Thursday, September 19, 2013

The RAAF Museum Boxkite - Airborne

Military Bristol ‘Boxkite’ Biplane replica VH-XKT successfully flew for the first time at RAAF Point Cook in the hands of qualified test pilot Air Vice Marshall Mark Skidmore AM, RAAF (retired) on Wednesday 11 September 2013.

 The Boxkite undergoes a tail-up taxi test, on the morning of 11 September 2013. [James Kightly]

It is intended that the aircraft will be the star of the official RAAF two-day anniversary airshow at RAAF Point Cook on 1st and 2nd March 2014, commemorating the centenary of the first ever flight of an Australian military aircraft, the original Bristol Boxkite CFS-3 by Lieutenant Eric Harrison on 1st March in 1914.

This replica of Australia’s first flying military aircraft was designed and built by the team of Group Captain Ron Gretton AM and Wing Commander Geoff Matthews (both RAAF retired) as ‘Project 2014’, for the RAAF Museum, over a period of six years, and powered by an Australian-made 110hp (82kw) Rotec R2800, seven cylinder engine. The aircraft has been donated to the Museum.

Many people and organisations supported the project, and we will be listing them shortly. We are updating the Project 2014 website; and there will be further information available soon. Ron, Geoff and I (assisting with publicity) can be contacted by e-mail at: 

The official ADF video can be found here, and ADF official images here, search for 'Boxkite'. For media please contact Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999 (International: 00 61 2 6127 1999) .  Further media material on Project 2014, the history of the Boxkite and photographs is available, please contact

Job done. Ron Gretton (left) and Geoff Matthews take a look at the result of their labours. [James Kightly]