best against the F-16 in the USAF light weight fighter competition of the mid 70's.
Mc Donnell Douglas turned the YF-17 into an aircraft that was suitable to fill a need that the Navy had for a new more affordable fighter and attack aircraft, the out come was the F/A-18A single seat and F/A-18B two seat (trainer) aircraft. The F/A-18 had its first flight on the 18th November 1978.

Australia signed a contract in October 1981 for a total of 75 Hornets of which 18 where two seaters. The first two Hornets where completed at St Louis in the USA and ferried to Williamtown in May 1985 the remainder being assembled in Melbourne by Aerospace Technologies of Australia with the engines provided by Hawker De Havilland Victoria and the radar by Philip's in Sydney. The first locally assembled Hornet had its first flight on the 26 February 1985 and the final one was delivered in May 1990.

The main differences between the Australian and US Navy's standard F/A-18A/B are the deletion of the nose wheel tie bar (used to engage the steam catapults on aircraft carriers. The arrester hook remains),the addition of a HF radio, an Australian fatigue data analysis system, an improved video & voice recorder, the introduction of Martin Baker seat harness, the clearance of RAAF practice bombs and the use of ILS/VOR instead of the Carrier landing system. As well 23 of the Australian Hornets have Wiring for a reconnaissance pod that replaces the gun pack in the front fuselage of the plane.

In the early 1990's all Australian Hornets underwent a modest upgrade to the avionics system architecture bringing them up to the standard of the US Navy's F/A-18C/D's except for the colour multi function displays and digital moving map in the cockpit.

(Boeing & RAAF)



BAe Systems Hawk 127

Hawk Data Sheet
flown by No 76 Squadron

and No 79 Squadron (Pearce RAAF Base)

BAe Systems Hawk 127 is the aircraft selected by the RAAF to replace the Macchi as Australia's lead-in fighter(LIF) trainer.

The RAAF have placed an order for 33 Hawk's, of which the first 12 are to be built in the UK with the remainder to be assembled in a new purpose built facility at Williamtown. This new center is where the overall management of the program as well as final assembly and deeper maintenance activities will take place.

The Hawk was developed by British Aerospace (now BAe Systems) as an advanced two seat weapons system trainer with a ground attack capability the first prototype took to the air in 1974 with the RAF (Royal air force) receiving there first in 1976

British Aerospace has continued to develop this aircraft with several different variants being available including the Hawk 60 a development of the original export version , the Hawk 100 from which the Australian Hawk 127 LIF was developed and is now being offered by BAe Systems to other countries as the Hawk LIFT and the Hawk 200 a single seat multi mode radar equipped lightweight multi role combat aircraft. There is also a carrier version developed and built by Boeing in the United States for the US Navy and Marines called a T-45A Goshawk.

The Hawk has been selected by 17 Nations to equip their air forces with over 750 aircraft having been delivered or on order.

A number of Australian companies are supplying components for the Australian Hawks including Hawker de Havilland in Melbourne who are manufacturing tailplanes, (of a new design unique to the Aust Hawks) airbrakes, wing flaps and under wing pylons. While Qantas have the contract for final assemble and through life support of the Hawks Turbomeca Adour Mk 871 (Rolls-Royce) engines.

The Hawk represents a large leap forward in technology from the Macchi with features like its glass cockpit Especially designed to closely represent the cockpit of the F/A-18 , greatly reducing the learning curve from trainer to fast jet, its improved reliability and lower maintenance requirements being a great plus for the RAAF.

(BAe Systems)



Pilatus PC-9/A

PC-9/A Data Sheet
flown by 77 Squadron
also flown by 2FTS (Pearce RAAF base) & the Roulettes

Pilatus of Switzerland developed the advanced turbo prop trainer the PC-9 from their PC-7 first flown in 1966. The PC-7 was in turn a development of the 1950's advanced piston trainer the
PC-3. Pilatus started to develop the PC-9 in 1982 to help ease the cost of training pilots for the Swiss Air Force by creating a turbo prop aircraft capable of training students to a higher standard before they graduate to costlier jet trainers.

Ordered in the mid 80's to fill a gap in the RAAF's training program between the CT-4A's and the Aermacchi. The two seat PC-9 was selected over an Australian built and designed turbo prop trainer the A-10B ending the controversial history of the Australian Aircraft Consortium. The RAAF's Flying Training School (2FTS) at Pearce started their advanced training course with the PC-9 in 1989. The RAAF's display team the Roulettes has also traded their Macchi's for the
PC-9's.

In 1997 77 squadron at Williamtown received a flight of four PC-9/A(F) aircraft and adopted the role of training all of Australia's Forward Air Controllers. To aid the Pilatus in this new role of spotting and designating targets for other ADF aircraft the PC-9 is equipped with two underwing smoke grenade dispensers and two 240ltr underwing external fuel tanks. All four airframes are painted in gun ship grey with low vis (light grey) roundel's and squadron markings.

(Pilatus & RAAF)



Boeing/Northrop Grumman 737-700 AEW&C

(picture Boeing)
to be flown by No 2 Squadron

Boeing & Northrop Grumman have been announced the winners of the RAAF Air 5077 Wedgetail program. Their winning proposal uses Boeing's Next-Generation 737-700 airframe which features state of the art avionics, navigation equipment and flight deck. It has a maximum speed of 0.78 Mach and an operational ceiling of 41,000 feet with an evolved variant of the Northrop Grumman Multi-role Electronically Scanned Array (MESA) radar which uses four fixed radar arrays fitted above the rear fuselage of the aircraft in a T shape to give a full 360 degree coverage (It takes less than 10 seconds to complete one 360 degree sweep and can track both air and sea targets simultaneously).

The Wedgetail mission system also includes an electronic support measures (ESM) subsystem, open system architecture, an extensive communications suite, aerial refuelling capability and an electronic warfare self protection (EWSP) subsystem.

This set up was the most technologically advanced out of the three final contenders for this contract and shows how serious the RAAF is about these well overdue aircraft.

Boeing have completed over 1,300 hours of wind tunnel testing to demonstrated the compatibility of the aircraft and the radar. All modification work to the airframes is to be done in the US by Boeing with all the aircraft ordered to be home based at Williamtown.

(Boeing/Northrop & RAAF)


Paul's RAAF base Williamtown page www.cust.idl.net.au/0999000010/paul/raaf.htm