RAAF F-111 retires to the US

The final F-111 strike aircraft to be displayed at historical museums, will tomorrow begin its retirement journey to the United States.

Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Geoff Brown said aircraft A8-130, will be gifted to the Pacific Aviation Museum in Hawaii as a token of the close ties between Australia and America through a long period of coalition operations.

“This gift symbolises the close working relationship we enjoy with our American colleagues – on operations, on exercises and through airmen-to-airmen talks,” Air Marshal Brown said.

“The F-111 originated in America, it has served us well in Australia, and in returning one aircraft we acknowledge the role this unique aircraft has played in Australian history.”

Aircraft A8-130 has uniquely been piloted by both the Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Geoff Brown AO and the Deputy Chief of Air Force, Air Vice-Marshal Gavin ‘Leo’ Davies CSC.

Six F-111s have been retained at RAAF Bases across Australia, and after a public Request for Loan Offer six aircraft and three ‘crew modules’ were loaned to civilian aviation museums across Australia.

All six loan organisations that could meet the strict safety and environmental requirements for an F-111 loan have now received them. After the loan process, one F-111 remained, which has now been made available to the Pacific Aviation Museum.

The F-111 was Australia’s principal strike aircraft from 1973 until 2010. It has since been replaced by the F/A-18F Super Hornet.

Source: MoD Australia
Date: Aug 22, 2013