F-111C Turnover and Acceptance

General Dynamics Fort Worth Division

4 September 1968



This elaborate booklet (measuring 305 mm by 255 mm) was produced by General Dynamics to mark the ceremony for the turnover and acceptance of the first RAAF F-111C on 4 September 1968. This copy was donated to QAM by Squadron Leader Wal Walters who had been anticipating returning to Australia with a brand new F-111.

There was only one RAAF F-111C present at the ceremony and although it appeared to be A8-125 it was in fact A8-131 which had been hastily renumbered for the occasion because it was the only complete aircraft that was not engaged in test flying.

Many of the assembled guests were unaware that just days earlier, on 27 August, a specimen Wing Carry Through Box (WCTB) assembly had failed under static test much earlier than forecast. This event resulted in the grounding of all F-111s and the postponement of delivery flights to Australia. Indeed there was even talk of cancelling the order. As a consequence, all the Australian aircraft were placed in storage pending rectification. Presumably it was decided that it was too late to postpone the acceptance ceremony and the event went ahead as planned.

Although it was not known at the time, the first RAAF F-111s would not be delivered to Australia for another five years! Sadly, the RAAF crews who had been eager to bring their new aircraft home, returned to Australia empty-handed.


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Additional material was sourced from From Controversy to Cutting Edge by Mark Lax.