When the RAAF got its wings a century ago, it had more aircraft than pilots.
There were just 149 personnel, including pilots and mechanics, but 170 aircraft.
Due to celebrate 100 years on March 31, the RAAF is considered to be among the world’s most capable.
Aviation author Andrew McLaughlin, editor of Australian Defence Business Review magazine, said the RAAF has realised significant technological advancement.
“In the past two decades it has replaced every platform – except the F/A-18A/B classic Hornet, the last of which will be retired at the end of 2021 – with advanced and, in some cases, world-leading capabilities,” he told AAP.
The RAAF has also introduced technology such as the E-7A Wedgetail airborne command and control platform, the EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft, and soon, the MQ-4C Triton uncrewed maritime surveillance aircraft, McLaughlin said.