Winged Warriors 2016  - Tyabb / Australia

Located approximately 70 km southeast of Melbourne, Morning Peninsula Airport is home to the Peninsula Aero Club (PAC) as well as thriving warbird community. It is here on Sunday 13th of March that the PAC held its bi-annual air show and with the thyme of Winged Warriors this years show featured a diverse range of combat aircraft, particularly from the Second World War. The overcast weather conditions on the day did little to deter over 10,000 spectators whom attended the event to get up close an personal with an impressive range of military aircraft from a bygone era. Tyabb airfield is also home of two of Australia’s arguably most important warbird collections consisting of The Old Aeroplane Company owned and operated by Judy Pay and an equally impressive aeroplane collection owned by Graham Hosking.

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One of the highlights of this years show was the appearance of Graham’s pristine Chance Vought F-4U 5N CORSAIR. The result of a 15 year restoration project, this former Honduran Air Force machine has been immaculately resorted complete with FAH (Fuerza A‚rea Hondure¤a) markings. Peter Clements provided a wonderful flying display of this truly stunning warbird that included several passes in formation with the Grumman TBM-3E AVENGER owned and flown by Paul Bennett. Paul also impressed the crowd with demonstrations of the wing fold abilities of his large and very capable carrier based aeroplane.

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This years show also provided Graham Hosking with the opportunity to showcase three new aircraft in his collection which included an immaculate Ryan STM and a beautifully restored Ryan STA, the later complete with above wing mounted machine guns and also sporting Honduran Air Force markings. The Old Aeroplane Company displayed their magnificent Rolls-Royce Merlin powered Curtis P-40F WARHAWK, this extremely rare aircraft was flown at Tyabb by Guy Bourke while their Australian built CAC-18 MUSTANG fighter was flown by Darcy O’Conner, both contributing to the wonderful range of Second World War era aircraft in attendance. 

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The Temora Aviation Museum (TAM) of New South Wales was also very well represented at Tyabb by no less that two SPITFIRES, their immaculate Mk VIII and Mk XVI, along with with their beautifully restored CAC-13 BOOMERANG fighter flown by Scott Taberner. First World War aircraft were also displayed at Tyabb with the RAAF Museum’s very nice Transavia Sopwith PUP replica and a Sopwith SNIPE replica belonging to Nick Caudwell that provided a very interesting attraction especially considering this aircraft is built completely from scratch. Other participants included two immaculate Cessna BIRD DOG 0-1G Forward Air Control (FAC) aircraft with one owned and flown by Rob Fox. Both aircraft were complete with Vietnam War era markings and dummy 2.75 inch marking rockets under their wings.

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A rare sight at Australian airshows was the Vultee BT-13A VALIANT. This WWII U.S. Army trainer was also utilised by the U.S Navy as the SNV and served in both U.S and foreign service until well after the end of the Second World War. This particular aircraft is owned and flown by John Kempton of Albury New South Wales.  It was a delight to see such a rare and beautifully resorted example of the type at Tyabb. Aircraft of a more contemporary nature included an RAAF Boeing C-17A GLOBEMASTER III strategic airlifter from RAAF Amberley Queensland and privately owned ex RSAF (Republic of Singapore Air Force) SIAI-Marchetti S-211 and Aero Vodochody L-39 ALBATROSS jet trainers. These aircraft performed several flypasts before returning home to their respective bases.

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Verdict: The Tyabb Air Show 2016 – Winged Warriors was a wonderful event, well organised and with an impressive range of aircraft on show. With the majority of proceeds being donated to several worthy causes such as Headspace, an organisation that focuses on mental health for young people and the Tyabb CFA (Country Fire Authority), the result can only be a win-win situation for all. With a wonderful range of World War Two and modern aircraft to be seen and admired and proceeds of the event going to some very worthwhile causes, what was there not to like.

Rob Hynes / CHK6

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