Home' Air Force News : June 9th 2011 Contents Andrew Stackpool
THE RAAF Museum collection of
historic aircraft received a signifi-
cant boost when F-111C A8-125 ar-
rived at the museum on May 27 in a
joint service operation.
The aircraft fuselage departed
RAAF Base Amberley on May 24
on a low-loader provided by con-
tractors Bell Heavy Haulage.
Amberley-based 9 Force
Support Battalion (9FSB) provided
four semi-trailers, which carried the
boxed wings, radome, horizontal
stabilisers and fin, together with
equipment needed for its reassem-
bly.Also included in the convoy
were a number of Air Force vehi-
cles.The convoy departed Amberley
at 3.30am and travelled to the
museum via Warwick, Dubbo,
West Wyalong, Shepparton and
Puckapunyal, with other stops at
towns along the route.
It arrived at the museum at 11am
on the morning of the 27th where it
was met by RAAF Museum direc-
tor David Gardner and Defence
Materiel Minister Jason Clare.
A8-125 was retired in December
last year, and has special historic
It was the first C-model vari-
ant produced for the Air Force, the
first to land in Australia (on June 1,
1973) and also the last C to land in
Australia (on December 3 last year)
before the type was withdrawn from
The F-111 disposal project man-
ager from the Disposal and Aerial
Targets Office, WGCDR David
Abraham, said that the physical
work to decommission the air-
craft and prepare it for permanent
display fell under the auspices of
technicians from the 82WG F-111
Disposal Team and Boeing.
The team was established in
June 9, 2011
December last year specifically to
support the F-111 disposal project
in the technical preparation of air-
frames and other assets for disposal.
It includes technical and logis-
tics personnel from 82WG.
Until this month, it also includ-
ed technicians from 33SQN.
"A8-125 has been prepared as
an essentially intact aircraft. Only
key classified and hazardous com-
ponents have been removed,"
WGCDR Abraham said.
"The aircraft has deliberately
been retained as close to its 'as
retired' configuration as possible."
He said that A8-125 was the
most significant F-111 operated by
the Air Force. He was very proud
of the collective effort undertak-
en by the units and contractors at
Amberley who prepared, trans-
ported and later reassembled the
"This includes the 82WG and
33SQN technicians who prepared,
disassembled and reassembled
the aircraft, 9FSB drivers, Boeing
technicians who assisted with
some aspects including the remov-
al of explosive ordnance, photo-
graphic coverage from 82 Tactical
Intelligence Flight and management
support from the DMO Disposal
Management team," he said.
"The smooth preparation, trans-
port and reassembly of the aircraft
is testament to the professionalism
and dedication of these Air Force,
Army and contract personnel."
Mr Gardner said that the muse-
um was delighted to have the air-
craft to add to its collection.
"The F-111 has served Australia
well throughout its 37-year service
and it is wonderful to have such
an iconic and formidable strike air-
craft as part of the RAAF Heritage
Collection," Mr Gardner said.
"The aircraft has always attract-
ed tremendous public interest and
we look forward to presenting it to
the public, and thus preserve it for
generations to come.
"We plan to have it ready for
public exhibition by the middle of
A8-125 will depict in detail the
role of the F-111C in Air Force ser-
BIG RIG: Left,
its journey from
children at Peak
Hill learn about
and, right, the
HOW IT WAS: FLTLT Jake Romanowski briefs the media about A8-
125 and the convoy experience after it arrived at Point Cook.
Photo: LAC Benjamin Evans
THE convoy rolled into Point Cook at
the planned time of 11am on May 27.
"A8-125 scored its last sortie with a
faultless time-on-target," said 6SQN's
FLTLT Jake Romanowski who, with
DMO's Ryan McManus, handled the
public affairs aspects of the convoy.
They said the trip attracted a 'huge
amount' of media and public attention.
"People asked some very interest-
ing questions and showed a wide
range of understanding of the aircraft,"
Mr McManus said.
"At Peak Hill, we stopped out the
front St Joseph's Primary school,
which only has 31 students.
"Also, Peak Hill Capital School
came along with their teachers and
"Seeing the look on the children's
faces was priceless.
"Every person in the convoy per-
formed their duties extremely well."
FLTLT Romanowski said they had
"all grown attached to the aircraft sit-
ting on top of the low loader all week".
"When they finally craned it off it
was sad to see it go," he said.
"It was also pretty cool to see
something that weighs 20 tonnes
picked up like a matchbox car.
"It was great working with the
Army drivers; they did their jobs fault-
lessly. Considering that we had DMO,
the Air Force, Army, private contrac-
tors and numerous interested parties
the team work went really well."
Fun on many wheels
Links Archive May 26th 2011 June 23rd 2011 Navigation Previous Page Next Page