This past March I was able to attend the Avalon Airshow which is held once every two years at Avalon airport just outside of Melbourne. Quite possibly the most popular plane on display was the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter that was displayed prominently near the show’s entrance:
I think this plane was just a model because the F-35 is still being developed by Lockheed Martin and is not going to be fielded for another five years approximately. They let people look in the cockpit but the controls were fake, which leads me to believe the whole plane was a fake.
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) also had some of their other aircraft on display like their F-18 Hornets:
They also had their F-111’s on display which is the aircraft the Joint Strike Fighters are ultimately tasked to replace:
Besides airplanes the airshow also serves as an opportunity for the Australian Defence Force to show case their equipment as well. Such as this remote controlled gun system on an Australian Light Armored Vehicle:
The ADF also had their newly acquired Tiger Eurocopter on display as well:
The ADF wasn’t the only military showing off their helicopters, the Singapore military also had their helicopters on display as well:
A lot of people don’t realize this but the Singapore military actually has bases here in Australia as well as America due to the lack of training space in their own country. The helicopters at the airshow were from the Singapore base in Queensland.
There was also plenty of civilian aircraft, gliders, and unmanned aerial vehicles on display as well:
The airshow also served as a trade fair expo for aviation and defense contractors. Every type of defense related product was on display at the trade fair. Without a doubt the best demonstration was put on by the Israeli Defense Force soldiers that were displaying Israel’s hi-tech infantry systems:
These guys had cameras on their weapons, computers on their arms, and scopes on their helmets. It was a really impressive display. Besides infantry related defense equipment there was also missile systems, guns, vehicles, helicopters, professional services, aviation clubs, professional journals, you name it, all had displays. There was even armored Land Rovers on display:
This bullet proof Land Rover costs $500,000 Australian dollars. I don’t think I will be buying one of these any time soon.
This was the funniest vehicle I saw on display:
How could you not laugh if a policeman pulled you over in one of these? If they arrest somebody where do they go? In the trunk?
This was by far the coolest car on display, a Ferrari:
As you can see there was definitely plenty to see at the Avalon Airshow than just airplanes and if you missed it this time you will have to wait for a couple of more years to see it again. However if you are in the Melbourne area it is definitely worth checking out.