Central Flying School (CFS) is a Royal Australian Air Force training unit, located at RAAF Base East Sale, Victoria. It operates the Pilatus PC-9 turboprop trainer. The school is responsible for training flight instructors, setting flying standards, and auditing flying practices. It is also home to the "Roulettes" aerobatic team. CFS was the first military aviation unit to be formed in Australia, in 1913, when its role was to provide basic flying training. Its current form dates from World War II, when it was re-established to train flight instructors for the Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS).
CFS was inaugurated at Point Cook, Victoria, in March 1913, and trained over 150 pilots of the Australian Flying Corps during World War I. It was disbanded in December 1919, and the newly formed RAAF's No. 1 Flying Training School took on its function in 1921. Re-formed under EATS at Point Cook in April 1940, CFS relocated to New South Wales the following month, based first at Camden, then at Tamworth from April 1942, and finally at Parkes from January 1944. It returned to Point Cook in September 1944. By the end of World War II, the school had produced more than 3,600 instructors. It transferred to East Sale in November 1947.
Since 1962, CFS has been responsible for three aerobatic display teams. The first was called "The Red Sales" and flew De Havilland Vampire jet aircraft. A second team, "The Telstars", was formed in 1963, also flying Vampires. The Telstars disbanded in 1968, just after taking delivery of new Macchi MB326H jets, when the RAAF curtailed display flying. The Roulettes formed in 1970, flying the Macchi, and continued to operate the type until 1990, when the team completed its conversion to the PC-9. As well as the Roulettes, CFS is responsible for the display work of the Air Force Balloons.
... the Pacific War saw large-sale demobilisation of RAAF personnel, along with the disposal of equipment and disbandment of units ... CFS was allocated resources to ensure the maintenance of Air Force flying standards, but took on no new students ... The school relocated from Point Cook to RAAF Station East Sale (now RAAF Base East Sale), Victoria, during November and December 1947 its aircraft included seven Tiger Moths, nine ...
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