Australia — F‑111s to be available to aircraft museums

Min­is­ter for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced that up to sev­en retired F‑111 fight­er jets will be made avail­able to Aus­tralian air­craft muse­ums and oth­er his­tor­i­cal organ­i­sa­tions.

The icon­ic F‑111s were the front line of the Aus­tralian Defence Force for almost four decades.

Fol­low­ing their retire­ment in Decem­ber last year, air­craft muse­ums and his­tor­i­cal organ­i­sa­tions around the coun­try expressed strong inter­est in dis­play­ing the F‑111.

“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,” Mr Clare said.

“I have there­fore decid­ed that up to sev­en F‑111s will be made avail­able to Aus­tralian air­craft muse­ums and oth­er his­tor­i­cal organ­i­sa­tions.”

The air­craft will be loaned to muse­ums so that Defence can con­tin­ue to man­age the risk of haz­ardous mate­r­i­al in the air­craft like asbestos and will be sub­ject to a num­ber of con­di­tions to ensure the safe preser­va­tion of the air­craft.

These include:

  • Hous­ing the air­craft in a com­plete­ly enclosed facil­i­ty;
  • Ensur­ing mem­bers of the pub­lic are pre­vent­ed from climb­ing into engine intakes and exhaust ducts;
  • Lim­it­ing, con­trol­ling and super­vis­ing pub­lic access to the cock­pit;
  • Pre­vent­ing the pub­lic from open­ing air­craft pan­els;
  • Super­vis­ing pub­lic access to the wheel well and weapons bays;
  • Com­plet­ing spec­i­fied preser­va­tion main­te­nance; and
  • Meet­ing Com­mon­wealth audit­ing and report­ing require­ments.

As the air­craft were pro­duced in the Unit­ed States, organ­i­sa­tions select­ed to dis­play the air­craft will be sub­ject to the approval of the US Gov­ern­ment under the Inter­na­tion­al Traf­fic in Arms Reg­u­la­tions.

Inter­est­ed organ­i­sa­tions will be asked to respond to a Request for Offer which will be released by Defence lat­er this year.

F‑111 air­craft will also be pre­served at the fol­low­ing RAAF Bases across Aus­tralia:

  • RAAF Base Amber­ley, QLD (two air­craft);
  • RAAF Muse­um at Point Cook, VIC (two air­craft);
  • RAAF Base Edin­burgh, SA (one air­craft); and
  • RAAF Base Wag­ga, NSW (one air­craft).

“The F‑111s were affec­tion­ate­ly known as ‘Pigs’ because of their abil­i­ty to hunt at night and fly low in the weeds thanks to their ter­rain-fol­low­ing radar,” Mr Clare said.

“They were per­haps best known for their fiery dump and burn exhi­bi­tions at air shows around Aus­tralia.

“They could fly at two-and-a-half times the speed of sound and when they retired were still one of the fastest strike air­craft in the world.”

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Aus­tralia

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