Friday, September 8, 2017

RAAF Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A (MRTT) A39-001 Pops into Rockhampton Airport

Late on Friday 8 September, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) A39-001 was spotted on the ground at Rockhampton Airport after arriving from the South as "Dragon 20".

Due to the visiting United States Air Force (USAF) Lockheed C-5M Super Galaxy (L-500) 87-0032 remaining parked on Gate 6, the KC-30A was forced to park on Taxiway Juliette at Rockhampton Airport while it completed some on-the-ground tasks.

After almost an hour on the ground, A39-001 returned to the South again as "Dragon 20".

Of interest, A39-001 was noted earlier on Friday 8 September completing airwork in Far North Queensland as "Dragon 14", while after it visited Rocky, it then was noted completing circuits around RAAF Base Amberley as "Dragon 21".

The KC-30A Tanker is flown by 33 Squadron based at RAAF Base Amberley.  The Squadron is responsible for aerial refuelling and long-range passenger transport and is controlled by No. 86 Wing, which is part of Air Mobility Group.  33 squadron currently operates five Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft.

Of further interest, the sixth Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) (to be) A39-006 was delivered to Australia via RAAF Base Amberley recently.  It wore the registration marking MRTT039 and has previously flown in Australia operating for Qantas Airways as VH-EBH (cn 892).

 Thomas Ziegler - Aviation-Media /

The RAAF is also expected to take delivery of a seventh KC-30A to be A39-007 which also flew for Qantas but as VH-EBI.  It is reported that this aircraft could provide VIP transport flights as a replacement for the current RAAF's VIP 34 Squadron Boeing B737-7DF(BBJ) aircraft.

Sincere thanks to local plane spotter Daniel B for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

Photos taken by Daniel Bishop  ©

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