Australia's only 5 ship Formation Aerobatic team
Next display : Warbirds Down under Temora
2020/21 Date TBA
The group started with Lindsay Sinclair the father of eastern block aircraft introduction into Australia. This comprised a group of enthusasists that toured Australia in their Russian flying machines. Lindsay also introduced the Chinese Nanchang to the group.
The name "Russian Roolettes" evolved at a Queensland air show. The RAAF Roulettes could not get to the show due to severe weather between them and the show venue. The organisers approached Lindsay and his group and asked if they could do some flypasts to fill in for the RAAF Roulettes. Lindsay said yes. The organisers then asked if the group had a name. Lindsay made one up on the fly ... "Call us the Russian Roolettes" ... The name has stuck ever since. We have a great relationship with the RAAF Roulettes.
The teams aircraft are hangared in the Southern Highlands of NSW at Mittagong and at Luskintyre. We train regularly to keep our skills sharp. In 2019 the team flew 9 5 ship Displays and 30 dedicated 5 ship practice sessions. The teams training base is Cowra. Thanks to the unbelievable support of the town council, the people of Cowra and particluarly FlyOz. The Team is unique in flying two differrent types of of aircraft in a synchronised display. The aim is to always have something in front of the crowd. The team is also FAST compliant.
Iimage: Mike Abbott
The team fly two types of aircraft the Nanchang CJ6A and the Yak52.
Both these aircraft come from a common linage the YAK18. Subsequent development by the Russians lead to the YAK52. The Chinese development resulted in the Nanchang. Both aircraft share many design features one of which is a complete lack of Hydraulics. Pneumatic systems are used for engine start,undercarriage retraction/extension, wheel braking and flap operation.
This is the larger of the two and was the first indigenous aircraft designed in China. The aircraft is built by the Nanchang aircraft company in Nanchang China. In Australia it is known as the "Chang". The team's aircraft have all been re-engined with the Russian M14 engine of 360 and 400hp. the original Chinese Housai engine was rated at 285hp. The teams M14 engined Changs have significantly improved performance overa stock Chang. The Chang is rated to +6G and to -3G. Though not quite as aerobatic as the Yak it is significantly faster in the cruise with better vertical performance. The Chang has a Vne of 200Knots. The Teams aircraft with the bigger engine are known as "Super Changs"
The Yak52 was designed in Russia as a basic to intermediate trainer and was used by the Russian DOSAAF (state run flying school) . It too is powered by the M14 radial engine of 360Hp. The YAK is a fully aerobatic aircraft with no manoeuver limitations. It is rated to +7.5G to -3G and has a Vne of 220Knots. The YAK has a dedicated inverted oil and fuel system that provides an extended inverted and negative G capability. The aircraft is generically known in Australia as the "Yak"
Image : Cameron Hines
Image: Mike Abbott
Egon Mahr. Ex RAAF pilot with extensive experience on the HS748,BAC111,Winjeel and SU26. Egon has extensive unlimited aerobatic experience and is the team leader. AWAL FAST check pilot. Team Chang pilot. Now A330 Captain in QANTAS
Niall Higgins. The teams linguist with extensive experience in the YAK, Tiger Moth and Stearman. Niall is a rated QFI. Team Yak Pilot
Phil Deacon. "The Doktor" Phil is the teams resident engineer. Phenomenal knowledge of Chang and Yak technical details. Phil is also a Yak52 pilot.
Jim Eaglen. Ex RAAF fighter pilot with extensive Fighter time on Mirage III Tornado F3 and FA18. Jim is the team Standards officer. Jim is also
an AWAL FAST check pilot
Team Chang Pilot.
Now B787 pilot in QANTAS
Al Pickering. Ex RAAF Helicopter (and proud of it!) Al has flown the UH-1H "Huey" Iroquois/Gunship, CT4A and YAK52. Al is a qualified military and civil flying instructor. AWAL FAST check pilot. Team Yak pilot Now A330 Captain with QANTAS.
Sean Trestrail. Ex RAAF fighter pilot and Fighter Combat Instructor (FCI) with extensive experience on the Mirage III and FA18 . Sean is the Team manager.
Sean is also an AWAL FAST check pilot. Team Chang pilot.
Former A380 Captain in QANTAS
Mike Glynn. Ex RAAF Caribou
pilot. the teams assessor also
responsible for Media.and Reserve pilot
Mike owns his own Chang.
Former Boeing 747 Captain with QANTAS
Sharon Willard. Deputy Team
manager. A pilot in her own
right qualified on the YAK18T