Unlike the Australian Flying Corps that served during WW1 and was a branch of the Army, the Royal Australian Air Force was established in 1921 as an independent air arm modelled on the Royal Air Force in Britain.
|1920||Australian Flying Corps disbanded.|
|1920||Australian Air Corps (AAC) established.|
|31 March 1921||AAC renamed the Australian Air Force.|
|31 August 1921||Royal prefix added – Royal Australian Air Force.|
|1939-1945||RAAF units serve in Europe and the Mediterranean, as well as the Pacific during WW2.|
|1950-1953||RAAF units participate in the Korean War.|
|1964-1972||RAAF units particpate in the Vietnam War.|
|1999||Peacekeeping operations in East Timor begin.|
|2003||RAAF units participate in the Second Gulf War/Iraq War.|
|2010||RAAF detachment begins operating UAVs in Afghanistan.|
|2014||RAAF units join the coalition to combat extremist forces in northern Iraq.|
All RAAF aircraft and helicopters are currently active.
Take delivery of 14 Lockheed Martin F-35s.
RAAF aircraft oringinally used the same national insignia as the Royal Air Force of the British Empire – i.e. a red/white/blue roundel in the normal six positions. In June 1942 it was decided to paint out the centre red disk from the roundel to avoid any possible confusion with the Japanese national insignia. This resulted in a white disk with a thick blue outline. For aircraft supplied by the USA, a quick conversion of the national insignia was to replace the central star marking with the white/blue roundel and leave the side bars unchanged.
In late 1945 the roundel reverted back to the RAF pattern. In 1947 the central red disk of the fuselage roundel was replaced by a red kangaroo – the wing roundels were unchanged. From September 1956 the kangaroo marking was adopted for all roundel positions. In the 1980s a low-visibility black or grey version was introduced.
A red/white/blue fin flash has been carried on the fin or rudder from the creation of the RAAF, but was replaced by a white/blue fin flash in the period 1942-1945. The service titles ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE are carried on the fuselage sides of transport aircraft.
Aircraft Serial Numbers
Aircraft operating with the RAAF carry serials with a prefix identifying the basic aircraft followed by an individual aircraft number, e.g. Hawk A27-28.
The prefix numbers have been issued in three different series:
First Series (1921-1934)
The first series ran A1 to A12, but A5 was allocated twice, due to the Vickers Vimy not being delivered.
Second Series (1935-1960)
The second series ran A1 to A100. Some aircraft types delivered from the UK retained their RAF serials in RAAF use.
Third Series (1961-Present)
The third series currently runs A1 to A69. The 24 F-4E leased by the RAAF in the early 1970s retained their USAF serials, but were allocated the RAAF designator A69 for administrative purposes. Some prefixes have not been used to avoid confict with RAN ‘N’ prefixes.
A Royal Air Force-style unit coding system was used 1939-1945. Details to be added.
None – Manufacturers designations used
Current Aircraft Inventory
All-Time Aircraft Used List
Aircraft NOT Used
To be added.
Aircraft Losses and Incidents
To be added.
Air Force Headquarters, Russell Offices, Canberra, ACT.
The RAAF flying units come under Air Command, which made up of 4 Groups – Surveillance & Response Groups, Air Combat Group, Air Mobility Group and Air Training Group. Each Group is sub-divided into 2 or 3 Wings of 1-4 Squadrons each.
Current Order of Battle
Historical Orders of Battle
List of Historical Orders of Battle – to be added.
All-Time Flying Units List
Current Air Bases
See current order of battle.
All-Time Air Bases Used List
To be added.
The Royal Australian Navy Fleet Air Arm was not formed until 1947, so before that time shipboard aircraft were owned by the RAAF. A list of ships RAAF aircraft operated from will be added.
To be added