Airbus Military has delivered two of five A330MRTTs ordered by launch customer the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). After a delay of more than two years, the first aircraft was flown from Madrid to RAAF Amberley and handed over in a formal ceremony on June 1. The second was handed over on June 22.
RAAF Base Amberley
Airbus Military has flight-tested the fuselage refueling unit (FRU) of the A330 multi-role tanker transport (MRTT) for the first time. The Cobham-supplied FRU is a hose-and-drogue system that is fitted to the version destined for the UK Royal Air Force as its future strategic tanker aircraft (FSTA). It transfers fuel at a greater rate than the underwing hose-and-drogue units that Cobham supplies for all A330MRTTs.
In a ceremony held at RAAF Amberley, Queensland, the Royal Australian Air Force retired its General Dynamics F-111 fleet on December 2. Affectionately known as the “Pig,” the F-111 served the RAAF from 1973 in the long-range attack and reconnaissance roles. It has been replaced by the Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet, although the new fleet is not yet operational.
The first two Royal Australian Air Force C-17 pilots began training at a new aircrew training system (ATS) facility at RAAF Amberley, Queensland. The air force had previously undertaken its aircrew training in the U.S., and the Australian ATS is the first to be established overseas.
There can be few finer sights in aviation than a General Dynamics F-111 bomber demonstrating the “dump-and-burn” routine. And here this week enjoy every second of it, for it could well be the last time you have the chance to witness the spectacle. The Royal Australian Air Force is retiring its F-111s in early December, and the Singapore Airshow is the final hurrah for the type outside its homeland.