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AIR FORCE December 10, 2009
By FLTLT Eamon Hamilton
ANOTHER piece of aviation
history is to be preserved in the
RAAF Museum at Point Cook.
Boeing 707 'Windsor Town' will
have its forward fuselage restored
by Omega Air Transport for display
at the museum. The aircraft, serial
A20-627, was retired from active
service in February 2001 having
flown 50,234 hours.
It spent the remaining years as a
source of spares for RAAF B707s.
'Windsor Town' takes a unique
place in aviation history, being the
707th Boeing 707 constructed when
it rolled off the Seattle production
line in 1968.
It went in to Qantas service and
was their last serving Boeing 707
The aircraft became A20-627,
and along side A20-624 'Richmond
Town', was one of the first B707s in
While much of the airframe will
have to be scrapped, the forward
fuselage will be restored by Omega
at RAAF Base Richmond and dis-
played as a testament to the B707's
record of service to Australia
between 1979 and 2008.
A total of seven B707s were pur-
chased for Air Force. The aircraft
greatly increased cargo, passenger
and VIP transport capability.
Following conversion of four air-
craft to tankers in the early 1990s,
they became a force multiplier for
the F/A-18 fleet.
The display of 'Windsor Town'
will stand testament to its contribu-
tion in Australian service. RAAF
B707s transported Australian troops
to and from operations, refuelled
allied fighters over Afghanistan and
the Middle East, and carried heads
of state, royalty, and Pope John Paul
II. Its place in the RAAF Museum
will also serve to recall the sacrifice
made by five 33SQN personnel lost
with their aircraft 'Wilberforce' dur-
ing a training accident in October
No date has been set on when
A20-627 will be on display; howev-
er, the forward fuselage section will
be a complete internal and external
presentation of the B707 when it
was in service.
Another three remaining B707s
-- 'Clarendon', 'City of Sydney'
and 'Richmond Town', along with
a B707 cockpit simulator -- are
intact and preserved at RAAF Base
US firm Omega Air Refueling
Services are in the process of pur-
chasing the remaining B707s and
simulator from the Commonwealth.
Omega Air are awaiting approv-
al to fly the B707 aircraft to the US
where they plan to convert them
into air-to-air refuellers.
B707 to go
By FLTLT Jaimie Abbott
UNTIL this year, OFFCDTs Nicole
and Rachael Kowald had never trav-
elled beyond South Australia.
That all changed when they enrolled
in the ADF's Gap Year Program.
This year, the cousins travelled to
every state or territory except for WA
They put their hand up for every
opportunity which came their way,
including the chance to return to their
old high school -- St Columba College in
Adelaide, where they gave advice to stu-
dents who may be considering the Gap
Year Program in the future.
Three hundred teenagers listened
with interest as both Rachael and Nicole
explained how 2009 had been the best
year of their lives.
Now immersed in the world sur-
Gap Year students
making the grade for
future Air Force careers
HEAVY LIFT: Above, the forward fuselage section
of Boeing A20-627, 'Windsor Town', is carried by a
crane at RAAF Base Richmond in preparation for
its restoration and presentation for display at the
Photo: AC David Said
THIRST QUENCHER: Right, a pilot's-eye view of
an Omega B707 refueller. Omega plans to obtain
and convert three former RAAF B707s.
Photo: LAC Casey Smith
rounding the AP-3Cs, the two students
are based at RAAF Base Edinburgh
where Nicole is working in the 10SQN
Orderly Room, and Rachael in 11SQN
"I think I'd like to eventually become
an intelligence officer, and learn differ-
ent languages at university," Rachael
said. She plans on studying a Bachelor
of International and Social Studies next
Nicole also plans on heading to
university next year to take up medi-
cal science. They are among 10 Gap
Year Students currently conducting work
placement at Edinburgh.
Just five months apart, the girls are
closer than most cousins, as their fathers
are brothers and their mothers are sisters.
They are both the middle child in their
families, and both embarked on the Gap
Year Program journey together.
"The Gap Year Program is a 'try
before you buy' initiative and it has
worked as we both want to end up being
in the Air Force down the track," Nicole
said.The Gap Year Program is in demand,
with around 2700 applicants all compet-
ing for 116 places next year.
Four hundred have made the current
Both Nicole and Rachael said they
now have a deeper appreciation of Air
"The word is out there now on how
fantastic the program is," Rachael said.
"A lot of us have managed to save
money as we were paid a salary under
the Gap Year Program, and some are now
planning to put a deposit on a house,"
Both Nicole and Rachael will transfer
to the stand-by reserves at the end of the
year before they begin the next chapter
of their lives at university.
CLOSING THE GAP: OFFCDT
Rachael Kowald discusses the
Defence Gap Year program with St
Columba College students.
Photo: LACW Shannon Urie
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