In all aspects of military life, training is the very first step. The Air Force has an extensive network of training organisations. Over the long history of the Service, we've trained more than half a million personnel. This exhibit looks at various aspects of RAAF training, how it has evolved since the Central Flying School commenced operations at Point Cook in 1914, and includes a selection of training aircraft from 1915 onwards.
Get to know the training aircraft you can find at the RAAF Museum.
Maurice Farman Shorthorn
The Maurice Farman Shorthorn was designed and built in France by a pioneer aeroplane manufacturing company established by the Farman brothers. The Shorthorn became the first armed aircraft to engage in aerial combat during World War I.
The Farman is made mostly of wood and fabric, and powered by a French 80hp Wolseley-Renault air-cooled V8 engine. A complex maze of wires and struts hold the upper and lower wings in place, preventing them from warping in flight. It was affectionately known as 'Rumpety' to the students because of the noise it made while travelling over the ground.
The aircraft on display, CFS-20, was the first of type into service. It was used to train pilots in the AFC for service both at home and overseas until 1919. Mr R.G. Carey of Port Melbourne purchased CFS-20 for use in advertising, joyflights and barnstorming, registered as G-AUBC. Carey flew the aircraft until the 1930's, after which it was stored.
By the 1980's, the aircraft had virtually disappeared. In 1981, Carey's daughter donated the remaining components to the RAAF Museum. The museum began the restoration of CFS-20. Containing approximately 30% original parts, and fitted with a 75hp Wolseley-Renault engine, CFS-20 was put on display in 1993.
The Avro 504K was used as an elementary trainer by Nos 5, 6, 7, and 8 (Training) Squadrons Australian Flying Corps (AFC) at Minchinhampton and Leighterton in England during World War I. After World War I, the 504K became an important part of the newly-formed RAAF's operational capability throughout the 1920s.
The Avro was the first training aircraft used by the RAAF that could be flown aerobatically. Further, 17 of these aircraft were used for the Second Peace Loan and flown to areas of Australia that previously had never seen an aircraft. The 504K was gradually retired from RAAF service from July 1928. All remaining examples were destroyed with the exception of A3-4, the sole survivor, which is with the Australian War Memorial.
The Museum's Avro 504K is an airworthy replica. It was constructed based on the original drawings by AJD Engineering of the United Kingdom using original fittings, instruments and engine. Painted as E3747, it represents one of the 20 Avro 504Ks ordered by the Australian Flying Corps in 1918 for the Central Flying School. Arriving in Australia in April 1919, E3747 was sent to No 1 Military District in Queensland during August 1919 for the First Peace Loan, and crashed at Gympie on 17 September 1919. The aircraft was returned to the Aeroplane Repair Section at Point Cook in October of that year, and was struck off charge in April 1920.
de Havilland Tiger Moth
The RAAF Museum's Tiger Moth was built in Australia at de Havilland Aircraft's Bankstown factory in 1942.
The aircraft entered RAAF service in November 1943 as A17-711. After a brief period of storage at Cootamundra, A17-711 was allotted to No 5 Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS) at Narromine on 22 May 1944, and moved to No 1 EFTS at Tamworth in June of that year. A17-711 was then placed into storage in October 1944.
After World War II, the aircraft was rotated around various bases and units. A17-711 was listed for disposal in February of 1954, and sold to the Darling Downs Aero Club that April. Originally registered VH-BFF, the aircraft passed through a variety of owners, and changed registration many times. Registered as VH-RTB in 1961, the aircraft retained this 'identity' until its purchase by the RAAF Museum in mid-1999.
Restored to its original RAAF colour scheme, the Tiger Moth represents the most important World War II trainer in our Training Exhibition. It has been returned to its original military configuration and wears the training colours of its wartime service.
de Havilland Vampire T Mk 35
The Vampire was initially in RAAF service in 1949 as a single-seat fighter. The two-seat trainer version was first ordered in October 1951 to introduce service pilots to jet aircraft. The first ejection performed in Australia was from a Vampire trainer in September 1952.
The aircraft on display at the Museum was restored by Maintenance Squadron East Sale in the mid-1990s. It's a composite made from the wings and tail booms of A79-827 and the fuselage pod of A79-616.
After display at the RAAF's 75th Anniversary Open Day at East Sale, the aircraft was relocated to Point Cook for display. The aircraft is painted as A79-616, an aircraft operated by Central Flying School, and wears the colours of the "Telstars" aerobatic team.
The Winjeel first flew on 23 February 1951. It was designed to a 1948 RAAF specification for a basic trainer to replace the Tiger Moth. After an extensive period of testing and modifications to the two prototypes, the first of 62 production Winjeels flew in February 1955, with the final delivery to the RAAF in January 1958.
A85-401 was the first of these production Winjeels, and first flew on 23 February 1955. It was handed over to the RAAF on 16 September 1955. A85-401 was used for testing at the Aircraft Research and Development Unit (ARDU) at RAAF Base Laverton until July 1962. The aircraft was then transferred to No 1 BFTS at Point Cook.
A85-401 was used as unit equipment at No 1 BFTS and was also rotated through storage to evenly distribute flying hours across the fleet. In September 1971, A85-401 was sent to East Sale, and returned to Point Cook in January 1974. In November 1975, A85-401 was recommended for the RAAF Museum on account of its historical significance. The aircraft was issued to the museum in 1977. On static display until 1988, A85-401 was flown as part of the RAAF's Historic Flight until 1995 when it was returned to static display.
A prototype of the CT4 first flew on 23 February 1972. It was developed in New Zealand by New Zealand Aerospace Industries as a military training version of the Australian-designed Victa Aircruiser.
The RAAF ordered 51 CT4s as a replacement for the Winjeel. The first of these arrived in Australia in January 1975, with the final aircraft delivered in June 1982. It was nicknamed the "Plastic Parrot", because of its lightweight construction (when compared to the Winjeel), and its green and yellow colours.
Our A19-027 was the first CT4 received by the RAAF. It served as a test aircraft at ARDU from January 1975 until October 1981 when it was transferred to CFS. It returned to ARDU in February 1982. A19-027 was transferred to No 1 FTS where it served until retirement in 1992.
Although the CT4 fleet transitioned to the orange and white "Fanta can" colours in October 1981, A19-027 returned to the original green and yellow colour scheme in September 1992 to mark the retirement of the type. A19-027 was transferred to the RAAF Museum in November 1992 and has been on static display ever since.
Aermacchi MB 326H
The Aermacchi MB 326 first flew in 1957 and had a production run of nearly 25 years. A total of 776 airframes were constructed, making the MB 326 the most-produced post-war Italian military aircraft.
The MB 326H, called the Macchi in Australian service, was ordered by the RAAF in August 1965.
On display at the Museum is A7-001. This was the first Macchi received by the RAAF. It first flew in Italy on 14 April 1967, before being shipped to Melbourne later that year. Handed over to the RAAF on 2 October 1967, the aircraft first served with Central Flying School, familiarising instructors with the new type.
In August 1968, A7-001 was allocated to No 1 Advanced Flying Training School at RAAF Base Pearce, and was used to train some of the earliest RAAF Pilots Courses that flew the Macchi. Operating with the newly-renamed No 2 Flying Training School until August 1988, the aircraft changed 'jobs' in 1991 when it was transferred to No 76 Squadron at RAAF Base Williamtown to serve in the lead-in fighter training role.
A7-001 carried out its final flight on 16 July 1999, with a total of 9403 hours on the airframe. A7-001 was then stored in Western Australia as a reserve aircraft until its transfer to the RAAF Museum in June 2000.