RAAF Aircraft at Melbourne/Tullamarine Airport - 1971

On Sunday 18 April 1971 the RAAF held an airshow at RAAF Laverton, then on the south-western outskirts of Melbourne. As the runways at Laverton and nearby Point Cook were too short for reguar fast jet operations and Avalon, a few miles to the west, did not have much hard-stand, many of the RAAF aircraft operated out of the nearly-completed Melbourne/Tullamarine Airport.

The photos above and below show Mirage IIIOs of 76 and 77 Squadrons parked on the southern side of what became the 'international finger' (currently T2). Canberras can also be seen in the background taxying for Runway 34.


The photo below shows the crowd that gathered on the old observation deck to watch the aircraft. In the background can be seen F-4E Phantoms parked outside what became the 'TAA finger' (later the Qantas finger and currently T1).


Below is a close-up of the line-up of RAAF Phantoms. They were based at RAAF Amberley, Queensland, with 1 and 6 Squadrons RAAF, and had only been delivered in September and October the year before.

These photos were taken on Sunday 18 April, 1971. The aircraft all positioned at Melbourne on the 17th, some coming from an airshow at RAAF Edinburgh in South Australia, and some from the Mirage base at RAAF Williamtown, NSW.

On Sunday the aircraft took part in the Laverton airshow which included a spectacular flypast comprising 72 aircraft of 13 different types, with most of the jets operating out of Melbourne Airport.


(Photos: David Brook)

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