AIRPORT VISITORS 1970s - MILITARY
A selection of my photographs taken during the 1970s, many from the old Control Tower balcony which provided a perfect vantage point.
After using B&W film, with an occasional roll of Kodachrome colour, I changed to colour only by the end of the decade
|At the beginning of the
decade, RAF Bristol Britannias were still in service as long-range transports.
Britannia C.1 XL660 named Alphard overnighted at Perth in December 1970 en route RAF Changi, Singapore to Canberra
|Britannia C.1 XM520 Arcturus
arrives from Singapore on 16 February 1971
|RAF Comet C.4 XR396 at
Perth on 3 December 1969
|Comet C.4 XR398 in early
morning light 20 February 1974, after overnighting enroute Den Pasar to
RAF Hercules C.1 XV193 on 23 April 1971 after the long Iandian Ocean crossing from RAF Gan in the Seychelles.
It continued to RAAF Williamtown
|What a difference colour
makes: RAF Hercules C.1 XV177 on 4 March 1976 on arrival from Kuala Lumpur
|US Navy EC-130Q Bu156177 for the advanced
airborne relay station role was a rare visitor in September 1969
|US Navy LC-130F Bu148321 with skis visited
in May 1970. It was operated by VXE-6 in Antarctica
|Canadian Armed Forces
CC-130E 130311 was an unusual transit on 26 August 1973 on its way
from RAAF Richmond to Bali
|Another Canadian Armed Forces visitor was
Boeing 707 13704 which refuelled 10 February 1974 enroute Sydney to Colombo
|Royal New Zealand Air
Forces Hercules NZ7005 taxies to its parking bay on arrival from Whenuapai
NZ on 12 December 1971.
It continued to Singapore the following day
|In the days after Cyclone
Tracy devastated the city of Darwin on Christmas Eve 1974,
six RAAF Hercules flew a shuttle to Perth
carrying large numbers of civilian evacuees. C-130E A97-181 arrives on one of these missions
|West German Air Force Nord Transalls 50+76
and 50+72 night-stopped on 23 September 1972.
The pair were on their way from West Germany to RAAF Laverton
|One of the last Lockheed Super Constellations
in service with the US Navy was this NC-121K Bu145925 Paisano
seen arriving in March 1970 from South Africa. Painted red and white with VXN-8 squadron code "JB925, it was operated on
Project Magnet to measure changes in lines of magnetic deviation across the earth's surface.
View from the copilot seat in Piasano Dos at 70 degrees South, while flying a 19 hour triangular route from Perth over Antarctica.
A Navy cook used a flame hot plate to cook meals and pancakes, served at sittings to the 10 man crew throughout the flight.
|Probably the last USAF Douglas C-118 seen
at Perth was 33291 on 25 April 1974, carrying a military band
|Lockheed C-141A Starlifters
were the usual USAF transports during the 1970s and were seen at Perth regularly.
Here USAF Military Airlift Command C-141A 40653 arrives on 11 April 1970 from Cocos Island.
|Two or three EC-135Ns deployed to Perth for
each US space launch. Their nose tracking equipment covered the gap
in ground tracking stations across the Indian Ocean. They were usually supported by KC-135A tankers.
0-10330 was photographed on 16 April 1972
|This EC-135N 10329 was
seen on 1 September 1977, wearing Aeronautical Systems Division band on
|KC-135A 0-80011 taxies
to the ramp on 6 May 1971 on arrival from Manila, Philippines.
It has been modified with an array of antennae along the roof.
|KC-135A 10317 arrives
the next day 7 May 1971 from California via Brisbane
was one of a trio which arrived from Darwin on 25 October 1978 for a military
|Boeing NC-135B 12662
of USAF Aeronautical Systems Division arrived from RAAF Edinburgh on 28
USAF Special Air Missions Boeing VC-137B 24126 brought US diplomats from Canberra on 8 May 1979.
It is seen early next morning being prepared by Qantas for departure to Manila
Convair VT-29D 0-25829 on 18 February 1970. It was based at Canberra for the US Consulate
|The US Consulate Convair
was replaced by USAF Beech C-12A 60172, photographed on 6 August 1978
US Navy Douglas TA-3B Skywarrior Bu144860 of VQ-1 Squadron, Guam, at Perth in October 1978.
This elderly jet was an admiral's barge for the C-in-C of the Seventh Fleet, fitted with a VIP cabin with 8 comfortable seats.
Its plate revealed c/n 12106, accepted by USN 15.9.59 as a model A3D-2T trainer.
|NASA Lockheed L.300 civil
Starlifter N714NA had a large telescope which could be extended through
an a hatch in the roof.
N714NA was in Perth in March 1977 to take scientific readings over Antarctica of a predicted event when an unnamed star
would be eclipsed by the planet Uranus. The telescope's computer records would allow calculations of the depth and
composition of the atmosphere surrounding Uranus. It was a to be a science success story of 1977.
|There was a calibration
run, followed by the operational mission two night later. These photographs
were taken taken during both flights.
Evening departures, to be at the telescope deployment location at the correct time, at 43,000 feet in clear night sky.
|Part of the specialist crew controlling the
telescope to find and lock on to the star prior to the occultation, or "reverse
Two years' planning was vindicated when the star approached Uranus at exactly the predicted time and location in the solar system
3AM Perth time, approaching the telescope deployment area at 75 degrees south, after a long slow climb to Flight Level 430.
|View from the cockpit near Heard Island,
Antarctica at dawn on the way back to Perth Airport. Flight time 10 hours