An audience of several thousand gathered and witnessed the exciting debut of the new PC-21 Roulettes team at RAAF Base Point Cook in Melbourne on 3 October 2019.
Four brand new Pilatus PC-21 aircraft took to the sky and delivered an impressive 20 minute crowd-pleasing performance.
Flight Lieutenant (FLTLT) Daniel Armstrong, Roulette 7 said it was very symbolic to kick start the PC-21 Roulettes display season at the birthplace of the Air Force.
“The Roulettes had their first public display at this base in 1970 and it is great to return here with a new team and brand new aircraft 49 years later,” FLTLT Armstrong said.
“Point Cook is the oldest Air Force base and the PC-21 aircraft is one of the newest additions to the organisation. It is a nice way to demonstrate that we are proud of Air Force’s past and also excited about its future.”
FLTLT Armstrong said the team had been practising really hard in the last few months to put together a great show for their audience.
“The PC-21 is one of the most advanced training aircraft in the world and we’ve designed our demonstrations and displays to highlight its capability and performance,” he said.
“During the display, the Roulettes fly within three metres of each other, performing low level aerobatics and a number of different synchronised manoeuvres.
"Throughout the display the Roulettes fly as low as 200 feet above the ground at speeds of up to 685km/hr.”
FLTLT Armstrong said Roulettes’ jaw-dropping precision and spectacular actions took a lot of hard work, trust and teamwork.
“It was very rewarding to see how much the audience loved the show and I felt like all the hard work has paid off for the team,” FLTLT Armstrong said.
“The meet and greet time at the end of display was also very exciting, I absolutely enjoyed speaking to the fans and seeing how inspired they were by the performance".
The Air Force Roulettes are renowned as one of the world’s premier aerobatic display teams, having performed thousands of shows around the world in the last 49 years.
The Roulettes were established in 1970 flying the Macchi MB-326 aircraft, which was replaced by the Pilatus PC-9/A in 1989.
In March 2019, the PC-9/A officially retired from the Roulettes team and was replaced by the PC-21 aircraft.
“The PC-21 is one of the most advanced trainers in the world and is capable of producing 1,600 horsepower and a maximum speed of 685km/h,” FLTLT Armstrong said.
The team has been a success in encouraging military recruitment and helping Air Force maintain a good relationship with Australian communities.
Members of the new PC-21 Roulettes team are Squadron Leader Jay Tuffley, FLTLT Mark Keritz, FLTLT Daniel Barclay, FLTLT Darren Wong, FLTLT Lachie Hazeldine, FLTLT Daniel Price and FLTLT Armstrong.
The Roulettes will be celebrating their 50th Anniversary in 2020.