The Royal Australian Air Force has debuted their new PC-21 Roulettes team in front of thousands of onlookers at RAAF Base Point Cook in Melbourne.
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The team took to the air in five of the new aircraft to deliver an impressive display for nearly half an hour.
Roulette pilot Flight Lieutenant Daniel Armstrong said it was “symbolic” that the PC-21 Roulettes display season was kicked off at the birthplace of the RAAF.
“The Roulettes had their first public display at this base in 1970 and it is great to return here with a new team and brand new aircraft 49 years later,” FLTLT Armstrong said.
“Point Cook is the oldest RAAF base and the PC-21 aircraft is one of the newest additions to the organisation. It is a nice way to demonstrate that we are proud of Air Force’s past and also excited about its future.”
The secret to the display, according to FLTLT Armstrong, is hard work, trust and teamwork.
“During the display, the Roulettes fly within three metres of each other, performing low-level aerobatics and a number of different synchronised manoeuvres. Throughout the display, the Roulettes fly as low as 200 feet above the ground at speeds of up to 685 kilometres per hour,” FLTLT Armstrong said.
“It was very rewarding to see how much the audience loved the show and I felt like all the hard work has paid off for the team
“The meet-and-greet time at the end of display was also very exciting. I absolutely enjoyed speaking to the fans and seeing how inspired they were by the performance.”
Regarded as one of the world’s premier aerobatic display teams, the RAAF Roulettes have performed thousands of shows across the globe for nearly 50 years.
In March 2019, the PC/9A aircraft was officially retired from the Roulettes team and replaced by the PC-21.