Stretching his wings

Wing Commander John Young in front of his Hawke 127 jet trainer. Picture: Bruce Hunt d414570
Wing Commander John Young in front of his Hawke 127 jet trainer. Picture: Bruce Hunt d414570

Those are the days when the Wing Commander of Number 79 Squadron at the RAAF Base Pearce, in Bullsbrook, gets to stretch the legs of his Hawk 127 jet trainer high above the streets of the Perth CBD.

The Hawk 127 is a low-wing all-metal aircraft used for fighter training by RAAF pilots to prepare them for operational conversion to the top-of-the-range F/A-18 Hornet fighter.

The Hawk is fitted with an integrated navigation and attack system and powered by a powerful single Adour Mk 871 turbofan engine.

Its principal components are two display and mission computers which co-ordinate, process and command the display of information from the communications, navigation and attack sub-systems. The aircraft is capable of carrying Mk 82 bombs, AIM-9M Sidewinder missiles and a 30mm cannon.

Commander Young said Australia Day was one of few days in the year where RAAF aircraft were permitted to fly in Perth city airspace as part of an official fly-past.

The 25-year RAAF veteran has flown the Hawk over Perth in each of the past three Australia Days.

‘Anzac Day, Remembrance Day and Australia Day are particularly good for us,’ he said.

‘That’s when we are actually allowed to fly in over the city and make some noise.’