View Full Version : Pigs Won't Fly

12th Jul 2005, 20:27
F-111s sitting on sidelines
July 13, 2005

The Federal Government has been accused of secretly mothballing its F-111 fighter-bombers early, leaving Australia vulnerable to attack.

Sources within the RAAF said up to eight of the 27-strong fleet were lying virtually abandoned on the edge of the tarmac at Amberley, west of Brisbane, and more were expected to follow.

"The Government states that these [F-111s] will be in the air until 2010 or 2012," an RAAF source told The Bulletin. "It's not true, because there are directions to shut them down by the end of 2006."

As recently as March, Angus Houston, the then RAAF chief who is now head of the Australian Defence Force chief, assured taxpayers the F-111 would continue to fly until replacement aircraft were fully operational.

Australia's new $16 billion fleet of up to 100 American-built F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft is not due to enter service until 2012.

Critics say the early retirement of the F-111s would leave a capability gap open to exploitation by regional powers.

Maybe it's time to do another fly-past of someone's office down in Cantberra..... with the PaveTack on and video running.

12th Jul 2005, 21:57
I believe that they're not 'mothballed', just undergoing the Missleer upgrade (APG-79 / AIM-120) to keep them up to date. That's what I've heard, anyway.

12th Jul 2005, 22:01
Maybe it's time to look at the budget and channel more funds from maintaining antique military aircraft into intelligence, covert ops and hunting terrorists instead of investing so much on some paranoid, outdated ideas of unsustainable inter-country warfare by people with a fixation on a Mach 2 (if it can still get that fast)bucket of bolts that looks good doing the "flame on" thing at night.

BTW, when the article says, "virtually abandoned", what does that mean? Either they're abandoned or they're not. Where does the "virtually" come into meaning? It sounds like deja vu all over again. What's the source of the article scrubed?

12th Jul 2005, 22:47
It wouldn't be the first time the RAAF has used this tactic to justify getting new toys.

I recall criminal behaviour relating to deliberately removing gust (or control?) locks on a number of C130's parked at Laverton. They flapped themselves to bits in a few years. I think one was repaired at great expence for humanitarian relief work.

Maybe they have heard a whisper that the treasury wants to cut back new aircraft purchases?

Capn Bloggs
12th Jul 2005, 22:53
AIM 120 on a pig? You can't be serious! They're bomber pilots! :{

Flight Detent
13th Jul 2005, 02:45
Hi all,

I didn't think C-130's used gust locks, or control locks, since all their flight controls are hydraulically actuated and dampened!

Unless of course one removes the hydraulic fluid from the system.

Cheers FD

13th Jul 2005, 03:01
Thanks for reminding me, it was alleged that they depressurised the accumulators, allowing everything to flap in the breeze deliberately for a year or two.

Trash Hauler
13th Jul 2005, 04:19
From memory the C130s had already been removed from service and new ones were operating.......those at Melbourne were waiting to be sold. Guess the condition they ended up in ensured they were sold for scrap.

13th Jul 2005, 04:56
The fact is that the RAAF had nothing to do with the C-130A's once they were up for sale. All Gov't sales in those days were handled by the Dept of Admin Services therefore they were taken out of the RAAF's hands. The RAAF handed them over to DAS properly preserved but a short time later DAS thought they had a sale and got the aircraft ready to fly but the deal fell through. (Something to do with Libya??? Any historians). That DAS didn't preserve them again cannot be blamed on the RAAF.

13th Jul 2005, 06:51
Sunfish - Geez mate, you draw a long bow! How will sabotaging an aircraft type help the RAAF rapidly acquire a "new toy"?? (I picture a RAAFie knocking on the Minister's door and saying "scuse us boss, the cars broken down... can we have 8 Billion dollars to run down the yard and buy a few new ones?") Are you really suggesting that several hundred maintainers & aircrew would coordinate and implement a clandestine program of destruction, in the belief that it would accelerate the acquisition of a massively complex replacement aircraft package? These capital acquisitions are quite literally organised, contracted, delivered and paid for on 10+ year timescales! More often than not by bureaucrats (NOT RAAFies) who have no personal vested interest in the type acquired. It would be a conspirarcy theory on the scale of the 'fake moon landings'. :hmm:

Besides, everyone really knows that they are just temporarily hangared to be equipped with Russian Plasma stealth generators, super cruising engines, particle beam phasers and a thought controlled weapons system. I think the guy who is running the project is called Harlo Topp, or something like that...:E

max AB
13th Jul 2005, 07:36
Moth ball them early so we can get the piss up started!!!

13th Jul 2005, 11:13
Those F-111Gs have been in the same spot since early last year. A magazine article in Australian Aviation's September issue last year clearly said the jets parked outside the Boeing hangar are to "be rotated with the operational aircraft to maintain an operational capability of seven F-111G aircraft for 82WG."

The only thing that appears to have changed is that, instead of rotating the airframes to maintain seven operational jets, they're cannibalising them instead. There's no new news here guys...sorry!:rolleyes:


13th Jul 2005, 22:08
I am simply repeating what a certain ex RAAF engineering officer told me many moons ago. (A mate of DjPil). As I think I remember it, there had been some query about refurbishing said C130's from Treasury instead of buying as many new ones. So the story goes, someone in the RAAF made sure these aircraft would never fly again.

But then this is a rumor website.

Trash Hauler
14th Jul 2005, 00:12
Geez Sunfish, maligning a group of people based on third hand information that is 25 years old is poor form. If the story has any basis why did the alleged event occur after the new C130s were in service.

14th Jul 2005, 04:42
All I'm doing is repeating what I was told all that time ago regarding said C130's. The RAAF person who told me said that in his opinion the action was criminal. Yes it was 25 years ago. And yes all Ii have is what I was told. It may be absolute rubbish. I have absolutely no corroboration. Yes, I do get things wrong. But this is a rumor website right?