Post by Dave Homewood on Nov 15, 2019 13:57:38 GMT 12
With the RAAF's 100th Anniversary Coming Up in 2021 and all the talk of lots of big airshows around Australia to mark the Centenary with old and new RAAF types, I have a question.
Do you think that perhaps the RAAF might step up its participation in the big New Zealand airshows in 2021 (Wings Over Wairarapa and Classic Fighters) and perhaps send over larger contingents of current types to show off to New Zealanders? Or maybe debut some new types here like the F-35 or Super Hornets?
I would think more likely to retreat from overseas shows and concentrate on the Australian ones.There's no value to them to be displaying over here.
I hope the RAAF can expand its presence over the Tasman for these celebrations. After all the crews will be trained up and a trip over to NZ in addition to the local shows should be no real big deal.
Beyond that I think the RAAF and ADF sees NZ through an additional lenses. One is recruitment (Few NZ born knucks in the RAAF and how welcome are they!). Then there is the view that effectively NZ is under the umbrella of Australia's east coast air defence units whilst NZ has no domestic capability. In other words visit the people who's airspace your role is to defend. Also given the above I would hope that the first F35 to NZ is RAAF not USAF (or USMC or USN) but that may not be.
Of course that all depends if the Aus budget goes completely shat and cuts may be made to ops across the board.
Last Edit: Nov 15, 2019 17:39:13 GMT 12 by mcmaster
I think that given the closeness in timing between the Australian International Airshow at Avalon in 2021 and the usual timing for Wings Over Wairarapa 2021, you might get some of the invited foreign participants who might be encouraged to divert via NZ on their way to or from, or do a bit more "show the flag" activity in the region.
RAAF will naturally enough focus on the major events at home, but the positive feedback and benefits of attending events like Omaka and Wanaka in the past, plus recognising the close relationship between Australia and New Zealand, they will likely consider requests favourably. The crews like it and from comments made by some of the senior RAAF staff, they like to assist where they can and keep the ties between Australia and NZ positive. They also recognise the NZ airshows give them a lot of overseas exposure given the range of countries people come from to attend the major NZ airshows.
The gap in timing between Avalon and Omaka might make things more difficult in attracting the foreign Air Forces, but might make it easier getting RAAF involvement, especially to keep the display pilots "eye in" between major shows in Australia. So CF2021 could get something if the schedules and commitments align.
I think it is a matter of them putting the feelers out early to the RAAF so that the RAAF can consider what might be achievable and maybe point the NZ event organisors to the right people and contacts in the visiting contingents.
RAAF has extended invitations to the broader aviation community and other Air Forces to help them celebrate the RAAF's Centenary, with the two major events being Avalon at the end of February and Amberley sometime in October being the two airshows they are pitching for foreign participation. So they are also probably waiting to hear back who might be coming and from where. Other RAAF specific events and participation in other scheduled airshows still to be decided and of course all subject to Government and operational priorities at the time.
Colin Ford Canberra, Australia Historian, No.268 Squadron Royal Air Force, 1940-1946