Hobby Master HA3004 RAAF General Dynamics F-111G "Aardvark" Strike Aircraft - 60th Anniversary of No. 6 Squadron, 1999 (1:72 Scale)
"Nous Reviendrons ("We Will Return.")."
- Motto of No. 6 Squadron
The General Dynamics F-111 "Aardvark" is a medium-range interdictor and tactical strike aircraft that also fills the roles of strategic bomber, reconnaissance, and electronic warfare in its various versions. Developed in the 1960s and first entering service in 1967, the United States Air Force (USAF) variants were officially retired by 1998. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is the sole remaining operator of the F-111.
The F-111 pioneered several technologies for production military aircraft including variable-sweep wings, afterburning turbofan engines, and automated terrain following radar for low-level, high-speed flight. Its design was influential, being reflected in later Soviet aircraft such as the Sukhoi Su-24, and some of its advanced features have since become commonplace. During its inception, however, the F-111 suffered a variety of development problems, and several of its intended roles, such as naval interception through the F-111B, failed to materialize.
In USAF service the F-111 has been effectively replaced by the F-15E Strike Eagle for medium-range precision strike missions, while the supersonic bomber role has been assumed by the B-1B Lancer. In 2007, the RAAF decided to replace its 21 F-111s in 2010 with 24 F/A-18F Super Hornets.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale rendition of a Royal Australian Air Force General Dynamics F-111G "Aardvark" Strike Aircraft that commemorated the 60th Anniversary of the establishment of No. 6 Squadron in 1999.
Wingspan: 12.25 inches
Length: 10.5 inches
Release Date: April 2011
Historical Account: "The Boneyard Wrangler" - On February 23rd, 1948, No. 6 Squadron was reformed at Amberley, Queensland, where it has remained to this day as part of No. 82 Wing. Equipped with Avro Lincoln bombers, 6 Squadron provided training for No. 1 and 2 Squadron's aircrews throughout the 1950s. During this period, the Lincolns participated in the British atomic bomb tests at Maralinga, before being replaced with Canberra jet bombers in 1955. From 1970 until 1972, No. 6 Squadron operated F-4 Phantoms on lease from the United States Air Force, which were in turn replaced by General Dynamics F-111s in 1973. From 1982 until 1987, No. 6 Squadron also operated Learjets in the photo survey role.
On June 29th, 1993, 15 surplus F-111G aircraft were purchased from the USAF. One F-111G was recovered from AMARC (A8-272) which was famously named "The Boneyard Wrangler". In September 2007, the last F-111G in RAAF service was retired. No. 6 Squadron conducted its last F-111 conversion with No 62 OPCON (operational conversion course) in 2009. The last F-111 graduate was a pilot, FLGOFF Scott Merrick, who completed training on December 2nd, 2009. In the later half of 2009, No. 6 Squadron assumed the role of strike/reconnaissance from 1SQN, which then began preparations for the arrival of the Super Hornet.
In late 2010, No. 6 Squadron began to transition to the F/A-18F Super Hornet.