The F-111 aircraft which was recently delivered to the Queensland Air Museum at Caloundra will be officially handed over on loan to the museum at a ceremony on Friday 28th June at 11.00am. Performing the handover of F-111 A8-129 will be the former Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Geoff Shepherd, AO (retd) who is a resident of the Sunshine Coast. As a former F-111 pilot, the aircraft is very close to Air Marshal Shepherd’s heart. There will be many people from the F-111 community at the ceremony including the pilot who delivered A8-129 to Australia in
June 1973 and the crew who flew her for the last time in December 2010. A8-129 was amongst the first six RAAF F-111s to arrive in Australia and it also flew on the last day of F-111 operations.
The handover ceremony will be the culmination of an eight year campaign by QAM to preserve an F-111 on the Sunshine Coast. Many visitors to the museum signed a petition to support QAM’s campaign. It is expected that the aircraft will draw tourists to the museum and the Sunshine Coast in general.
QAM was founded in 1974, just one year after the first F-111s were delivered. The museum’s first exhibit was a Canberra jet bomber which was replaced in RAAF service by the F-111. It is fitting therefore that an F-111 should join the collection almost 40 years later. The QAM collection now includes more than 50 aircraft.
The handover ceremony will be a prelude to QAM’s annual Open Cockpit Weekend on 29/30 June. On both days, visitors will be able to sit in the cockpit of the F-111. As it will be the star attraction at the event, visitors are advised to expect long queues. Visitors may be surprised to find that getting in and out of the F-111 cockpit is no easy matter and a reasonable level of physical fitness is required.
The museum will be open to the public on Friday 28th June from 10.00am to 4.00pm although viewing of the F-111 will be restricted until after the completion of the handover ceremony at approximately 1.00pm.
The museum will be open from 9.00am to 4.00pm on both days of Open Cockpit Weekend 29/30 June.
Media representatives are invited to attend the handover ceremony (as well as both days of Open Cockpit Weekend).
Where: Queensland Air Museum, Pathfinder Drive, Caloundra Aerodrome
When: Friday 28th June
28 Jun 2013 - Queensland Air Museum Open Cockpit Weekend
Queensland Air Museum, Caloundra
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