Saturday, April 29, 2017

State of Queensland Raytheon Hawker 850XP VH-SGY visits Central Queensland

Planespotters in Central Queensland and the Fraser Coast often capture visiting corporate jets whether they have flown to the region from within the state, interstate or overseas, and among the many differing types of corporate jets, the Raytheon Hawker 800 is a fairly common sight, particularly due to frequent stop-overs by State of Queensland Raytheon Hawker 850XP VH-SGY.

On Saturday, 29 April 2017, VH-SGY again visited Central Queensland when the aircraft departed Brisbane for Gladstone, then onwards to Rockhampton (pictured) a short while later before eventually returning back to the state capital.

Originally developed by de Havilland, the Hawker 800 as we know it today originally entered production in the early 1960's as the Hawker Siddeley HS.125 (1962-1977).

When Hawker Siddeley merged with British Aircraft Corporation in 1977 to form British Aerospace, the aircraft designation changed to BAe 125 (1977-1993).

In 1993, British Aerospace sold it's Business Jets Division to Raytheon which then saw another name change for the aircraft. Yes ... you guessed it, as a Raytheon (1993-2007).

To further complicate things, when Raytheon sold it's Hawker Beechcraft division to a consortium in 2006, the aircraft then became known as a Hawker Beechcraft (2007-2013)

Sadly, production of the BAe 125 / Hawker 800 ceased in 2013.  



Friday, April 21, 2017

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-209 visits Rockhampton

Rockhampton planespotters were treated to a special guest on Friday, April 21, when Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-209 touched down at the beef capital from RAAF Base Amberley as 'Stallion 51'.

Although we personally sighted no removal of equipment during our time of photographing the massive cargo plane, it did however remain stationary on the tarmac for a couple of  hours before departing back to Amberley.  

Of interest, the C-17A was originally developed and manufactured by McDonnell Douglas for the United States Air Force (USAF) from the 1980's to the early 1990's, however, production of the Globemaster III was transferred to Boeing when the aircraft manufacture merged with McDonnell Douglas.
Maintained by No.36 Squadron at RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland, the Royal Australian Air Force operates eight Boeing C-17A Globemaster III strategic heavy lift aircraft. Sadly, the RAAF will not be able to acquire additional 'new' airframes as C-17A production ceased in mid-2015.

Earlier this year while attending the Australian International Air Show, we took an up-close look at sistership A41-212 while the aircraft was on public display :




Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service / Babcock Mission Critical Services Australasia Bell 412EP VH-VAU

We recently took advantage of an opportunity to take a closer look at Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service / Babcock Mission Critical Services Australasia Pty Ltd Bell 412EP VH-VAU while positioned in the CHRS Hangar at Rockhampton Airport.

Owned by Babcock Mission Critical Services Australasia Pty Ltd, formerly Australian Helicopters, VH-VAU is presently based in Central Queensland in support of RACQ's helicopter rescue operation at Rockhampton Airport (Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service) and Mackay Airport (Central Queensland Rescue).  

While not normally based in Central Queensland, VH-VAU positioned to the region earlier this year, and according to feedback from a flightcrew member, is likely to continue operating from Rockhampton and Mackay for the foreseeable future to satisfy a contract to provide RACQ's helicopter rescue operation three Bell 412 choppers, an agreement that commenced in 2013 with then, Australian Helicopters.

Of interest, Babcock Mission Critical Services Australasia Pty Ltd is a subsidiary of the Babcock International Group, a British multinational corporation headquartered in the United Kingdom. In line with the company's global helicopter operations, Babcock International rebrand its Australian Helicopters and Bond Helicopters Australia businesses under the Babcock banner in 2016.