The same reason why many of us harbour the desire to have the secret ability to fly.
Its Freedom, Speed, Diving,…
and there we were listening to Darcy O’Connor, a retired Air Force pilot now flying Airbus jets for Jetstar, one of
Mustang from RAAF Museum air display
Australia’s budget airlines. But on weekends he still gets a buzz talking to groups of kids and adults and putting on a short display of aerobatics at the RAAF Air Force base at Point Cook, just outside of Melbourne – the longest continuous operational Air Force base anywhere in the world.
The plane being put through its paces today was a Mustang, built at Fisherman’s Bend in Australia in the 1950’s as the only place outside of the USA licensed for production. With a huge 12 cylinder Merlin engine, this plane had speed and endurance and as it completed loops and high speed rolls above us as a dad I couldn’t help wish that I had learnt how to fly as a kid. As Darcy returned to the ground in the Mustang my 7 year old daughter asked “Dad, when can I learn to fly”
Mustang in flight
I imagine amongst the group there to watch the display this weekend, it was a common thought for kids and adults alike.
The air displays are a regular (and clearly popular) attraction at Point Cook with displays at 1pm each Tuesday, Thursday and Sundaythroughout the year with regular aircraft featured including the Winjeel, Harvard, CT4A, Sopwith Pup replica, Tiger Moth and Mustang. In addition visiting aircraft such as the DC3, Bird Dog or even a modern PC-9 can sometimes be seen.
RAAF Museum - military transport display
The adjacent museum capped of the display with some history of the RAAF and several hangars of aircraft. Next door was a hangar showing how restoration of these historic aircraft takes place.
Flying boat at RAAF Museum
And if you really want more then airshows featuring military, commercial and historic aircraft and aerobatics and regular events at cities around the worlld including world famousFarnborough show in England or the Paris (Le Bourget) show in France. The USA also has a long season of shows including for example Miramar Airshow in October or Aviation Nationat Nellis AFB every November. In Australia try catching the Avalon airshow held every 2 years and just down the road from Point Cook towards Geelong.
The RAAF Museum is a 25-minute drive south-west from Melbourne. Air displays and museum entry is free and the museum is open Tuesday to Friday: 10am–3pm; Weekends and Public Holidays: 10am–5pm.
If you want to extend your day the point cook area just next to the Air Force base is the Point Cook Coastal Park, with walking trails and great views across Port Phillip Bay back to Melbourne as well as a wetland area teeming with bird life. Not far away is Weribee park and the open plains zoo.