The Hunter Valley skies came alive 28-29th January 2017, showcasing some of Australia’s most exciting aircraft and pilots. Held over two days, the Hunter Valley Airshow airshow, co-ordinated by the Paul Bennet Airshows team was eagerly awaited by many Hunter Valley locals and Australia wide aviation enthusiasts. It brought together some rarely seen and quite recently restored civil and warbid aircraft into a dynamic and exciting airshow presentation.
Expanding on the 2015 airshow format, the 2017 event included Royal Australian Air Force involvement with a 37 SQN C-130J Hercules transport, a 76 SQN Bae 127 Hawk jet trainer, the RAAF Hot Air Balloon and the RAAF Roulettes in action. These were a great thrill to the general public as many appreciate the high tech pointy end of the RAAF.
Complimenting the military presentation was a large civil and recreational aviation display covering seaplanes, home built projects and general aviation aircraft on show from exhibitors like Cirrus Aircraft, AvPlan EFB and MAF Australia.
The biggest enjoyment for many was witnessing the Victorian based F4U Corsair and Scone based Hawker Hurricane on display and in flight. Unfortunately, on the Saturday morning the Corsair made a successful wheels up landing and was withdrawn from the airshow.
The other warbirds that participated flew across the event either in individual displays or in formation flypasts and included the PBA Wirraway, T-28 Trojan and TBM Avenger along with Hawker Hurricane and Victorian based CAC Mustang. Civil air displays by the Paul Bennet Airshow team of mixed formation Pitts S1, Wolf Pitts Pro and Rebel delighted many, as did the highly skilled aerobatics undertaken by the Sky Aces team.
Other interesting displays included heritage military vehicles, RAAF public relations /recruitment and flight simulation displays, a Beech 18 restoration project and various food/drinks along with local community groups. The Hunter Valley Airshow enabled many different aspects of aviation from GA, recreational, military and warbirds to thrill, educate and help fuel the passion for more aviation in young and old.