In surprising news, the Royal Australian Air Force, which recently had restored six of their venerable General Dynamics F-111Cs and distributed them on loan to museums around their country, is sending a seventh restored plane, gifted outright, to the Pacific Aviation Museum in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Unlike the truck-based deliveries of the resorted planes to the museums in Australia, this plane, A8-130, will be flown in three shipments from RAAF Base Amberley to Hickam Air Field at Joint Base Pearl Harbor and is scheduled to arrive on September 4. On September 5th, the pieces will be trucked to the Pacific Aviation Museum, and like the Australian museum-bound F-111Cs the plane will be reassembled and prepped for display by a special team of RAAF technicians.
Chief of the Royal Australian Air Force, Air Marshal Geoff Brown said aircraft A8-130, will be gifted to the Pacific Aviation Museum in Hawaii as a token of the close ties between Australia and America through a long period of coalition operations. “This gift symbolises the close working relationship we enjoy with our American colleagues – on operations, on exercises and through airmen-to-airmen talks,” Air Marshal Brown said, “The F-111 originated in America, it has served us well in Australia, and in returning one aircraft we acknowledge the role this unique aircraft has played in Australian history.” For Australian aviation buffs, F-111 A8-130 has the unique history of having been piloted during its career by both the Chief of the RAAF, Air Marshal Geoff Brown AO and the Deputy Chief of the RAAF, Air Vice-Marshal Gavin ‘Leo’ Davies CSC.
The previous restored planes have been delivered to museums around Australia over the course of this year. The first of the planes went to the South Australian Aviation Museum in Port Adelaide, South Australia, the second to Fighter World in Williamtown, New South Wales, third to the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) located in Illawarra, New South Wales, fourth to the Queensland Air Museum located in Caloundra, Queensland and the fifth plane arrived at the Australian Aviation Heritage Centre in Darwin, Northern Territory. The final plane of the domestic six was delivered recently to the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome Heritage Aviation Association (EHMAHAA) in Evans Head, New South Wales.
The Pacific Aviation Museum is planning a reception for Australian and American dignitaries as well as military representatives in October, to properly welcome the aircraft and honor the RAAF for their gift to the Museum.