The Benalla Airshow was on the Saturday just gone, on the 18th March 2023. The airshow was hosted by the Benalla Gliding Club, which was celebrating their 91st year of operations and 70 years in Benalla (they began in Melbourne 91 years ago before making the move). The club has a lot of history. The club has a lot of ambitions – this was their first airshow. For a bunch of volunteers doing it for the first time: it was very well done. Originally, the airshow was planned for late 2022, but due to severe floods it had to be postponed.
The day was sort of perfect. It was hot: 38 degrees Celsius, and very windy. But beautiful blue skies and whisks of high cloud. Despite the wind, the aerobatic performances were still excellently executed.
The airshow featured a demonstration of a towed glider launch. A self-propelled glider launch. The graceful aerobatic display of a glider. An explanation about gliding and the cross-country competitions they do. Also an explanation of the training process and a description of the new two-seat modern training glider they’re very proud of.
The airshow then went into the powered aircraft performances. These included flying displays of the P41 Kittyhawk, CAC Mustang, and the Avenger torpedo bomber, and more. There was also the utterly amazing aerobatic skills of Paul Bennet and his team. The aerobatic skills displayed were unparralleled. I interviewed Paul Bennet on the Friday practice day. I’ll soon start to work on the article and try to get it published somewhere this year.
I had plenty of conversations with many of the airshow attendees: all very nice people. Despite the wind, it was a nice atmosphere, friendly people, wonderful volunteers, and great displays and performances. I really hope they do it again next year.