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Central Flying School (CFS)

Formed at Point Cook Victoria in March 1913, the Central Flying School trained over 150 pilots for service with the Australian Flying Corps in the Middle East and Europe.

Following World War I, CFS was disbanded, before reforming once again at Point Cook in 1940. After relocating to New South Wales in May 1940, CFS operated from various locations within that state, and by 1945 had graduated over 3,600 instructors.

In 1947 CFS was transferred to East Sale Victoria where it received its first Vampire jet trainers six years later. With the arrival of the Macchi in 1968, the school began 'all through' jet flying, graduating its first instructor course that year. As well as providing jet training, CFS also trained Winjeel and CT-4 instructors until 1991, when the PC 9/A was adopted for all non-jet training.

In addition to instructional duties, Central Flying School has also been responsible for equipping the RAAF's formation aerobatic teams since 1962. In 1962, a team named "The Red Sales" was formed flying four de Havilland Vampire T 33 aircraft. The Red Sales gave their first public performance at the Royal Hobart Regatta in February 1962. They also performed at Wagga Wagga and at a School of Air Navigation (SAN) course graduation at RAAF Base East Sale.

In February 1963 a new team, known as "The Telstars" was formed, also flying Vampires. Their first display was at a SAN course graduation.

In February 1968 the team performed for the first time in a new aircraft, the Italian-designed Aermacchi MB326H. The Macchi was an agile aircraft and its fine handling made it eminently suitable for aerobatic work. The Telstars only flew the new aircraft until April 1968 when the team was disbanded due to an Air Force-wide reduction in display flying.

The newly-formed Roulettes flew their first public display in December 1970 at RAAF Base Point Cook. The name 'Roulettes' has its origins in one of the early manoeuvres performed by the first team. Two Macchis flew in opposite directions round a horizontal circle and crossed in front of the crowd in a routine that was called the 'roulette'.

The Italian-designed Aermacchi MB-326H (Macchi) was the vehicle for the Roulettes from their inception until 1989. In 1989, the Macchi was replaced by the Swiss-built Pilatus PC 9/A aircraft. During this year, pairs of Macchis and PC 9/As presented displays around the country while the team converted to the PC 9/A. A six-aircraft PC 9/A team debuted at Mt Gambier in March 1990 and the flying team composition has remained the same since.

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