Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 2 2010 Contents 28 www.defence.gov.au/defencemagazine
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“Reaching this stage of the project on time and
on budget has been due to a great partnership
between the Royal Australian Air Force, Defence
Materiel Organisation, United States Navy, The
Boeing Company and their industry partners,
General Electric, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon.
BeLOW RIGHT: The key players get together in the engine test area prior to the
commencement of the testing of the Super Hornet engine. They are all members of the
F414 un-installed engine test cell commissioning team. Photo: ACW Rosaleen Normoyle
ABOVe: Personnel from the Royal Australian Air Force involved
in the preparation of the Super Hornet’s flight to Australia.
Photo: ACW Kylie Gibson
LeFT: Corporal Trent Burchardt, an avionic technician with No.1
Squadron, trials the static discharge wand on the cockpit of the
Super Hornet prior to its acceptance flight at Naval Air Station,
Lemoore, California, USA. Photo: ACW Kylie Gibson
RIGHT: For the first time in Australia a RAAF F414-GE-400,
F/A-18F Super Hornet engine is tested at RAAF Base Amberley.
Photo: ACW Rosaleen Normoyle
The trainer consists of a mock Super Hornet
cockpit with touch screens that allow Air Force
maintenance students to perform diagnostic and
system functional checks in a realistic setting.
“The cockpit simulator provides students with
the opportunity to work on complex maintenance
issues without actually being in a real aircraft.
This high-tech problem solving can be monitored
by an instructor who can bring up teaching points
as the student works toward finding a fault,”
Mr Combet said.
These new features will ensure that Air Force is
at the forefront of Australian aviation technical
training and allow students to gain greater
experience on Super Hornet systems before
applying their new skills to real aircraft.
Another significant milestone in preparation for
Super Hornet operations in December was the
signing of the Aircraft Sustainment Contract
with The Boeing Company and Boeing Defence
Australia. This contract provides Air Force with
engineering, supply chain management and
maintenance services to support the Super Hornet
fleet during the next three years.
Stepping forward again to February this year, the
Super Hornet Training Services Support Contract
was signed with Raytheon Australia. Raytheon
Australia will provide the maintenance, logistics,
and training services to support the Super Hornet
flight simulators, visual environment maintenance
trainers and electronic classrooms at RAAF Base
“The last few weeks were a very busy time for the
Super Hornet aircrew and maintainers at Lemoore.
The detachment is conducting acceptance flights
and ground tests on each of
“Another key task for the detachment was working
with an air-to-air tanker, conducting day and night
refuelling flights to ensure they were ready for the
journey to Australia,” Air Marshal Binskin said.
Air Force is acquiring 24 Super Hornets which will
progressively arrive at their home base, RAAF
Amberley near Ipswich, during 2010 and 2011.
The first aircraft to be handed over to the RAAF
was A44-203 on 18 February, closely followed by
A44-202 and A44-204 on 23 February 2010.
Wing Commander Steve Green, leading the
Aircraft Delivery Plan Team from the Australian
Super Hornet Project, accepted the aircraft on
behalf of the Commonwealth.
Stepping back to last year, key milestones in the
preparation of Air Force and RAAF Amberley for
the Super Hornets were the commencement of
a number of infrastructure projects, such as new
working accommodation, aircraft shelters and the
F414 Engine Test Cell, the installation of the Visual
Environment Maintenance Trainer and the signing
of the Aircraft Sustainment Contract.
On 08 December 2009, the Super Hornet Visual
Environment Maintenance Trainer became
operational at 278 Squadron. The first group
of RAAF trainees commenced using the new
equipment in January.
In announcing the new trainer, Minister for
Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science Greg
Combet said the Visual Environment Maintenance
Trainer is the latest innovation in aircraft
maintenance training equipment.
Meanwhile, the engine test cell is now
operational, with the first General Electric F414
engine tested on 8 March 2010.
The engine test cell is a state-of-the-art facility
operated by Tasman Aviation Enterprises to ensure
that Super Hornet engines meet flight performance
As each milestone falls, the arrival of Australia’s
first Super Hornets draws near.
“This is a very exciting time for 1 Squadron and Air
Force,” Wing Commander Braz said.
“We are looking forward to bringing this new air
combat capability home to Australia.”
The first Super Hornets flew into RAAF Base
Amberley on 26 March.
LeFT: An Armament Technician from No.1 Squadron performs a maintenance check
on Super Hornet, A44-203, prior to its acceptance flight. Photo: ACW Kylie Gibson
BeLOW LeFT: Australian Super Hornet Project Office Information Systems Manager
Flight Lieutenant Grant Patch (DMO), with Mr Len Sims from Boeing Defence Australia’s
Automated Maintenance Environment on site support team at Naval Base Lemoore,
California, USA. Photo: ACW Kylie Gibson
RIGHT: A rainbow casts in the showery weather at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California,
USA, to make a stunning scene for Australia’s Super Hornet. Photo: ACW Kylie Gibson
from page 27
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