Australian International Air Show 2001


Miles M3A Falcon Major

I was very fortunate to be able to attend the 2001 Australian International Air Show… some twenty years ago. It was as much a trade show as it was an air show, and what you see here on these pages is the trade and non-flying part of the show. Being based on the Atlantic Ocean side of the United States, I was excited to see some Pacific Ocean – based examples of aircraft and operators. I had a lot to catch up on… names like Miles, de Havilland, Auster, Beagle, and other Commonwealth aircraft manufacturers. 

Harbin Y-12-II

I was pleasantly surprised  when I got to Australia and saw the scope of world-wide participation within the trade show. Companies from Germany (Dornier and Grob), Italy (Partenavia), IAI (Israel), the United States (Piper, Fairchild, Bell, Air Tractor, Beech Raytheon and Kaman) and China (Harbin) were all represented. 

There were close to one hundred aircraft assembled at the Avalon Airport, less than a two-hour drive from the big city of Melbourne. As the airport is located along the southeastern shores of Australia, weather was a big factor and wasn’t always fair during my multi-day excursion.

Bell 222

Civilian aircraft on display included examples of Bell 222 helicopters, a Canadair CL-215 water bomber, an Embraer Banderante, Grob 115 Acro, an Air Tractor 802 turboprop, and a Partenavia P68B light twin. 

USAF F-16 West Coast Demo Team

Military aircraft from afar included Spain (CASA CN-235), Great Britain (RAF Tornado), New Zealand (Boeing B-727 Combi), France (Eurocopter ARH), the United States (a Misawa-based F-16 flown by the West Coast F-16 Demo pilot) dragged over the Pacific by a Kadena-based USAF KC-135R, a Royal Singaporean Air Force KC-135 and a pair of Pilatus PC-21 trainers, and a diplomatic-assigned USAF C-12 Super King Air.

RAAF B-707

King Air 350

The home team displayed a lot of aircraft too. The Royal Australian Air Force displayed a new Super King Air 350 trainer/transport, a BAE Hawk trainer/Lead-in Forward Air control trainer, F/A-18s adorned with Centennial colors, and a pair of soon-to-be-retired Aeromacchi MB-326 trainers. HS-748 transports, a Boeing 707tanker/transport, the mighty F-111 and Caribous too.

A diverse set of current military aircraft included examples of Sikorsky S-70a helicopters, BAE Hawk, F-111 and Caribous. The Royal Australian Navy displayed an AP-3C and an SH-2 Super Sea Sprite… the latter type would never be accepted into the RAN service. 

DeHavilland DH-61 Giant Moth

Other civilian aircraft of note included an array of DeHavilland biplanes… that included a DH-61 Giant Moth and DH-84 Dragon III. Types like the Beagle Airdale, Fokker F.VIIIb3m, Auster J-1B Aiglet, J-5G Autocar and an Aero Subaru rounded out the eclectic group of assembled light civilian planes.

Warbirds were pleasantly involved too… from Spitfires and a Sea Fury to Winjeels and a Boomerang.

CAC CA-25 Winjeels

Ken Kula

Assignment and Content Editor, writer and photographer A New Englander all of my life, I've lived in New Hampshire since 1981. My passion for all things aviation began at a very early age, and I coupled this with my interest of photography during college in the late 1970s. I spent 35 years in the air traffic control industry, and concurrently, enjoyed my aviation photography and writing adventures, which continue today. I've been quite fortunate to have been mentored by some generous and gifted individuals. I enjoy contributing to this great site and working with some very knowledgeable and equally passionate aviation followers.

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