Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Beauty of Flight

Found this piece of footage on YouTube. The birds are A4 Skyhawks with the RNZAF, originally with the RAN Fleet Air Arm, 805 and 724 squadrons. My father commanded both these squadrons at various times during the late 60's and early 70's out of RANAS Albatros near Nowra, and off the HMAS Melbourne.

These particular aircraft were later sold to the RNZAF. This footage shows them as aerobatic aircraft, a subsidiary role to their roles as front-line fighter-bombers. My dad had started the team in Nowra in the early 60's, using these aircraft and performing many of the sequences shown in the clip. The team was called the "Ramjets".

The interesting thing about this aerobatic role is that although the Skyhawk was also used by the US Blue Angels aerobatic team, the US team used modified Skyhawks built especially for aerobatics. Neither the Australians nor the New Zealanders modified their aircraft.

This pic is of my father and the men of 805 in 1973.

Hope you enjoy the clip:
video

A couple of other pics:


Dad in the middle, publicity shot on the flight line, showing the "Ramjets" aerobatic team in 1969. With my father, who at the time was C/O of 724 Squadron, are Errol "Klump" Kavanaugh and Graham "Dusty" King.

And not to leave out my mum, back row, second from the right, HMAS Cerberus, about 1955.


Cheers
Peter C.

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