Taipan pairs help celebrate 100 years military aviation

Published on LEUT Dean Williams (author), CPL David Said (photographer), Mr Jeff Chartier (photographer)

Location(s): Tyabb, VIC, RAAF Base Williams, Point Cook, VIC

Topic(s): MRH-90 Taipan, Bell 429, 723 Squadron

The 723 Squadron Taipan Pairs Display Team practicing for the Centenary of Military Aviation Airshow, held at the former RAAF air station at Point Cook in Victoria, over the weekend of 1-2 March 2014. (photo: Mr Jeff Chartier)
The 723 Squadron Taipan Pairs Display Team practicing for the Centenary of Military Aviation Airshow, held at the former RAAF air station at Point Cook in Victoria, over the weekend of 1-2 March 2014.

The Navy Helicopter Pairs display team normally based out of 723 Squadron, HMAS Albatross, spent the last two weekends south of the border taking part in celebrations to mark the 100 year anniversary of military flying.

The pairs display led by Lieutenant Simon Driessen participated in the RAAF Centenary of Military Aviation Air Show at Point Cook, over the 1-2 March weekend, and then returned to Victoria last weekend to wow the audience at the Tyabb Air Show, hosted by the Mornington Peninsula Aero Club.

The Point Cook Air Show featured ground and flying displays of various military aircraft that have been operated over the past 100 years, from as far back as the Bristol Boxkite to the front line jets and rotary wing aircraft used in today's operational theatres. The event attracted 33,000 spectators over two days, with many of those people ‘oo-ing’ and ‘ahhh-ing’ as the pairs performed in the sky.

723 Squadron had a Bell 429 aircraft on the ground so that enthusiasts and families could get up close and personal. The squadron was also privileged to have the opportunity to fly Her Excellency the Honourable Quentin Bryce, AC, CVO, from Victoria’s Government House to the Air Show and back.

Her Excellency the Honourable Quentin Bryce, AC, CVO, exits an RAN Taipan Squirrel aircraft at Point Cook for the Centenary of Military Aviation Airshow.

Her Excellency the Honourable Quentin Bryce, AC, CVO, exits an RAN Taipan Squirrel aircraft at Point Cook for the Centenary of Military Aviation Airshow.

The Tyabb Air Show chose its theme to be ‘A Salute to Veterans’ in order to recognise and celebrate the efforts and sacrifices of all those who have given so much in military aviation roles throughout history.

The Air Show presented a pageant of aircraft ranging from the earliest designs through the Second World War types, and those from the modern age. Uniquely the Air Show also hosted re-enactment groups that provided a great atmosphere for those who turned out. The Pairs performed for the crowd once again and the Bell 429 provided a hands-on experience for the crowd. Whilst military rotary wing operations certainly haven’t been around for 100 years yet, it was still an honour and privilege for 723 Squadron to have been invited and involved in both these events.

Imagery is available on the Australian Defence Image Library at http://images.defence.gov.au/CMA-001.