world of aviation logo

Six F-111s find their final home

written by australianaviation.com.au | October 5, 2012

A decommissioned F-111 passes silos in Moree, NSW, during a journey to its final home at RAAF Base Wagga. (Dept. of Defence)

Defence has announced the six museums and historical organisations chosen to display retired RAAF F-111C jets.

The six comprise:

  •  Aviation Historical Society of the Northern Territory (Winnellie, NT);
  • Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome Heritage Aviation Association (Evans Head, NSW);
  • Fighter World (Williamtown, NSW);
  • Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (Albion Park, NSW);
  • Queensland Air Museum (Caloundra, Qld); and
  • South Australian Aviation Museum (Port Adelaide, SA).

The five jets are A8-109 and  A8-113 (both ex USAF F-111As that saw Vietnam combat),  A8-129, A8-134 (an RF-111C),  A8-147 and  A8-148 (the last RAAF F-111c).

Deliveries of the loaned F-111 are expected to begin early next year. The WA division of the Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association will receive a crew module display.

F-111s are already on display at the Aviation Heritage Centre at RAAF Base Amberly and the RAAF Museum at RAAF Base Point Cook. Two more fighters are planned to go on display at RAAF Bases Edinburgh and Wagga.

The RAAF retired the last of its F-111s in 2010 after 37 years of service.

“Loaning these mighty planes to Australian air museums and historical organisations will help preserve this important part of our military heritage,” Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare said in a statement.


Defence came in for criticism from fans of the F-111 last year after it was revealed that 23 decommissioned F-111s had been dumped in a landfill near Ipswich.


  • Dan


    I would love to see fighter world get one in the air. I know it wont happen but gee it would be good to see the dump and burn again.

  • Peter


    Mr Kinnish says the F-111 will be the centre piece of the museum and will offer several opportunities for a hands-on experience at Evans Head.

    “The cockpit will be open about 115 times a year so people will be actually able to climb into the aircraft, see the controls, touch the controls…this is one of the conditions that the aircraft has been loaned as part of the museum management plan,” he said. Which sounds like a fantastic opportunity.

    But still, on the downside the F-111 fleet is retired on a lie that the Defence was too intellectuality lazy to upgrade them with J-series weapons and SDB giving a deployed package of USAF F-22s and a joint operational team, lots of other options.

  • jimmy latsos


    It would have been a good gesture to donate one of the f111’s back to the US that was, to the best of my knowledge the last USAF plane to drop bombs in Vietnam in 1975.

  • Tim


    Jimmy, the National Museum of the US Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB have three F-111s. Two F-111A and one F-111F.

  • Steve


    That picture wasn’t taken in Moree, it was taken in Gurley, which is located south of Moree on the Newell Highway. The silos are on the north side of town.

  • Marc 1



    Pie in the sky. These aircraft were beyond their use-by date. They would have needed to have been escorted through any defended airspace – F-22’s wouldn’t have had the legs to accompany them anyway without aerial refueling. You must have been talking about US F22’s as they are the only nation with these airframes – which means the most potent strike weapon we would have is dependent upon the US giving us support to use the aircraft.

    Better idea – why not just get the US to use the F22’s to strike the targets themselves – far more survivable. Or – here’s an idea – we buy F35’s and can therefore do our own self escorted strike. The F35’s will be less maintenance intensive, more survivable and not make us dependent on any other nation to assist. The cost is a reduced radius of action (which is why we have an enhanced refuelling capability).


  • John Reid


    I really do not understand why the Australian War Memorial is not on that list – it should be the pre-eminent claimant. OK, it might be years before any AWM Pig goes on display since funds are short, but at least there would BE one.

  • David


    I agree with John about the AWM. What about the Temora museum? Did it ask?

  • Steve


    The War Memorial isn’t taking one because they were never used in combat by Australia, which is the focus of the AWM. And the cost and maintenance issues will ensure they will never fly again with any other group.

  • John N


    In regard to the AWM, I’m pretty sure from memory that they only obtain aircraft that have a “combat” history specifically related to the RAAF.

    People may remember that years ago they ended up with a B25 Mitchell that was flown from the USA, there was a doco about it, that aircraft was not specifically a former RAAF example and in the end the aircraft was disposed of. The last I heard it was back in the USA.

    Getting back to the Pig, again from memory, only one, an RF-111 was used on some photo recon missions during Timor, so if any F-111 was to be considered it would have to be that one.

    Someone else may be able to confirm or clarify what I’ve written, but I’m pretty sure the above is the reason the AWM doesn’t have one.



  • Taurean Lea


    I do not like it when 23 decommissioned F-111s are scrapped at the Swanbank Landfill. All of them should have gone on display at Aircraft museums across Australia, but i am glad that F-111s A8-125, A8-126, A8-132, A8-138 and A8-142 are going on display. I also love it when F-111C A8-138 becomes a gate guard for the RAAF Amberley Air Base, but i do miss the famous dump and burn so much.

Comments are closed.


Each day, our subscribers are more informed with the right information.

SIGN UP to the Australian Aviation magazine for high-quality news and features for just $99.95 per year