The Royal Australian Air Force is steeped in history as it is the second oldest air force in the world. As it was formed
in 1921, it celebrated 80 years of service in 2001. The bi-annual Australian International Airshow held in Avalon marked
the occasion with a great display of aircraft old and new. The Royal Australian Mint issued a 2001 non-circulation one dollar
coin to commemorate the historic event. The reverse was designed by Vladimir Gottwald and displays the RAAF insignia, which
prominently features an Australian wedge-tailed eagle, along with the legend ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE 1921 - 2001 ONE DOLLAR.
The RAAF was originally known as the Australian Flying Corps and served alongside their British counterpart. Following the success of the Royal Air Force during WWI, the Australian Air Force got its Royal approval in 1921 (RAAF, 2014) . Since this time it has been busy with peacekeeping, humanitarian, coalition and disaster relief duties as well as combat missions during WWII, Korea, the Gulf war and most recently in Afghanistan. The Avalon Airshow is said to be the largest of its type in the southern hemisphere and invites exhibitors from the RAF and the USAF amongst many others. There were so many special flights during the show with some terrific aircraft being put through their paces. Some of the highlights included the huge B-52 bomber, some F-15 and 16s, RAF Hercules and the Eurocopter Tiger. The Avalon Airfield is situated between Melbourne and Geelong in Victoria State. There is an RAAF Museum which is housed at Cook Point near Melbourne, not too far from the Avalon Airfield and it is where the Australian Flying Corps originated. It was three years after the 80th RAAF anniversary that a new project was discussed. It was to be a replica Bristol Boxkite which was the first aircraft ever to be flown by the RAAF. The project was completed by enthusiasts and museum volunteers Ron Gretton and Geoff Matthews. It was built at the museum and was flown around 1,000 metres by Air Vice Marshal Mark Skidmore (RAAF Museum, 2014) . He was an RAAF test pilot and can now boast having flown the slowest and the fastest planes of the RAAF.
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