A retired Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F-111C aircraft will depart RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland today, highway-bound for the South Australian Aviation Museum (SAAM) at Port Adelaide. The convoy, transporting aircraft serial number A8-134, was set to depart RAAF Base Amberley, near Ipswich, at 2 a.m. It is scheduled to arrive at SAAM at 7 a.m., on Monday.
The convoy will travel more than 1,200 kilometers through Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia over four days. It will stop in the towns of Goondiwindi, Narrabri, Gilgandra, Nyngan, Broken Hill, Cockburn, Burra and Gawler, before arriving in Port Adelaide (see schedule below).
Local communities can expect to see the aircraft travelling down the highway on a large truck. The F-111 will have its wings, stabilators and vertical tailfin removed, to enable safe transit.
The F-111 fleet was retired by the RAAF in December 2010 after 37 years of service. A8-134 is one of 13 F-111 aircraft which will be preserved. Once the aircraft is relocated to the SAAM it will be prepared for display. The F-111 was built by General Dynamics in Fort Worth, Texas, for the U.S. Air Force. Australia was the only export operator.
A8-134 was the 10th F-111 aircraft off the production line for the RAAF, arriving in Australia on July 27, 1973. The last flight for the aircraft was as part of the flying display at the F-111 retirement ceremony on Dec. 3, 2010.
The aircraft will be reassembled at SAAM by Air Force and Defence Department personnel from RAAF Base Amberley. Reassembly involves reattaching the wings, fin and horizontal stabilators, and giving the aircraft a final touch up.
Road transport itinerary (subject to change):
Friday, March 15
2 a.m.: RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland
7-9 a.m.: Goondiwindi, New South Wales
Noon-12:30 p.m.: Narrabri, NSW
4-6:00 a.m.: Gilgandra, NSW
Saturday, March 16
6 a.m.: Gilgandra, NSW
8:30-9 a.m.: Nyngan, NSW
5:30 p.m.-6 a.m.: Broken Hill, NSW
Sunday, March 17
6 a.m.: Broken Hill, NSW
8-8:30 a.m.: Cockburn, South Australia
2-2:30 p.m.: Burra, SA
4:00pm-4:00am: Gawler, SA
Monday, March 18
About 4 a.m.: Gawler, SA
About 7 a.m.: Port Adelaide, SA
Follow the journey here, #RAAFRoadTrip.
From a RAAF news release