A report on a Victorian Run to "Jetcity" at Essendon Fields Airport
This one was contributed by Bill Revill:
Jetcity .... a visit to a fantasy world
By Bill Revill
"Our TR-Register member, Peter Riley, very generously offered to host a visit to his business, Jetcity, a tour of his aircraft and his workshops. But it proved to be much more than this. The TR-Register members who attended were treated to a rare display of engineering excellence, technical magic and a world of opulence.
It was a true Melbourne winter day - pouring rain, freezing cold and windy - but the only brave soul who attended in a TR was Chris Copeland in his historic and wonderful TR 2, showing dedication to duty after driving in from the Bendigo area. Jackie and the support crew followed in another vehicle. About ten members arrived for the display, all of whom drove more civilised but less enjoyable vehicles.
We were met by Peter, Daryl and Lorne, the business principals and pilots who generously gave up their Sunday to show us through the giant hanger and around the six or so aircraft operated by Jetcity. These are a variety of Cessna, Gulfstream and Learjets all with rear twin engine configuration. The aircraft look huge in the hanger and are themselves things of beauty. One's first impression is that everything is immaculate - the aircraft are spotlessly clean, the bare metal surfaces gleaming to a perfect shine, no sign of anything being other than new. It's amazing to think that some of the machines are approaching 20 years old as their preparation would equal that of most topline Concors D'Ellegance TR's. It was impossible not to be amazed at their technological beauty - the perfectly formed compound curves that are evident on the bodies all of the aircraft, the perfect riveting holding them together and the hundreds of alloy castings, liquid lines, wiring and other equipment, locked in to the smallest of spaces by being threaded and knitted into a tight weave to make the maximum use of space available.
Our pilots also proved to be excellent guides, and Peter took us through the plane he flies - a Cessna Citation jet, capable of almost Mach1. We were able to view the whole of the aircraft including the cockpit, with its array of switched and complex avionics. We were also granted an inside look of the aircraft, inside the engine cowls and the mechanical spaces to see the amazing array of complex controls, electronic cabling and control linkages.
And then when we entered the main cabin we entered a world of opulence - luxurious leather seats, ample space, wood panelling and a ready use cocktail cabinet. This is the world of the rich and of rock stars, some of Peter's usual clients, who have included Mick Jagger and Leonard Cohen. Peter and his team provide leisure flights as well as business travel and executive shuffles. The Learjet we inspected had just taken a family to Uluru for a tour of the area, all in perfect luxury and with first class food and wines. Jetcity also perform medical evacuation and the Australian designed and built stretcher which fits neatly in the Learjet was demonstrated.
Then is was a review of the working areas of the hangar, where a limited number of parts can be made but have to undergo the strictest of certification processes and must be produced to the finest engineering practices. And then tea and biccies.
A truly wonderful day and we thank Peter, Daryl and Lorne for their time and their friendship. Personally I was amazed at the beauty and complexity of the aircraft - the shape, the amazing technology, the skills of the people who build, maintain and fly them. It was a wonderful day and again thanks to Peter and his team."