Academy 1/48 Royal Australian Air Force F-111C: LE
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Photo on box is of area around the Amberley Air Base.
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) selected the F-111 as their next generation tactical strike aircraft in 1963. The configuration adopted by the RAAF was the standard F-111A airframe with the long wings used by the FB-111 and F-111B coupled with the stronger landing gear from the FB-111. This unique combination was designated as the F-111C. While the first aircraft arrived in 1968, development problems delayed acceptance of the type until 1973.
Over the years, the RAAF adopted a series of updates to keep the aircraft combat ready including avionics upgrades, updated cockpit similar to the F-111F, adoption of the PAVE TACK targeting system used by the F-111F, and re-engined with the TF30-P-109 rated at over 20,000 pounds of thrust in afterburner (reheat).
With over 25 years of flight time, the F-111Cs developed wing cracks and in 2001, a wing replacement program was undertaken. Since there were no spare long wings available (the available FB-111A/F-111G airframes had already been sold to Australia), the wings were taken from the F-111Fs in storage at AMARC and sent to Australia. These short wings were completely overhauled and in the process, lengthened to match the standard F-111C wingspan.