Fort Worth Aviation Musuem- Preservation Achievement Award

Fort Worth Aviation Museum for the restoration of General Dynamic’s locally landmarked F-111E Aardvark aircraft built in 1969.

The General Dynamics F-111E was a supersonic, fighter and attack aircraft with the first-ever variable geometry, or swing-wing. The aircraft was designed and built in Fort Worth in response to a directive by Sec. of Defense Robert McNamara to develop an aircraft capable of carrying heavy armament and fuel loads at high supersonic speed, and twin engines that can operate at low altitudes. General Dynamics won the contract in 1962 and by 1967 the F-111 had generated 28,000 jobs in Fort Worth. Eventually 563 planes were built and they were used in the Vietnam and Gulf Wars.

In 2003 an F-111 was discovered in a Tucson, Arizona, boneyard and a museum in Connecticut acquired the aircraft; but soon went out of business. Then, the trustees of the Fort Worth Aviation Museum discovered this aircraft languishing in a salvage yard. With help from the B-36 Peacemaker Museum and the General Service Administration Federal Surplus Property Program, the aircraft was brought home to Fort Worth in 2008. The restoration was completed on April 21, 2017 and dedicated 8 days later. The restoration took 9 years and over 3,000 volunteer hours and cost over $30,000. The Fort Worth Aviation Museum now has the only example of an F-111 on display in the Metroplex.

HFW 2017 Cantey Lecture & Preservation Awards photographed Thursday, September 21, 2017 at The Fort Worth Community Arts Center. Joseph Murphey and Jim Hodgins. Photography by Bruce E. Maxwell.

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