OTHER AUSTRALIAN 707 OPERATORS

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE

 

Commemorative artwork on the tail of A20-624.
Photo: RAAF

(All images on this page are linked to larger versions)

 

For reasons of completeness, Australian 707 operators other than Qantas have been recorded on this website. This page describes the Boeing 707 fleet operated by the RAAF.

To mark the retirement of the 707 from RAAF service on 30 June 2008, 33 Sqn held a ceremony at RAAF Richmond. A brochure produced for the ceremony can be viewed here.

 

SERIAL
TYPE
MSN
NAME
A20-103
707-368C
21103
Wilberforce
14OCT75
Delivered to Saudia as HZ-ACG.
13JUL87
Sold to Boeing as N1987B.
11MAR88
Delivered to RAAF.
29OCT91
Crashed in Bass Strait.
  Total Time: 26753.6
RAAF: 1129.6
 
A20-261
707-368C
21261
Castlereagh
23DEC76
Delivered to Saudia as HZ-ACI.
JUL87
Sold to Boeing as N7486B.
11MAR88
Delivered to RAAF.
23AUG06
Flown from RAAF Richmond to RAAF Amberley.
24AUG06
Withdrawn from service.
  Total Time: 33787.3
RAAF: 10313.3
12JUL07
Sold to Turbine Motor Works, UK minus engines. Read about the restoration of N707QJ
16JUL07
Test flown at Amberley as N707QJ and departed later same day for Darwin, Male, Cairo and Manston.
  The following was sourced from: www.manstonmovements.co.uk
26MAR11
The engines were removed from the aircraft at Manston. Reportedly being parted out by Omega Air.
11APR11
Noted at Manston with tail and other parts removed.
25MAY11
Reported that seats were donated to the Airport Fire Service for fitment to a 747 airframe for training purposes.
16JUL11
Noted with engine pylons and wing control surfaces missing.
05AUG11
Airframe still intact.
MAY12
In early May 2012 the aircraft was broken up for scrap at Manston, reportedly inside a hangar. There are reports that part of the fuselage was saved for an un-named museum.
15MAY12
on this date the last load of scrap departed Manston Airport.
08JUN12
The basic airframe on its undercarriage with rear fuselage and outer wings cut off was photographed at Manston.
 
A20-623
707-338C
19623
Clarendon
  ex VH-EAC.
17JUN83
Delivered to RAAF.
08MAY07
Withdrawn from service and all four engines removed.
21AUG07
Noted at Richmond with four engines fitted and running. Reportedly sold to Omega Air.
  Total Time: 56675.2
RAAF: 11104.0
01JUN11
Registered to Omega Air as N623RH.
25OCT11
Departed Richmond on delivery to Omega Air.
JUN16
As of this date the aircraft is stored for possible future fleet expansion.
 
A20-624
707-338C
19624
Richmond Town
  ex VH-EAD.
30MAR79
Delivered to RAAF.
30JUN08
Retired at Richmond.
  Total Time: 50964.8
RAAF: 13824.8
08JUL08
Towed from 33SQN hangar and parked with the other retired 707s.
01JUN11
Registered to Omega Air as N624RH.
23OCT11
Departed Richmond on delivery to Omega Air.
 
A20-627
707-338C
19627
Windsor Town
  ex VH-EAG.
30MAR79
Delivered to RAAF.
21FEB01
WFS at Richmond and used for parts.
  Total Time: 50234.7
RAAF: 12175.1
20NOV09
The aircraft was dismantled at Richmond. The forward fuselage will go to the RAAF Museum at Point Cook and the fin and rudder will go to the Qantas Founders Museum at Longreach.
SEP11
The forward fuselage will now be going to HARS at Albion Park.
23JUL15
The forward fuselage was delivered to HARS at Albion Park.
 
A20-629
707-338C
19629
City of Sydney
  ex VH-EAI
17JUN83
Delivered to RAAF.
01NOV07
WFS at Richmond.
  Total Time: 60283.7
RAAF: 10395.7
02JUN11
Registered to Omega Air as N629RH.
23OCT11
Departed Richmond on delivery to Omega Air.
 
A20-809
707-368C
19809
Hulksbury (unofficial)
08JAN68
Delivered to Saudia as HZ-ACC.
01JUL87
Sold to Boeing as N1486B.
16MAR88
Delivered to the RAAF.
  Never entered service with the RAAF although the Saudia livery was replaced by RAAF markings to make the aircraft less conspicuous. Used for parts and as a trainaid.
20APR94
Request for Tender No. 94/20021 with a closing date of 20APR94 called for the sale of "Unserviceable Boeing B707 Aircraft Hulk (incomplete) Boeing Serial No. 19809" located at RAAF Base Richmond.
  The aircraft was subsequently broken up for scrap at Richmond.
  The aircraft was identified as A20-809 in some RAAF documentation but this serial was not painted on the airframe.
 

 

HZ-ACC in Saudi Arabian Airlines livery in 1969. This aircraft was acquired by the RAAF for parts but never entered service.
Photo: Ron Cuskelly Collection
HZ-ACC in Saudia livery at Geneva in August 1973. This aircraft was acquired by the RAAF for parts but never entered service.
Photo: Ron Cuskelly Collection
HZ-ACC in partial RAAF livery at Richmond in March 1991. Acquired as a source of parts, the aircraft carries the name Hulksbury.
Photo: Ron Cuskelly Collection
The ill-fated A20-103 photographed at Geneva in January 1985 while in service with Saudia as HZ-ACG. Photo: Ron Cuskelly Collection
The ill-fated A20-103 photographed in 1991.
Photo: Ron Cuskelly Collection
A20-261 in service with Saudia as HZ-ACI.
Photo: Ron Cuskelly Collection
A20-261 photographed in June 1998.
Photo: Peter Gates
A20-261 photographed in February 2005.
Photo: Ron Cuskelly Collection
A20-261 photographed in March 2005.
Photo: Peter Gates
A20-261 soon to become N707QJ at Amberley on 3 July 2007. Photo: Ron Cuskelly
N707QJ (A20-261) photographed at Manston on 8 June 2012. Photo: Michael J Collins
A20-624 photographed in February 2008.
Photo: Peter Gates
A20-624 photographed in February 2008.
Photo: Peter Gates
A20-624 salutes her retired sisters at RAAF Richmond. Photo: Andrew McLaughlin
A20-624 salutes Sydney KSA on her last day of RAAF service. Photo: RAAF
A20-624 off the coast from Newcastle on her last day of RAAF service. Photo: RAAF

 

 


THE FIRST RAAF 707 AIRCREW

When it was decided that the RAAF would acquire 707s from Qantas, several RAAF aircrew were trained on the aeroplane by Qantas. In all, six pilots and three flight engineers were trained by Qantas with all subsequent training being done in-house by the RAAF. The initial batch of trainees used the Qantas 707 simulator at Mascot but this was sold to Aer Lingus in Ireland immediately after they completed their training. Subsequent 707 crew used the Cathay Pacific simulator at Kai Tak in Hong Kong. Eventually the original Qantas simulator came back from Ireland and was installed at the Qantas Jet Base at Mascot. This was used until the RAAF acquired a more modern simulator which was installed at RAAF Richmond. The initial RAAF 707 crew are listed below with their Qantas trainers.

 

RAAF TRAINEE / QANTAS INSTRUCTOR ALLOCATION
Pilots SQNLDR David Holbourn
FLTLT Ron Peters
SCC Rob Greenop
Flt Engineer WOFF Tony Ryan SCEO Gordon Hopkins
Pilots FLTLT George Baumanis
FLTLT Lee Holliday
SCC Gordon Layton
Flt Engineer SGT Howard Greig SCEO Norman King
Pilots SQNLDR Jeff Radbone
FLTLT John Chenery
SCC Howard Morris
Flt Engineer SGT Ted Crawley SCEO Phil Hayes

 

Rank Abbreviations
SQNLDR Squadron Leader
FLTLT Flight Lieutenant
WOFF Warrant Officer
SGT Sergeant
SCC Senior Check Captain
SCEO Senior Check Engineer Officer

 




END OF AN ERA
- The RAAF Commemorates 29 Years of 707 Operations

 


THE FINAL DEPARTURES FROM RICHMOND

 

N624RH
N624RH

N629RH

N623RH
N623RH
N623RH
N623RH
N623RH

 


 

 

THE DISPOSAL SAGA

(The following chronology is based on the Auditor-General,
Australian National Audit Office Report No. 19 2014-15)

 

03
Omega Air approached the Defence Department to acquire one B707 but Defence decided to retain the aircraft for spares. (A20-627 had been used as a spares source since February 2001).
NOV05
Defence decided to withdraw the B707 from service on 01JUL08.
06
Defence transferred the sole B707 that had not been converted to a tanker to a commercial company in exchange for B707 spare parts. This was A20-261 which was acquired without engines by Turbine Motor Works in the UK. It is understood that the "spare parts" consisted mainly of JT3 engine overhaul, an activity in which TMW specialised.
11MAY07
Omega Air wrote to Defence expressing interest in acquiring the remaining B707s subject to an inspection in July 2007.
30JUL07
Omega Air made an unsolicited offer to Defence to purchase three B707s, spares, flight simulator and documentation for $10.5M.
30JUN08
The final RAAF Boeing 707 flight was operated by A20-624.
JUL08
Before a contract had been signed, Omega wrote to Defence to advise that it was experiencing financial difficulties. Omega proposed a reduction in purchase price in return for an offer of flight refuelling services to the value of $6.2M. After consideration, Defence declined this offer.
09APR09
Omega Air requested that the delivery date for the the three aircraft and the simulator be deferred until 30SEP09.
30JUN09
Defence signed the contract deferring the delivery date until 30SEP09.
06JUL09
Omega Air signed the contract deferring the delivery date until 30SEP09.
23SEP09
Omega Air requested a further three-month extension because it had been unable to obtain Federal Aviation Administration approvals.
30SEP09
Defence rejected Omega Air's request for an extension.
OCT09
Defence offered Omega Air an extension until 29JAN10 provided it paid an additional security deposit of $1M. Omega Air rejected the offer.
01APR10
Defence terminated the Omega Air contract with a view to seeking damages for the companyís breaches of the contract. At this point Omega Air had paid Defence a total of $2.8M and taken possession of the B707 aircraft spares and documentation.
01OCT10
Defence issued a new request-for-tender (RFT) for the re-sale of the remaining B707 assets, which closed on 10NOV10. The remaining B707 assets comprised three B707 aircraft, one B707 flight simulator and one incomplete B707 airframe (A20-627). It received four responses with offers ranging from a best offer of $90K to a net cost to Defence of $900K. That the offers were so low is no doubt attributable to the fact that the aircraft documentation, spares and training material had already been sold and handed over to Omega Air in early 2009 upon payment of the instalment of $1.8M.
31JAN11
The dispute between Defence and Omega Air was settled. Under the settlement, the purchase price was reduced to between $6.2M and $9.2M. Omega Airís payment of the $3M difference was conditional upon it obtaining certain US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certifications for the three B707 aircraft before 31DEC14.
03FEB11
The terms of the January 2011 settlement allowed Omega Air to take possession of the B707 aircraft and flight simulator without paying the Commonwealth in full for the assets. On 03FEB11, Omega Air paid Defence the $1.4M required for the settlement to take effect and for title to the three aircraft and the simulator to pass to Omega Air.
23OCT11
N624RH (ex A20-624) departed RAAF Richmond with an Omega Air crew.
23OCT11
N629RH (ex A20-629) departed RAAF Richmond with an Omega Air crew.
25OCT11
N623RH (ex A20-623) departed RAAF Richmond with an Omega Air crew.
NOV11
Omega Air took possession of the simulator. Omega Air had by this stage paid a total of $4.2M for the B707 assets including the $1.8M paid for the spares, training material and documentation in 2009. The full contract price was $9.5M including the $3M contingent on Omega Air obtaining FAA certifications. These amounts are exclusive of GST.
FEB13
Omega Air requested that the due date for the next payment of $1M (which had been due in JAN13) be deferred one year until 01FEB14 and then be payable in instalments of $250K a month from 01FEB14 to 01MAY14.
10APR13
By this date Defence had paid Omega Air $24.04M for aerial refuelling services (not including the cost of the fuel). At times these services were provided using an ex-RAAF B707 which had not been paid for! However, these costs were offset by damages received as a result of the delayed entry into service of the Airbus A330MRTT (KC-30B).
01MAY13
Defence rejected Omega Airís request that payments be deferred one year until 01FEB14. Negotiations continued between Defence and Omega Air in the months that followed. Defence continued to insist on payment in full.
OCT13
Defence advised Omega Air that an embargo that Defence had placed on its use of refuelling services from the Omega Group would continue until Omega Air met its obligations in full.
SEP13
Omega Air began paying in instalments the remaining $2.62M owed to the Commonwealth.
FEB14
It emerged that Omega Air could continue to operate the B707 without FAA certification and Defence formed the view that they were therefore unlikely to seek certification. Accordingly, Defence did not receive the remaining $3M of the original contract price because FAA certification was not achieved by 31DEC14.
28FEB14
By this date Omega Air had paid the total reduced purchase price of $6.2M.

 


 

 

Issue
Date
Remarks
22
26JUL16
Reformatted the table of RAAF 707s and refreshed the page generally.
21
08JUL15
Added a table of the initial RAAF aircrew who were trained by Qantas. Thanks to Tony Ryan and Norman King for supplying this information.
20
10JUN15
Added the above table titled "The Disposal Saga".
19
27AUG13
Added an image of the ill-fated A20-103 while in service with Saudia as HZ-ACG..
18
23JUN12
The former A20-261 still clings to life at Manston (see image above). Also added an image of N707QJ at Amberley.
17
19MAY12
The former A20-261 has been broken up at Manston.
16
25APR12
Added an image of the "Hulksbury", the former HZ-ACC.
15
31DEC11
Added details of the tender for the sale of msn 19809 formerly HZ-ACC.
14
28OCT11
Added a gallery of images of the final departures from Richmond.
13
24OCT11
Added details of the departure from Richmond of N624RH, N629RH and N623RH.
12
02OCT11
Added disposal details of the 3 remaining RAAF aircraft and the forward fuselage of A20-627. Also added details of the parting-out of the former A20-261..
11
28APR10
Added two images of HZ-ACC in different Saudi liveries.
10
03JAN10
Added an image of A20-261 in service with Saudia as HZ-ACI.
9
02DEC09
Updated the entry for A20-627.
8
31MAY09
Added images of A20-103 and A20-261.
7
31JUL08
Added further information on the "Hulksbury".
6
24JUL08
A combined RAAF/Ansett page was split into two separate pages. The above table has been updated with information drawn from a commemorative folder produced by 33 Sqn to mark the retirement of the 707. Earlier reports that A20-623 was originally named "City of Sydney" in RAAF service would appear to be incorrect. Accordingly this reference has been deleted.
5
22AUG07
Added further information on A20-623.
4
25JUL07
Added further information on the departure of the former A20-261.
3
23JUN07
A20-623 has been withdrawn from service and A20-261 has been sold to Turbine Motor Works of the U.K.
2
25DEC06
Added dates that A20-261 and A20-627 were withdrawn from service. Thanks to Bob Coppinger.
1
20NOV06
Original issue