Thursday, 2 December 2010

Fare-the-well you ugly pig bastards

I live right on the northern approach to the Amberley Airbase. Daily, we get to watch C-17's, AWACS, Super Hornets, Singapore F-16's, Blackhawks, Tigers, and various other assorted military aircraft roar on by but one that ALWAYS makes you stop and appreciate it, and that is the F-111. Or the Pig.

Today they get taken out of service and will do their last flyby for ever. I reckon no other plane - maybe excluding the Vampire and Meteor - has such a impact on the psyche in and around Ipswich. Everyone you talk to loves them, and everyone you see stops and looks when they go by. The Super Hornets are something special and we always run out for a look when we hear them but there's something .... clinical ... about them versus the personality of the Pig. In the near future we look forward to losing control over our bladders when the F-35's start appearing on the horizon, but right now, it's The Pig's turn.

We were fortunate enough to get to the Amberley Airshow in 2008. Amazing stuff, but that show gave me my greatest memory of the F-111 and thank CROIST I had my camera. You could feel the heat.

So farewell you big beautiful ugly pig bastards. You'll be missed.


  1. They were awesome because they had character - a 40 year old design kept at the cutting edge by (mostly) Australian technology. And for those fucking EPIC dump-and-burns at everything from Expo 88 (which I have a very vivid memory of) to the Gold Coast Indy. They'll be missed.

  2. I live near a base too. The regular stuff I see is the A-10, F-18, and F-16. The coolest things outside of an airshow, were a B-52, a B-1, and Air Force One (Clinton). Best of the airshows were the Blue Angels. Flew low and slow over my house several times. The Thunderbirds suck in comparison. Go Navy.

    Still remember when the F-111s bombed Libya.


  3. Yeah. You guys got a lot more out of the Aardvark (the USAF name for the F-111) than the US ever did, except possibly for the EF-111 Spark 'Vark electronic warfare variant.

    It was an interesting design-a plane developed in the early 1960s to be a 'do-everything' plane (that didn't do anything well) that both the Air Force and Navy were supposed to adopt. (Sounds familiar...F-35, anybody?) The Navy tried a few and said no thanks. The USAF, in my opinion, kind of treated the -111 as a bastard child in the Air Force inventory.

    Sad to see the Aardvarks going away. The RAAF got their money's worth out of them.

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