Air Force: Inside the New Era of Australian Air Power by Ian McPhedran

By Ian McPhedran

A revealing examine the Royal Australian Air strength in battle and peace because the East Timor main issue in 999, from bombing raids over Bagdad and logistic help in Afghanistan, to surveillance, reconnaissance and humanitarian missions worldwide. Award-winning journalist and best-selling writer Ian McPhedran takes us on one other particular trip, this time to the guts of the RAAF via own tales of fighter pilots' bombing raids over Iraq, hi-tech secret agent planes over Afghanistan, the operational nerve centre of the center East warfare and the boys and ladies who bring humanitarian relief and alleviate soreness worldwide. this is often the compelling narrative within the RAAF's ninetieth yr of its airplane, traditions and personalities, from the corridors of strength in Canberra to far-flung bases round Australia and the realm, in additional than a decade of fast switch as expertise propels it into the following iteration of air energy and the futuristic period of stealth. it's a must-read not just for aviation and army buffs or those people who are fascinated about what the RAAF has been doing on the grounds that 999, yet for someone who has glanced skywards on the sound of an air strength aircraft passing overhead. we all know much approximately what the military has been as much as considering the fact that East Timor in 999, yet what in regards to the Air strength? Air strength was once a key deterrent through the 999 East Timor situation, whilst F- s have been despatched to Tindal within the Northern Territory and used for reconnaissance flights over the island. The RAAF has been very busy on operations worldwide, from F/A- eight Hornet warring parties shedding bombs on Saddam's palaces in Baghdad to Hercules C- 30 and large C- 7 delivery planes aiding warfare scuffling with and humanitarian missions everywhere in the globe. Then there are the P-3 Orion secret agent planes flying clandestine evening missions during the heart East or utilizing their high-tech imaging gear to discover misplaced yachtsmen within the Southern Ocean. that includes unpublished and formerly mystery fabric, together with bomb digital camera imagery.

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Life was still quite measured in Australia’s post-Vietnam ‘peace dividend’ era. For most of the 1980s the Herc fleet had been flying humanitarian aid missions around the region. The famine relief mission to Somalia in 1993 was the beginning of the operational focus and the evacuation of Australians from the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, in 1997 signalled the start of more than a decade of virtually continuous operational flying for the transport team. Oddie’s time in the RAF stood him in good stead.

He loved flying the ‘chook’, whose two engines and huge lifting capacity allowed it to undertake unique tasks in dangerous flying environments. In some cases the ‘chook’ shaved 12 months off humanitarian aid projects simply by air lifting whole tractors or other heavy loads directly into an isolated site. This was not always a straightforward proposition. ‘I remember on a couple of occasions there we had to pick up a load that we didn’t quite have the capacity to lift, so we basically just got it to the edge of the mountain and fell off the mountain with it until we had enough speed to fly.

The H entered service in 1978 (replacing the A-models) and in 1999 the J replaced the E. Apart from being slightly longer than the H and having a six-blade propeller rather than a four, the J is operated by a crew of just three (two pilots and a loadmaster) compared with the H’s five (two pilots, navigator, flight engineer and loadmaster). The highly automated J uses ‘glass cockpit’ technology (including automated flight systems) and advances such as the head up display (HUD) that allows pilots to monitor all systems on a screen in front of their eyes.

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