The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has formally unveiled a new paint scheme for the Roulettes, its aerobatic display team. Although the newly delivered Pilatus PC-21s feature the same basic red fuselage, white tail and blue underside scheme worn by the turboprop trainers being introduced into service with No 2 Flying Training School, the aircraft also sport blue triangles on the fuselage and wings. The trademark Roulettes ‘R’ and Southern Cross are carried on the tails. The scheme was debuted at the Fairbairn Defence Establishment at Canberra Airport on October 17 and the Roulettes will make their first public displays with the PC-21 at the Avalon Airshow in February 2019.
The six-aircraft Roulettes display team is comprised of qualified flying instructors (QFIs) from the RAAF’s Central Flying School, at RAAF Base East Sale, Victoria. The pilots are assigned as instructors at the CFS and fly with the team as a secondary duty. The RAAF purchased 49 PC-21s under the AIR 5428 project along with seven flight training devices (FTD). Under AIR 5428, the PC-21 will replace the RAAF’s Pilatus PC-9/A advanced trainers, which have been in service since 1988, and the CT/4B Airtrainer, which has served in both flight screening and basic training roles.
Photo: Flt Lt Daniel Armstrong/Commonwealth of Australia