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April 25, 2013
THE world's last operational F-111C
has 'landed' at its new home -- the
Historical Aircraft Restoration Society
(HARS) at Illawarra Regional Airport,
In its original camouflage paint
scheme, A8-109 was transported
via road convoy from RAAF Base
Amberley from April 6-8, travelling
more than 1100km over the three days.
The convoy stopped through
regional NSW towns including
Goondiwindi, Narrabri, Gunnedah,
Muswellbrook, Beresfield and Picton.
On arrival at HARS, the aircraft
was reassembled with the assistance of
F-111 disposal team members, involv-
ing reattaching the wings, tail fin and
horizontal stabilisers and final prepara-
tions for public display.
The delivery came three weeks
after another F-111C was delivered to
an Australian historical organisation --
the South Australian Aviation Museum
-- under the F-111 Disposal Project.
Manager F-111 Disposal Project
WGCDR Clive Wells said it was
another successful delivery.
"I was impressed with the atten-
tion and media coverage we received
along the way and when we arrived at
HARS," WGCDR Wells said.
He said four aircraft were still yet
to be delivered to Australian historical
organisations, and those aircraft would
also be returned to their former cam-
ouflage paint scheme.
A8-109 is an ex-US Air Force air-
craft which saw combat in Vietnam. It
was purchased by the RAAF in 1982.
Flying for the last time at the
RAAF F-111 retirement ceremony on
December 3, 2010, A8-109 became the
world's last operational F-111.
New home for 'last' Pig
AVIATION Technical Training
Services for the ADF will now
be provided by BAE Systems
Defence Materiel Minister Dr
Mike Kelly announced the sign-
ing of a $107 million five-year
contract on April 5.
Under the new contract,
BAE Systems Australia will train
about 900 students annually at
the RAAF School of Technical
Training at RAAF Base Wagga.
The contract is for initial
training for technicians and
maintainers for all aviation-
related trades, and a range
of postgraduate courses, for
aircraft and helicopters operated
by Army, Navy and Air Force.
Dr Kelly said the new con-
tract provided BAE with a high
level of autonomy and respon-
sibility for the delivery of the
"BAE will be introducing a
contemporary training environ-
ment supported by modern
training systems," he said.
A8-109, in its original
camouflage paint scheme,
being lifted by a crane
onto a truck at RAAF Base
Amberley for transport to
Illawarra Regional Airport,
near Wollongong. Inset,
A8-109 on its final flight on
December 3, 2010.
Photos: LACWs Shannon
McCarthy and Jessica Smith
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