Temora does it again!
I took a bit of a road trip on the weekend of 5-6th September to take in the sights and sounds of my first Temora Flying Weekend. Temora Aviation Museum holds around half a dozen of these weekends each year when they take their fleet, or a large percentage of it, up into the air and show it off to the gathered throng. These weekends are always very popular and great value for money.
The township of Temora is located smack in the middle of New South Wales, just a few kilometres from Wagga Wagga. It's quite a small place and I'm sure the advent of the aviation museum has helped the town's fortunes considerably.
The museum is located at the local aerodrome, a couple of clicks out of town centre. The museum itself consists of three or four large hangars, one of which is the engineering shop, and an admin block. One of the hangars is devoted to static display of the aircraft on non-flying days. The overall impression is one of exceptional professionalism with the buildings and facilities being spotlessly clean and neat and tidy.
The museum's carpark and main entrance
The late Col Pay's Spitfire inside the engineering shop and admin block hangar. Out of site is one of the museum's two Cessna Dragonfly's in bits under maintenance.
Saturday dawned a bright and sunny day and I headed downstairs for some brekky. To my surprise, the breakfast room was crawling with RAAF uniforms. It turned out the techies that were at Temora to look after the brace of F/A-18s that were at Temora for the show were staying at the same place as me!
A view of the flightline showing (from left to right) Ryan STM, Spitfire, Boomerang, Wirraway and Tiger Moth. Not in view are the Kittyhawk, Sabre, Meteor, Vampire, Canberra, Harvards and Hudson. Not present on the day were the two Dragonfly's and the Cessna O-2. What a collection!
Off to the aerodrome, parking and queueing for a couple of hours. Once in, we got settled into some grandstand seats for the show. The display was presented in a loosely chronological order. First in the air was Temora's own Tiger Moth a US trainer biplane that I'm ashamed to say I can't recall the name. Possibly a Stearman. Next up was a Ryan STM S2 followed by two Harvards and a Wirraway together. Into the WWII era with a Matt Denning in his Boomerang, a P-40 Kittyhawk, Spitfire (flown by museum founder and president David Lowy) and the Hudson. Then on into the jet age with displays from the Vampire and Meteor. I believe the Meteor is the only single seat example still flying.
Matt Denning's immaculate CAC Boomerang. He put on a great display in one of the world's rarest warbirds.
Temora's Vampire trainer.
Temora's Gloster Meteor fighter, painted in the markings of George Hale's "Halestorm" from the Korean war.
Now for the highlight, and the reason so many of us were there, the first public display flight of the CAC Sabre. It did a wonderful display and showed off its sleek shape beautifully. It was joined in the air by one of the F/A-18s I mentioned earlier and they did a duet for us. The Sabre then landed and taxiied in and the F/A-18 put on a ground-shaking show of its own.
The star attraction: CAC Sabre A94-983
After the flying was done for the day, there was a photo-opportunity to get a close look at the Sabre, and some talk-time with all the pilots, who stood by their machines and took questions from the crowd. That wound up the day's events and we all made our way off.
The flying show was repeated on Sunday, with the Meteor swapping out for the Canberra. I couldn't stick around for that as I had to be back in Melbourne for work on Monday, worse luck!
Overall it was a most memorable display and one I can thoroughly recommend. I might look for a seat in a plane going that way next time, rather than driving. Then I could stay for both days!
A view of part of the huge crowd of spectators on Saturday.
I have since found out that around 8,000 people came through the gates over the two flying days. This contrasts with thw 1,500−2,000 they usually get and shows how much support there is for the museum and what they do.
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A taste of the new Mirage profiles
RAAF Dassault Mirage Prints
Looming on the horizon is a series of Dassault Mirage III profiles. Most will be RAAF examples, but I will also be covering some of the more interesting schemes from overseas.
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