One of the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) most significant fighter jets, the CA-27 Sabre, made its first flight in 16 years today at the Temora Aviation Museum in regional NSW, after a period of more than three years’ restoration and servicing.

The aircraft was loaned to the Museum by the RAAF under an agreement made in 2005 by the Chief of Air Force in an effort to preserve historical military aircraft. The Sabre jet has been restored to flying condition by the Temora Aviation Museum Engineering team and will become a feature of the Museum’s regular Flying Weekends, which are open to the public, as well as select Australian Defence Force Airshows. Sabre A94-983 is owned by the RAAF Museum, loaned to the Temora Aviation Museum and operated by the Temora Historic Flight Club.

Museum Founder and President David Lowy AM said “This is an historic day and I’m extremely proud the Temora Aviation Museum has been able to partner with the RAAF in returning their Sabre to the skies.”

Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Mark Binskin AM said “This first flight of the Sabre aircraft marks a great day for Air Force by vividly reminding us where we have come from. It is a fantastic result for all involved and I would like to acknowledge the work of the entire team, including the strong partnership between Air Force and the Temora Aviation Museum, in achieving this milestone.”

David Gardner OAM, Director RAAF Museum said, “It was tremendous to see the Sabre take to the sky again. Temora Aviation Museum is to be congratulated on the huge professional effort they put into returning the aircraft to airworthiness status. This event is great for Australian Aviation Heritage and the RAAF.”

Temora Aviation Museum Engineering, Chief Engineer, Peter Pring-Shambler says “Our engineering team has done a great job over the past three years and I am very proud of what we have achieved today.”

The pilot of today’s post maintenance check flight was Darren Crabb. As an ex RAAF Qualified Flight Instructor, Darren flew F/A-18 Hornets and Macchi jets. He is a current corporate jet pilot and is type rated on 14 jet aircraft types. His flying experience includes the Cessna Dragonfly, Vampire, Meteor and Canberra vintage jet aircraft and he has a total of 5200 hours of flying time in jet aircraft. After the flight Darren Crabb said ”It was fantastic! The aircraft performed flawlessly and it was both a pleasure and a privilege for me to return the Sabre to the Australian skies.”

The Australian public will have its first chance to see the Sabre at the Temora Aviation Museum Flying Weekend on September 5th & 6th, 2009.

Video clips and photos of the Sabre have been uploaded to the photo gallery page. Click on ‘News and Calendar of Events’ and follow the links.