F-111 stars in RAAF stamp issue
THE sky’s the limit for military aviation enthusiasts and stamp collectors, with Australia Post’s Air Force Aviation commemorative stamp issue released today at the start of the RAAF’s 90th birthday celebrations.
This release of the four stamps marks the retirement of the F-111 “Pig” after 37 years of service.
The supersonic long-range strike aircraft, which first came into Australian service in 1973, was farewelled at RAAF Base Amberley in early December 2010 at a service attended by more than 2000 people.
The four Air Force Aviation stamps feature the F-111 (60 cents), the F/A-18F Super Hornet (60 cents), the AEW&C Wedgetail ($1.20) and the C-17 Globemaster III ($3).
Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Mark Binksin, said the stamp project was a timely partnership for the RAAF.
“We celebrate our 90th birthday this year with the theme, tradition, innovation, evolution,” he said.
“It is a fitting tribute to the crews and support personnel of the recently retired F-111 as they retrain for our future capability in our new platforms.”
Australia Post philatelic manager Michael Zsolt said the F-111 Pig ” was, for the general public, the most identifiable RAAF aircraft for many years and so an obvious choice for this stamp issue.
“As well as indicating the changing of the guard from F-111s to Super Hornets this stamp issue represents a range of aircraft functions in the RAAF,” he said.
“For example, while the F-111 and Super Hornet represent significant air-strike power, the AEW&C Wedgetail conducts crucial surveillance work and the massive C-17 Globemaster III is a strategic transportation and airlift aircraft.”
Avalon International Air Show at Geelong will mark the RAAF’s 90th anniversary and will feature handling displays by an Amberley-based F/A-18F Super Hornet.
Four aircraft will depart Amberley on Sunday for the show, which will be held from March 1 to 6.