A look at the recent April 2013 movement of a former RAAF F-111C A8-109 which was the last operational F-111 in the world when it shut down its TF-30 engines in December 2010 at RAAF base Amberley in Queensland, Australia. This airframe was a former USAF F-111A modified to F-111C standard, it was also a Vietnam Vet with USAF combat time on it.
Since the pending F-111 retirement started to loom around mid 2000s, many museums had requested the F-111 fleet to be saved….. and in the end 13 out of 43 were saved from burial in a land dump.
HARS Museum located at Wollongong, southern NSW won the application for taking care of A8-109. Along with other F-111s in 2012 these aircraft were restored and repainted from gunship grey to T.O-114 colour schemes of the 1970s at RAAF Amberley. Deliveries have now commenced with museums in SA, QLD and NSW getting their Pigs as well in early 2013. More Pigs are to be sent to other museums in 2013.
A8-109 was trucked low level IFR – I Follow Roads – from Amberley to HARS Museum through north western NSW and Hunter Valley over a few days in early April 2013. They were planning to stop at Gosford but instead stopped at Brooklyn north of Sydney, where i was able to along with others inspect it up close.
The plane arrived at the HARS museum the next day after this road stop and was reassembled all in 1 day nearly with wings and the fin yet to be put back on.
Way back at the F-111 retirement in Dec 2010, i managed to compose this photo of A8-109 and compare this with photo from similar angle now in 2013…