List of aircraft of the Royal Australian Air Force

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An Australian Mirage III-D in 1988

Many aircraft types have served in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) since it was formed in March 1921.[1] This is a list of RAAF aircraft, those types that have served and been retired by the RAAF. It also includes aircraft of the Australian Flying Corps, Australian Air Corps and Australian Air Force. The aircraft are listed in alphabetic order of their RAAF type name, and then in mark order within that type. For the current aircraft of the RAAF, refer to the list of current Royal Australian Air Force aircraft.

By type[edit]

Type Origin Class Role Introduced Retired Total Notes
Avro 504  United Kingdom biplane trainer 1916 132[2] several variants used, including at least 8 504A, 7 504J, and 56 504K
B.E.2a  United Kingdom biplane trainer 1914 1918 2[3] operated by Central Flying School as CFS1 and CFS2
B.E.2c  United Kingdom biplane reconnaissance 27[4] operated by No. 1 Sqn.
B.E.2e  United Kingdom biplane trainer 1920 1 operated by 1, 4, and 7 Sqns.;[4] 1 operated by Central Flying School from 1918 to 1920[3]
Blériot XI  France prop trainer 1915 1917 1[3] operated by Central Flying School as CFS6; primarily for ground instruction
Boxkite  United Kingdom prop trainer 1913 1917 2[3] one built by Bristol and second ordered but not delivered; another was built in Australia from parts; operated by Central Flying School as CFS3 and CFS8; first military aircraft built in Australia
Boxkite XV  United Kingdom prop trainer 1916 1918 2[3] built by Grahame-White Aviation Company; operated by Central Flying School[3]
CA-26 Sabre  Australia jet fighter 1956 experimental development of the F-86 Sabre, led to CA-27 Sabre
CA-27 Sabre Mk.30  Australia jet fighter 1956 1971 license-built by Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation
CA-27 Sabre Mk.31  Australia jet fighter 1971 license-built by Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation
CA-27 Sabre Mk.32  Australia jet fighter 1971 license-built by Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation; replaced by the Mirage III
Caudron G.III  France biplane trainer 1916 1917 1[3] operated by Central Flying School[3]
Deperdussin Type A  France prop trainer 1913 1918 2[3] built by British Deperdussin; operated by Central Flying School as CFS4 and CFS5
DH.1a  United Kingdom biplane fighter 1916 1916 1[5] built by Savages; operated by 1 Sqn AFC; returned to UK
DH.5  United Kingdom biplane fighter 1917 78[6] operated by 2 & 6 Sqns AFC
DH.6  United Kingdom biplane trainer 1918 1919 28[3] 2 additional aircraft ordered by Central Flying School but lost at sea during delivery;[3] operated by 5, 7, and 8 Sqns RFC
DH.9A  United Kingdom biplane light bomber 1920 1930 31 30 acquired as an imperial gift from the United Kingdom
1 replacement purchased
6 destroyed; 16 scrapped; 9 written-off
assigned RAAF serial prefix A1[7]
DHC-4 Caribou  Canada prop airlift 1964 2009 1 aircraft lost to accident
F.2b Fighter  United Kingdom biplane fighter 1918 1919 67[8] operated by 1, 3, and 7 Sqns. AFC
F-111C Aardvark  United States jet strike 1973 2010 ordered in 1963, replacement for the Canberra
F-111G Aardvark  United States jet strike 1992 2007 former USAF aircraft, attrition replacements for the F-111C
F.E.2b  United Kingdom biplane trainer 1917 1920 1[3] operated by Central Flying School[3]
F.K.3  United Kingdom biplane trainer 1917 1917 4[9] briefly operated by the AFC
Lincoln Mk.30[10]  United Kingdom prop bomber 1946 1961
Lincoln Mk.31[10]  United Kingdom prop bomber 1946 1961 "Long Nose" Lincoln was unique to Australian service[10]
Maurice Farman Hydro-Aeroplane  France floatplane trainer 1914 1917 1[3] operated by Central Flying School as CFS7[3]
M.F.7 Longhorn  France biplane trainer 1916 1918 1[3] operated by Central Flying School as CFS15[3]
M.F.11 Shorthorn  France biplane trainer 1916 1919 5[3] operated by Central Flying School[3]
Mirage IIIO(A)  France jet interceptor 1964 1988 built by Government Aircraft Factories; replaced by the AF-18A Hornet
Mirage IIIO(D)  France jet operational trainer 1964 1988 built by Government Aircraft Factories; replaced by the AF-18B Hornet
Mirage IIIO(F)  France jet interceptor 1988 built by Government Aircraft Factories; replaced by the AF-18A Hornet
Scout D  United Kingdom biplane utility 1916 1926 1[3] operated by Central Flying School and No. 1 Flying Training School RAAF[3]
UH-1B Iroquois  United States helicopter utility transport 1966 1989 replaced by the S-70 Black Hawk
UH-1D Iroquois  United States helicopter utility transport 1989 replaced by the S-70 Black Hawk
UH-1H Iroquois  United States helicopter utility transport 1989 replaced by the S-70 Black Hawk

Australian Flying Corps 1913–20[edit]

Fighters and fighter-bombers[edit]

Bombers[edit]

Maritime[edit]

Army Cooperation[edit]

Aircraft type Variant Origin Role Service period Notes
De Havilland DH.9 & DH.9A: UK 1920–1930
Hawker Audax UK 1940–1941
Westland Lysander UK 1940
Piper Cub USA 1943–1944
Taylorcraft Auster AOP UK 1944–1959
Cessna 180 USA 1959–1974 (RAAF, Army)
Pilatus Turbo Porter Switzerland 1968–1992 (Army)
Cessna L-19 Bird Dog USA 1984–1990 (Army): one aircraft

Trainers[edit]

Helicopters[edit]

Aircraft type Variant Origin Role Service period Notes
Sikorsky S-51 Dragonfly USA 1947–1964 Three in service
Bristol Sycamore UK 1951–1965 Two used for general support duties at the Woomera Rocket Range in South Australia.
Bell UH-1 Iroquois USA 1962–1989
Bell Kiowa USA 1971–
Bell Sioux USA 1960–1977
Aerospatiale Alouette III France 1964–1967 Three used for general support duties at the Woomera Rocket Range in South Australia.
Boeing-Vertol Chinook CH-47A
CH-47C
CH-47D
USA 1974–1989, 1995–
Aerospatiale AS.350B Squirrel France 1984–1990
Sikorsky S-70A Blackhawk USA 1988–1989 8 UH-60L (S-70A-9), transferred to Australian Army in 1989.

Reconnaissance and intelligence[edit]

Aircraft type Variant Origin Role Service period Notes
Republic P-43 Lancer USA 1942–1943 Eight P-43A-1 Lancer's were provided for service with the No. 1 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit. Three were written off in accidents, with the rest returned to the United States Army Air Forces in 1943.
Brewster F2A Buffalo USA 1942–1944 Five Brewster F2A Buffalo's were provided for service with the No. 1 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit. Four were written off and the remaining aircraft was returned to the United States Army Air Forces in 1944.
Lockheed P-38 Lightning USA 1942–1944 Three P-38E's were transferred from the United States Army Air Forces for service with No. 1 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit. All three were written off in accidents.
CAC Wirraway Australia Served with the No. 87 (Photo Reconnaissance) Squadron
de Havilland Mosquito UK
Australia
British and Australian built de Havilland Mosquito's served in the Photographic Reconnaissance role.
General Dynamics RF-111C USA 1973–2010 Four aircraft were purchased.
Gates Learjet USA 1982–1987
Boeing Wedgetail USA 2009–

Liaison/Communications[edit]

Transport and utility[edit]

Type Variant Origin Dates in Service
Westland Wapiti 1929–1943
De Havilland DH.89 Dragon Rapide 1935–1938, 1940–1944
Tugan Gannet 1935–1945
Avro Anson 1937–1955
De Havilland DH.86A 1939–1945
Airspeed Oxford 1940–1953
De Havilland Fox Moth 1941–1945
Bristol Bombay 1942–1944
De Havilland Dragonfly 1942 only
De Havilland Australia DHA.G2 Glider 1942–1950
Dornier Do 24K 1942–1944
Grumman Goose 1942 only
Northrop Delta 1942–1944
Junkers G 31 1942–1946
Junkers W34d 1942–1946
Junkers W34f 1942–1946
Ford 5-AT-B Trimotor 1942–1946
Lockheed Lodestar United States 1943–1947
Douglas DC-2 United States 1940–1946
Douglas DC-3 United States 1939–1940
Douglas C-47 Dakota (RAAF, RAN) United States 1943–1990
Martin Mariner 1943–1946
Noorduyn Norseman 1943–1946
Avro York United Kingdom 1945–1947
Percival Proctor 1945–1947
Vickers Viking United Kingdom 1947–1951
Bristol Freighter 1949–1967
De Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver Canada 1955–1964
Convair 440 Metropolitan 1956–1968
Lockheed C-130 Hercules United States 1958–
De Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter Canada 1961–1967
De Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou Canada 1964–2009
Vickers Viscount United Kingdom 1964–1969
BAC One Eleven United Kingdom 1967–1990
Hawker Siddeley HS 748 (RAAF, RAN) United Kingdom 1967–2004
Dassault Falcon 20 France 1967–1989
De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter (Army)
GAF Nomad (Army, RAAF) Australia 1975–1993
Boeing 707 United States 1979–2008
Dassault Falcon 900 France 1989–2003
Beechcraft Super King Air (Army, RAAF) B200/B200C 1997–2006

B350 2004– (RAAF from 2009)

Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules United States 1999–
Boeing Business Jet United States 2003–
Bombardier Challenger 604 Canada 2003–
Boeing C-17 Globemaster III United States 2006–
Alenia C-27J Spartan Italy 2015–

Prototypes[edit]

Aircraft type Variant Origin Role Service period Notes
Avro 707A UK 1956 Delta-wing research aircraft. WD280 is housed at the RAAF Museum in Point Cook, Victoria.
CAC CA-11 Woomera Australia Bomber 1942–1946 Two prototypes built.
CAC CA-15 Kangaroo Australia Fighter 1946–1950 One prototype built.
GAF Pika: Australia Piloted target drone 1950–1954 Two manned prototypes of the proposed GAF Jindivik target drone were built.
Wackett Widgeon Australia 1927–1933
Wackett Warrigal Australia 1927–1933

Captured enemy aircraft[edit]

World War I[edit]

Aircraft type Variant Origin Role Service period Notes
Albatros D.Va Germany One captured German aircraft, on display at Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT, Australia.
Halberstadt CL.II Germany One captured German aircraft.
Pfalz D.III Germany One captured German aircraft, on display at Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT, Australia.

World War II[edit]

Aircraft type Variant Origin Role Service period Notes
Breda Ba.25 Italy
Caproni Ca.100 Italy
Caproni Ca.309 Ghibli Italy
Fiat CR.42 Italy
Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Germany
Macchi MC.205 Italy
Messerschmitt Bf 109 Bf 109 G-6 Germany Bf 109 G-6 is on display at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra. It is the last example to retain its original wartime camouflage and markings.
Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet Germany One captured Luftwaffe aircraft, shipped to Australia from the United Kingdom immediately after the Second World War, on display at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT, Australia. Me 163B, Werknummer 191907, this aircraft was also part of JG 400 and captured at Husum.
Messerschmitt Me 262 Germany One captured Luftwaffe aircraft, Me 262 A-2a W.Nr.500200 "Black X 9K+XK", 2 Staffel./KG 51, shipped to Australia from the United Kingdom immediately after the Second World War, on display at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ACT, Australia.
Mitsubishi A6M5 Zero Japan
Mitsubishi Ki-21 Japan
Mitsubishi Ki-51 Japan
Tachikawa Ki-54 Japan

Drones/RAV[edit]

Aircraft type Variant Origin Role Service period Notes
GAF Jindivik Mk.1, Mk.2, Mk.3
Mk.3A, Mk.3B
Australia Target drone 1952–1986, 1997 Name is from an Aboriginal Australian word meaning the hunted one

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "The Inter-war years 1921 to 1939". Royal Australian Air Force. Archived from the original on September 30, 2009. Retrieved 25 February 2010. 
  2. ^ Cowan, Brendan; Batman; Mark, Mark (8 September 2014). "Avro 504A/B/J/K". Australian & New Zealand Military Aircraft Serials & History. adf-serials.com.au. Retrieved 22 December 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Crick, Darren; Cowan, Brendan; Edwards, Martin (28 February 2015). "Aircraft of Central Flying School 1909 - 1918". Australian & New Zealand Military Aircraft Serials & History. adf-serials.com.au. Retrieved 22 December 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Cowan, Brendan; Lax, Mark (2 September 2014). "AFC Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2c & B.E.2e". Australian & New Zealand Military Aircraft Serials & History. adf-serials.com.au. Retrieved 22 December 2016. 
  5. ^ Cowan, Brendan; Lax, Mark (29 September 2014). "AMC/Airco D.H.1". Australian & New Zealand Military Aircraft Serials & History. adf-serials.com.au. Retrieved 22 December 2016. 
  6. ^ Cowan, Brendan (27 August 2015). "AFC Airco D.H.5". Australian & New Zealand Military Aircraft Serials & History. adf-serials.com.au. Retrieved 22 December 2016. 
  7. ^ Crick, Darren (31 March 2016). "RAAF A1 de Havilland D.H.9a". Australian & New Zealand Military Aircraft Serials & History. adf-serials.com.au. 
  8. ^ Cowan, Brendan; Lax, Mark (25 April 2015). "AFC Bristol Fighter F.2b". Australian & New Zealand Military Aircraft Serials & History. adf-serials.com.au. Retrieved 22 December 2016. 
  9. ^ Cowan, Brendan (2015). "AFC Armstrong Whitworth FK.3". Australian & New Zealand Military Aircraft Serials & History. adf-serials.com.au. Retrieved 22 December 2016. 
  10. ^ a b c Wilson, Stuart. Military Aircraft of Australia. Weston Creek, ACT: Aerospace Publications. pp. 27–28. ISBN 1-875671-08-0.