Temora Aviation Museum is flying its warbirds this weekend on the 19th or 20th of July – another good reason to escape the crowds in Sydney during the World Youth Day events!
The line-up consists of most of our warbirds. You will see the Spitfires, Dragonfly, Boomerang, Hudson, Wirraway, Cessna O-2A, and more!
Museum gates open at 10.00 am and flying continues through until around 3.00 pm. Food and refreshments are available on site. Remember to bring along a light fold-up chair if you have one, and some warm clothing – you’ll need it!
NEW METEOR PILOT
Yesterday Alan Clements became only the second pilot in Australia in approximately 45 years to become endorsed on the Meteor F.8. His conversion to the aircraft was approved by CASA, and conducted by Darren “Buster” Crabb the current Meteor display pilot and Director of Flying Operations for the Temora Historic Flying Club (THFC). Alan, an experienced RAAF F/A-18 pilot as well as one of the current THFC Vampire pilots, stated, “It is certainly a privilege to be given the opportunity to fly the Meteor. This aircraft has significant historical importance the RAAF due to its combat service with 77 Squadron in the Korea War. As a past Commanding Officer of 77 Squadron this aircraft holds particular sentimental value to me.”
Using the Temora Aviation Museum’s Meteor, Buster conducted the training over two days culminating in Alan’s endorsement on 17 July 2008. Asked how he felt during the training Alan said, “Excited and nervous. It’s not often one gets an opportunity to fly such an aircraft. Modern aviation is based around simulation and dual instruction, your first flight in this aircraft is solo, which adds a little pressure considering it is the only flying F.8 in the world. I certainly didn’t want to get anything wrong.”
When asked how he felt during his first flight, Alan stated, “Well my heart rate had certainly risen, particularly as I came in to land for the first time. However, the sortie went exactly as planned, which is a reflection on Buster’s experience. Darren is obviously very experienced at operating this aircraft so it was great to be the beneficiary of that experience. He made it very easy by explaining everything in detail and highlighting those little ‘gotcha’s that can make aviation embarrassing.” Additionally the aircraft didn’t miss a beat. It performed well which is due to the quality of the Engineering Team here at the Museum. Pete and his team do a great job not only in maintaining and preparing these aircraft, but helping us understand the aircraft systems in more detail. It certainly helped with the nerves knowing how well they do their job.”
The years immediately post World War Two saw the emergence of many new and improved jet fighters. The early Gloster Meteors needed a redesign to keep up-to-date and so was born the Meteor F.8. The F.8 Meteor was based on the F.4 with a few improvements. The fuselage was lengthened by 76cm to fix the Center of Gravity (CofG) issues, a new tail that helped with changing CofG caused by ammunition expenditure, updated Derwent engines that produced 1633kg / 3600lbs of thrust, a Martin Baker ejection seat, new blown canopy and the ability to carry two 450kg / 1000lb bombs or 16 rocket projectiles. While the F.8 was the mainstay fighter for the RAF between 1950 and 1955, and RAAF from 1951-1958, it was soon being outclassed by new swept wing fighters such as F-86 Sabre and MiG-15.
The aircraft entered RAAF service in April of 1951, during the Korean War, when it replaced the Mustangs of 77 Squadron. A total of 93 F.8s and six T.7s (two seat) were allocated to the Korean War. Only 41 F8s and three T.7s returned to Australia in 1953. The aircraft remained in active service until 1958 when it was replaced by the Avon F-86 Sabre. Coincidentally 41 is the number of 77 Squadron aircrew killed in action during the Korean War. The Meteor continued to be flown by the Citizen’s Air Force until 1963, and then for some years by the Ministry of Supply and Trials conducting research.
Over the years there were 10 confirmed ejections from Australian Meteors (two mid air collisions, seven in combat and one un-commanded ejection).
Come to the Museum this weekend to see Al’s debut Meteor display flight.
Visit our photo gallery page to view photos of Al with the Meteor.