Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has congratulated the Queensland Air Museum on being selected to feature one of the Australian Defence Force’s most iconic pieces of aviation; a retired F-111 fighter jet, aka ‘pig’.
The Federal Government has announced the preferred recipients to loan six of the fighter jets to across the country, and the only chance for aviation fanatics to see one in Queensland is at the QAM in Caloundra from early 2013.
“This is a massive win for the QAM and its dedicated hard-working volunteers who have rallied hard to secure the fighter jet,” Mr McArdle said.
“Not only will this help preserve a significant part of Australia’s military heritage, but this will provide a major boost to our local tourism industry.”
Mr McArdle said many locals would be familiar with F-111 fighter jets, which used to perform the spectacular dump and burn at many exhibitions, including Brisbane’s Riverfire, until the RAAF retired them in 2010 after nearly 40 years of service.
Among aviation circles, F-111’s were dubbed ‘pigs’ for hunting at night and flying low in weeds due to their terrain-following radar.
They were also regarded one of the fastest strike aircraft in the world, being able to fly at two-and-a-half times the speed of sound.
It’s understood the QAM will have to comply with a number of conditions to ensure the safety of the aircraft.
Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome, Fighter World and the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society, all in NSW, along with the South Australian Aviation Museum and the Aviation Historical Society of the Northern Territory are among the other selected recipients to receive the fighter jets.