New RAAF Falcon makes first Bundaberg landing


There might be no linkage but the Federal Election campaign has coincided with an increased number of RAAF passenger aircraft visiting Bundaberg Airport.

Central Queensland Planespotting enthusiasts reported two RAAF flights landing at Bundaberg in the past few days.

The new RAAF Dassault Falcon 7X was observed in Bundaberg for the first time yesterday, while the older Canadair CL604 Challenger aircraft was seen on Sunday.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack was in Bundaberg on Sunday before travelling to Perth.

The Challenger CL604 was tracked leaving Bundaberg for Perth, presumably with the Nationals leader aboard, before flying back to Rockhampton.

According to the RAAF, there's a fleet of three CL604 Challenger aircraft which were introduced in 2002. They're part of the Special Purpose Aircraft fleet, operated by No. 34 Squadron from Defence Establishment Fairbairn in Canberra.

The CL604 complements the larger Boeing Business Jets, also operated by No. 34 Squadron, which provide transport for the Australian Government.

“It offers an adaptive and short-notice means of reaching constituents and wider communities, and can access regional airfields within Australia and the immediate Asia-Pacific region which are not possible via commercial aircraft,” RAAF says.

It has a speed of 870kmh during normal operations and a range of up to 5600km.

RAAF Dassault Falcon obtained in April

We're not sure who was aboard the impressive Dassault Falcon 7X, which only entered RAAF service on 16 April.

The new aircraft, being leased by RAAF, replaces the Bombardier CL604 Challengers and provides a larger passenger load, modern communication and increased range and endurance.

Wing Commander Jason Pont, Commanding Officer of 34 Squadron, said the Falcon complements RAAF’s larger Boeing 737 Business Jets.

“The Falcon 7X is an advanced business jet designed and manufactured by Dassault Aviation,” Wing Commander Pont said.

“The jet has a standard crew of three (pilot, co-pilot and crew attendant) and can carry up to 14 passengers.

“With a maximum operating speed of Mach 0.9 and a range of up to 11,000km, the aircraft can fly from Canberra to anywhere in the world with only one stop.

“Its ability to land at almost any airfield provides notable regional and remote airfield accessibility.”

Royal Australian Air Force (#RAAF) Canadair Challenger 604 Bizjet A37-001 Pops into #Bundaberg Airport as "Regent 23"

Posted by Central Queensland Plane Spotting Blog on Saturday, May 4, 2019