November 2011 was a rough month for aviation enthusiasts in Australia. Over the course of four days from the 21st to the 24th, the Royal Australian Air Force elected to bury 23 of its retired F-111 strike jets that hadn’t been selected for preservation. This article details their final mission – via low loader to the Swanbank landfill outside Ipswich, Queensland.
The General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark was a low-altitude strike plane born out of a shotgun wedding between competing Air Force and Navy requirements—with Defense Secretary McNamara as the minister. Despite its troubled adolescence, it grew into a capable high-tech night bomber that lasted decades in service, noted for its sleekly elegant profile.