Up to seven ex RAAF F-111s will be offered on loan to aircraft museums and historical organisations for display, Defence Materiel Minister Jason Clare has announced.
The aircraft will be loaned contingent on a number of conditions “to ensure the safe preservation of the aircraft”, including housing the aircraft inside, completing specified preservation maintenance, and meeting Commonwealth auditing and reporting requirements. Defence will retain ownership of the F-111s so it “can continue to manage the risk of hazardous material in the aircraft like asbestos”, according to the minister’s statement.
“I’ve met with museum operators around the country and I understand how important it is that as many Australians as possible have access to this piece of Australia’s aviation history,” Clare said.
“I have therefore decided that up to seven F-111s will be made available to Australian aircraft museums and other historical organisations.”
Defence will release a Request for Offer for the aircraft later this year.
In addition to the up to seven aircraft now available to aircraft museums, F-111s are being preserved for display at RAAF Bases Amberley (two jets), Edinburgh and Wagga Wagga, with two examples with the RAAF Museum at Point Cook near Melbourne.
The F-111 was retired from RAAF service in December 2010.