MELBOURNE - The Australian International Airshow 2015 has wrapped up for another 2 years, with a spectacular week of aerial displays and static ground exhibits dubbed "The Heroes Of The Sky", a tribute to 100 years of military aviation and an observance of the centenary of ANZAC.
The Trade and convention days kicked off the week with the public show commencing on Friday with a dazzling night light show on that night.
With a focus on military re-enactments of past air force campaigns and demonstrations of modern military exercises of various air forces from around the globe, this year's airshow had something to offer for everyone.
Among the military displays were a squadron of replica WW1 aircraft from New Zealand. They consisted of 5 German aircraft (one being the Fokker DR1 Triplane, famously flown by the Red Baron) and 5 allied fighters and bombers (including the French Nieuport 11, one of the most successful fighters of WW1).
Performing a unique aerial display, lead by a CAC Sabre and an F/A 18 Hornet in tail, was the only Gloster Meteor F8 in the world in airworthy condition. The Meteor was a post-WW2 jet fighter that played a crucial role in combat missions in the Korean War in the 1950s.
With impressive pyrotechnics to give the illusion of World War 2 air combat, the Spitfire, Kittyhawk, Boomerang and Mustang engaged in a mock dogfight display, showcasing the incredible aerobatic and military capabilities of these once superior fighters.
Moving on to the modern day military aircraft, aerial and static displays included both the Republic of Singapore and the US Air Force both individually showcasing the F-16C Fighting Falcons along with other static and aerial displays from various countries, such as France, New Zealand and Japan.
The showstopper was the Australian Defence Force showcase, which included the Australian Army, the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force.
Demonstrating the highly regimented and technical expertise of the ADF, a situation where hostiles take control of an airstrip was enacted; an E-7A Wedgetail providing reconnaissance initiated the scenario, followed by a short-landing C-17 Globemaster, deploying a bushmaster vehicle to engage the enemy. This was then followed by the C17 and bushmaster receiving aerial patrol support from Army ARH Tiger helicopters flying a low elliptical circuit over the airfield, and Air Force Hornets.
Following this display was another highlight of the ADF's capabilities; the mid-air refueling of three F/A 8 Hornets with a KC30A, based on the civilian Airbus A330.
The famous Royal Roulettes performed another impressive aerial display, hot of the heels of a performance at Adelaide's Clipsal 500 motor race.
Static displays of the show also included from the USAF; 2 F-22 Raptors, a USAF Poseidon, a B-52 Stratofortress, an Australian Hornet in Aboriginal art livery, various Hercules aircraft in both military and fire-fighting configurations, civilian aircraft; including a Qantas Boeing 737 in retro livery, various restored DC-3s, corporate jets including the Gulfstream G650 and general aviation displays, including Cirrus.
Aside from a couple of days or periodic weather, the 2015 Avalon International Airshow was, as usual, a complete success with both corporate and public visitors alike certainly receiving their money's worth.
-Luke Hague, Writer and Media Coordinator.