Retired "pig" is home!
24 May 2013
The retired F-111 strike bomber ( pig ) allocated to the Queensland Air Museum ( QAM ) has arrived at its' new home in Caloundra.
At 2.00am on Tuesday May 21st, the aircraft left Amberley RAAF Base. Early morning travellers on the Bruce Highway witnessed a special event as the aircraft made its way, under police escort, to its' new home. The operation required 2 semi trailers, one to hold the aircrafts' body and the other for the wings.
The aircraft arrived in Caloundra just before dawn at approx 5.40am to an enthusiastic welcome by a large band of the dedicated Queensland Air Museum volunteers. This moment was the culmination of a very long campaign to have an F-111 retired to Caloundra. After first expressing interest in March 2005, QAM volunteers have collected 7,000 supportive signatures. QAM president Cameron Elmes expressed the feelings of the group - "We're over the moon. There's about 60 of us volunteers here and it's like Christmas for us"
Reassembly of the aircraft has been carried out by former members of squadrons 1 and 6 who served on the F-111, under the supervision of personnel from the Defence Materiel Organization ( DMO.) It now rests proudly in the main hangar at QAM. Apart from the Aviation Heritage Centre at the RAAF Base Amberley, Caloundras QAM is the only Queensland location where this iconic aircraft can be viewed.
Visit www.qam.com.au for more information on this unique Sunshine Coast attraction.