Roulettes get new colour scheme for airplane they don’t even fly yet

How can you make a song and dance and host a PR pony show to announce a new paint scheme for the Roulettes – then show off the new scheme applied only to an airplane the Roulettes don’t fly yet – AND, you haven’t yet made an announcement that the Roulettes are getting a new airplane?

The new paint scheme rolled out at a media circus in Canberra recently was only applied to the new PC-21 aircraft, which the Roulettes don’t yet fly – not the PC-9s, which they still currently do fly.

Yes, we all know (or can assume) that the Roulettes will eventually fly PC-21s, when the fleet is complete.

But in the mean time, they’re still flying PC-9s – aren’t they? (rhetorical question – the answer is yes)

So the hooha about “Roulettes get new paint scheme” is all a bit premature, is it not?

The official press release below, accompanied by the photo above (taken by Flight Lieutenant Daniel Armstrong), leaves me with a spinning head full of questions (which I couldn’t be bothered asking, because it takes so long to get a response).


Adding to my confusion, the official headline below quite simply does not match or relate to the subject or theme of the press release or associated ‘event’.

And don’t get me started on the pox that is the last line.


RAAF Roulettes an integral part of Pilot Training System

The Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) Roulettes today unveiled the new colour scheme for their PC-21 aircraft.

Minister for Defence, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, and Minister for Defence Personnel, the Hon Darren Chester MP said Air Force selected a noticeably different colour scheme for the Roulettes, to clearly distinguish them from other aerobatic display teams.

“The new colour scheme is a visually striking 21st Century image for the RAAF training aircraft and Roulettes, that is unique to the RAAF and Roulettes,” Minister Pyne said.

“While pursuing a 21st century look, the new colour scheme retains the traditional colours of Air Force and the Australian National Flag, the Roulettes ‘R’ logo and incorporates the Southern Cross.”

Minister Pyne said the Pilatus PC-21 was the world’s most advanced pilot training aircraft and would replace RAAF’s current PC-9/A and CT-4B aircraft as part of the AIR 5428 project.

“The project spans all phases of pilot training for the three Services, from basic flying training at RAAF Base East Sale through to advanced flying training at No 2 Flying Training School at RAAF Base Pearce,” Minister Pyne said.

“The update to the Pilot Training System will deliver significant efficiencies and is key to a 5th generation Air Force.

“The new Pilot Training System will ensure undergraduate pilots develop the necessary knowledge and skills prior to progressing onto advanced military aircraft such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter and MH-60R Seahawk.”

Australia is acquiring 49 PC-21 aircraft and seven simulators, known as Flight Training Devices. To date, 22 PC-21 aircraft have been delivered to the Commonwealth and six simulators are either in use or undergoing installation – four at RAAF East Sale VIC and two at RAAF Pearce WA.

Minister for Defence Personnel Darren Chester said he was proud to unveil the colour scheme for the famous Roulettes aerobatic display team which is located in his Federal seat of Gippsland at RAAF Base East Sale.

“The Roulettes, have pride of place at RAAF Base East Sale,” Mr Chester said.

“The impressive skills demonstrated by our Roulette pilots have been witnessed by many at international events and in small country airshows and have inspired a generation of Airforce pilots since their first public display in 1970.”

“The new colour scheme will ensure that the Roulettes continue to be an important part of the RAAFs capability now and into the future.”




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Brian Hartigan

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