One of the best looking of the airworthy Warbird fleet in Australia is Jeff Trappett’s CAC CA-18 Mustang A68-118 ex RAAF. This is a beautiful machine and is based in Victoria at Morwell. She frequently flies at airshows across the country and is a real crowd favorite. Jeff always displays the aircraft in his own distinctive and exciting style and with great energy. The Mustang is always presented in immaculate condition and is a real credit to Jeff and his crew.
Warbirds Online has been fortunate to have witnessed Jeff flying the aircraft at many of the airshows it has attended over the years and today we present some images of some of the more memorable displays the aircraft has participated in.
The most recent display was the 2017 Wings Over the Illawarra airshow at Albion Park NSW. Thanks to the beautiful weather it was possible to see the Mustang displayed at its very best – Jeff also displayed his CAC CA-27 Mk32 Sabre much to the admiration of the crowd.
This Mustang is unusual in that it is the only Australian CAC built aircraft in the country flying in a polished bare metal finish which is very impressive.
History of CAC CA-18 Mustang A68-118 “Eclat”
A68-118 was built as a CA-18 Mk.21 serial number 1443 the aircraft was built in 1948 and delivered to the RAAF No1 Air Depot (AD) ex CAC on 10/05/48. On 11/08/49 the Mustang was Issued to 78 Wing.
During its service the aircraft had its fuselage damaged in an in-flight collision with A68-716 on 18 May 1950 and the pilot was P/O Michelson of 76 Sqn. The aircraft was repaired by CAC and returned to service. In December 1951 the Mustang returned to 1 AD at East Sale for storage until 23 April 1958 when it was struck off RAAF service and disposed of to Wilmore Aviation Services, Moorabbin VIC. She was registered as VH-WAS to Joe R. Palmer of Wilmore Aviation Services based at Moorabbin VIC until 1960 when it was withdrawn from use and was parked open storage at Bankstown NSW from 1960 until 1973. In 1973 the aircraft was loaned to Camden Museum of Aviation, Camden NSW and restored for static display. In 1978 the Mustang was purchased by Jeff Trappett and transported to his base at Morwell Victoria where a restoration to airworthy standard was carried out with the Mustang flying again for the first time on the 19th April 1981 as RAAF “A68-118” “Eclat” registered on the civil register as VH-AGJ.
Since then the aircraft has been a regular participant at numerous airshows and displays and we look forward to seeing her at many more.
© John Parker 2017