The final F-111 strike aircraft to be displayed at historical museums has begun its retirement journey to the United States.
Aircraft A8-130 has been gifted to the Pacific Aviation Museum in Hawaii in recognition of the close ties between Australia and America through a long period of coalition operations.
Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Geoff Brown said: “This gift symbolises the close working relationship we enjoy with our American colleagues – on operations, on exercises and through airmen-to-airmen talks.”
The F-111, which at one time had been piloted by Air Marshal Brown, will be transported by RAAF C-17s in three flights flight from RAAF Base Amberley.
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 organisations that met the stringent 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 It has since been replaced by the F/A-18F Super Hornet.