Remarks: Rear view of RAAF F-111C A8-125, carrying an AGM-84A Harpoon missile at Fairbairn in May 1985. The First three of the RAAF's newly acquired F/A-18Bs were also displayed for Air Force personnel that day, including a demo flight for the Minister for Defence (Hon. Kim Beazley) in F/A-18B A21-103. (A21-101 and A21-102 were on static display.) A8-125 was the first F-111C acquired by the RAAF, and she was also the last F-111 flown by the RAAF (by CO 6 Sqn WG Cdr Michael Gray, at Amberley on 03Dec2010). The aircraft retired wearing a 'maritime grey' paint scheme. (The Canberra Air Traffic Control Tower is visible at left.)
Remarks: The RAAF's Second F-111C, A8-126, did the Finale 'Dump and Burn' demonstrations at the 2008 Amberley Defence Airshow, the Townsville Airshow in September 2009, and the 'Real Finale' Williamtown Airshow in September 2010. Sister-ship A8-125 (the RAAF's First F-111) did the first Dump and Burn I saw and photographed at Amberley during an Airshow in Mid-1976. The 'swing-wings' of A8-125 are swept forward at 26 degrees in this view of the 'Flaming F-111' diving past clouds. The F-111 fleet was retired from RAAF Service on 03Dec2010. The Final RAAF F-111 Flight was flown by WG CDR Michael Gray (CO 6 Sqn) in A8-125 at Amberley on Friday 03Dec2010 (and the final and Dump and Burn was performed by A8-126). Low res photo. Apologies for the quality of this 34 year old photo.
Remarks: The RAAF will retire the remaining F-111 aircraft in December 2010, after 37 years Service since 1973. The type is being replaced by interim F/A-18F Super Hornets, until F-35s are introduced. The first F-111 flypast at the RAAF Airshow at Williamtown on 18Sep2010 was done by three aircraft with wings at different sweep angles. Photo shows F-111C A8-125 with wings swept back at 72 degrees, RF-111C A8-126 with wings at 45 degrees, and F-111C A8-135 at rear with wings swept forward at 26 degrees. The F-111 (and its unique Dump and Burn display) is now being consigned to history. It will be missed, especially by aviation photographers!