The skies over Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Edinburgh were filled with the sounds of piston and high-powered turbine engines as old and new aircraft combined to take part in the Edinburgh Air Show.

The two-day air show in Adelaide’s northern suburbs showcased advances in aviation technology in the 100 years since Sir Ross and Sir Keith Smith made their epic flight from England to Australia in a converted former Royal Air Force Vickers Vimy bomber.

Head of Air Shows Air Commodore Noddy Sawade said the air show, the first in Edinburgh in 12 years, attracted more than 60,000 people over the weekend of November 9-10.

“There has been a great deal of change to RAAF Edinburgh and Air Force’s aviation capabilities since the last air show in 2007,” Air Commodore Sawade said.

“This air show gave people an opportunity to see aircraft that have been introduced to the Air Force fleet since 2007, in addition to viewing Defence’s state-of-the-art equipment and technology.

Visitors to the base saw some of the Australian Defence Force’s most advanced military aircraft, including the latest fifth-generation fighter aircraft, the F-35A Lightning II, EA-18G Growler, F/A-18F Super Hornet and E-7A Wedgetail.

“A highlight for the crowds was the F-35A Lightning II public handling display. The C-17A Globemaster, C-130J Hercules and C-27J Spartan were also huge hits with the public, with long queues to walk through and see the inside of the aircraft,” Air Commodore Sawade said.

“The Roulettes flew their first ‘high show’ in South Australia in their new Pilatus PC-21 aircraft, which replaced the PC-9A earlier this year.

“This air show gave people an opportunity to see aircraft that have been introduced to the Air Force fleet since 2007, in addition to viewing Defence’s state-of-the-art equipment and technology.”

“The P-8A Poseidon aircraft, based at Edinburgh, are a familiar sight in the South Australian skies and they also had a static display and performed a flying display as part of the air show.”

More than 60 military and historic aircraft were either on static display or performed flying displays.

Spectators were lucky enough to see a unique flying formation with a Lockheed Hudson Bomber and two Boomerang aircraft conducting a combined handling display – the Hudson and the Boomerangs are the only flying examples of their type in the world.

RAAF’s Temora Aviation Museum is home to the Hudson and one of the Boomerangs, while the other Boomerang, with original RAAF Serial Number A46-63, is owned and was flown by former RAAF pilot Jim Whalley, whose father, then Flight Lieutenant Alan Whalley, regularly flew A46-63 as part of No. 84 Squadron stationed on Horn Island, Queensland, in 1943.

Other historic aircraft that performed flying displays included a De Havilland DHC-4 and AP-3C Orion from the HARS Aviation Museum, a Hawker Hurricane, DH-84 Dragon, A-37 Dragon, Moth Minor and a Spitfire Mark VIII. 

The Fleet Air Arm demonstrated the capabilities of the MH-60R Seahawk helicopter while Army showed off their armoured capability with an array of vehicles and equipment from 1st and 9th Brigades, as well as the 16th Air Land Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery’s ground-based air defence capability.

The air show also featured a commercial trade hall where more than 60 exhibitors displayed stands showcasing the most advanced Defence technology and equipment to the public, as well as additions to extensive STEM-interactive displays.