Sunday, August 2, 2020

Restored RAAF Mirage fighter A3-55 and a Winjeel trainer A85-403 Arrive into Townsville from Amberley - via Clermont!

Early on Sunday 2 August, I ventured just out of town from Clermont and was lucky enough to catch a glimpse and capture some photos as a pair of vintage Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) planes travelled past on the last leg of a 1,600-kilometre road trip across Queensland.

The two planes are Dassault Mirage III fighter jet A3-55 and CAC CA-25 Winjeel Trainer A85-403.  They started their journey just after midnight on Friday 31 July from RAAF Base Amberley.

The restored aircraft were on their final leg to RAAF Base Townsville on Sunday where they will go on permanent display at the RAAF's Aviation Heritage Centre, ahead of next year's Air Force Centenary.

The convoy completed overnight stays in Banana and Moranbah, and made other planned stops along the way at other towns including Toowoomba, Dalby, Chinchilla, Miles, Wandoan, Taroom, Theodore, Dululu, Dingo and Charters Towers.

The Dassault Mirage III, or French Lady, was a single-seat frontline fighter that flew between 1967 and 1987, capable of a speed of more than 2,000 kilometres an hour and was armed with guns, missiles and bombs.

The CAC Winjeel - an Aboriginal word for 'young eagle' - was a basic flight trainer that flew between 1958 and 1975.

They have been restored by members of the Amberley RAAF Base's Air Force History and Heritage Branch.


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