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The Australian Defence Force (ADF) Air Show of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) was held this year at the largest RAAF base Amberely, located 40kms south-west of Brisbane and on the outskirts of Ipswich. The date at the beginning of October was chosen to fit nicely in the (southern hemisphere) spring and warm temperatures, reching up to 34°C that weekend. And of course another reason to make this round-the-world-trip to Amberley worthwhile is the fact, that it is the worldwide only remaining base with F-111 Aardvarks.
Defence Force Air Show 2008
RAAF Base Amberley
Let's start with this aiorshow report from Down Under, featuring many aircraft that will most probably never be seen around Europe, but an ambiance that is on par with the one that you might know from a show under a sunny sunny sky, with lots of jet noise and good food! So let's start with the aircraft, that was the main reason to travel to Amberley, the F-111.
In the timeframe from 2010-2015 the "Pig" is going to be replaced by a force of 24 Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets, so this year's airshow was most probably the last chance to see a high number of F-111s at their homebase. This relatively low number of replacement jets is regarded by the RAAF as a transition step until a sufficiently high number of F-35 JSFs is becoming available to the Air Force. During the airshow the loved "Pig" naturally also presented its famous dump-and-burn manoeuvre, during which fuel is dumped and ignited by the afterburner, resulting in a flame behind the jet the is easily as long as the aircraft itself. This was also employed during the fly-by to open the military part of the airshow.
The rest of the display included lots of fast and noisy passes with full afterburner and tight turns as well as the presentation of the swing wings, and many possibilities were given to 'get up close and personal' with the F-111 on the ground. More photos of the "Pig" can be found at the end of this report.
RAAF F-111 "dump-and-burn"
F-111 solo display on both days
Published: 23 September 2008