I enjoyed another absolutely fantastic day at the Australian International Airshow at Avalon Airport on Thursday 28 February, highlighted by the welcoming and very accommodating exhibitors who opened up their aircraft to visitors and media to look through. One such exhibitor is Gulfstream, where Tony and Steve welcomed me on board their two display aircraft - the Gulfstream G280 and Gulfstream G560.
The Gulfstream G280 - N280GD - is Gulstream's newest bizjet, boasting superiority in all areas of the super mid-size business jet market, encompassing outstanding performance, comfort and advanced technology to bring together this best-in-class aircraft. The G280 also boasts the longest range at fastest cruise speed in the super mid-size business jet category.
A quick look at the flight deck reveals that the G280 improves safety through reduced pilot workload and improved situational awareness. Safety during low visibility operations can be further improved with the optional Heads-Up Display (HUD).
The Gulfstream G650 - N650PH - is Glufstream's new ultra-large-cabin, ultra-high speed business jet that is, according to Gulfstream, "the gold standard in business aviation". the G650 is the flagship of the Gulfstream fleet. It flies faster, farther, and more comfortably than any other business aircraft in its class.
I'd like to thank Tony and Steve for their kind hospitality on the day!
Meanwhile, I was also able to pop my head inside the Bombardier Global 6000 N381GX. Again, this is a very sophisticated and very attractive business jet, which also features an ultra-modern flight deck. Bombardier states that the Global 6000 is "the performance benchmark in the ultra-long-range jet category".
Lastly, I was welcomed on board the largest business jet at Avalon, the Airbus Corporate Jetliner, or A319CJ. The A319CJ is a long range corporate jet development of the A319 airliner, designed to compete directly with other larger and dedicated long range business jets. The A319CJ on display - 9H-AVK of Comlux Aviation Malta is an Airbus A319-115(CJ) - is truly a spectacular looking aircraft.
My breath was taken away when I stepped inside and saw the truly opulent interior which featured sitting area, bedroom and ensuite bathroom.
The flight deck of the A319CJ is essentially the same as the A319 airliner. I was even allowed to dream and sit in the left seat of this $85 million corporate jet!
Away from the business jets, I popped over to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aircraft on display, and ventured into Lockeed C-130J-30 Hercules A97-466 which was open for inspection.
Crew members were very welcoming, explaining in detail about tasks that the Herc carries out, and the various configurations that the inside can take. Eventually, I was invited to the flight deck, with all its screens and buttons, and its Head's Up Display (HUD).
Elsewhere at Avalon, there was an influx of small light aircraft arriving for Airshow.
Also arriving for their roles in the Airshow's flying displays this weekend were the aircraft of the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS). The star of the HARS fleet is no doubt their Lockheed C-121C (L-1049) Super Constellation VH-EAG "Connie".
HARS has also acquired a pair of former RAAF DHC-4 Caribou transport aircraft. Pictured below is VH-VBA (ex-A4-210) arriving from Wollongong.
Later, VH-VBA participated in the afternoon flying display which was highlighted by another spectacular performance by a flight of four RAAF Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornetts (Rhinos).
As they prepared for their show, RAAF Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-206 touched down.
The Rhino's performance was very well received, and included two parts - formation flying and then a simulated air field attack.
Lastly, Australia's own 'Top Gun', former RAAF Fighter Combat Instructor, Matt Hall, put on a truly amazing and spectacular aerobatics display in his MXS-R aircraft VH-CQE.
It was truly an amazing day at the Airshow. The public are welcomed from tomorrow afternoon, and the airborne action is set to heat up even more!