Roulettes mark time

Royal Australian Air Force Roulettes perform an aerial display above the River Derwent during the Royal Hobart Regatta, Tasmania. Photo: Warrant Officer Class 2 Max Bree

Roulettes mark time

The Air Force Roulettes have swooped through the Hobart sky repeating history, creating memories, inspiring future generations and leaving their smoke trails behind during the 183rd Royal Hobart Regatta. 

Performing publicly for their first time in almost a year, the display in Tasmania highlighted a number of historically significant Air Force milestones.

In November 2020, the Roulettes aerobatic team celebrated its 50th birthday, in March this year the Air Force will mark 100 years of service to Australia and the Australian Air Force Cadets was formed 80 years ago this coming June.

From modest beginnings in 1921, the Royal Australian Air Force has grown into a potent, world-class air force. 

Air Vice Marshal Peter Scully (retired) joined the Air Force when he was 17 to become a fighter pilot before later joining the aerobatic display team that preceded today’s Roulettes. 

Back then, the Telstars wowed crowds in their Vampire Mk 35 aircraft, but Air Vice Marshal Scully said their display manoeuvres were not so different to those performed by the Roulettes in the PC-21s. 

“The Roulettes are a very talented team who put on an excellent show,” Air Vice Marshal Scully said.

“Watching them in the sky brings back great memories of doing similar things.

“But time marches on, and things have evolved to become much more professional now.”

Roulette number seven in the current team, Flight Lieutenant Aimee Heal said it was humbling talking with Air Vice Marshal Scully.

“Hearing from Air Vice Marshal Scully about how Air Force has evolved over the years and seeing the awe on people’s faces as they watch the display, shows that aviation is still an exciting career path for future generations,” she said. 

“One of best parts of my job is talking to young people who enjoy aviation and are inspired by watching the Roulettes, just as I was at an air show in Bundaberg with my dad.”  

Cadet Corporal Josh Willson joined the Australian Air Force Cadets No. 502 Squadron in Hobart two years ago.

He said he was dreaming of a future in aviation.

“When I finish college (Year 12) in a couple of years, I want to join Air Force as an air traffic controller,” Cadet Corporal Willson said. 

“Being a cadet has really improved my leadership skills and it’s a good thing to put on your resume when applying for casual work.”

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