Would You Buy a F-111?

Everybody who is anybody knows if you are in the MILSURP game, amateur collectors own tanks. But serious collectors own their own fighter-bombers.

F-111 Documentation the owner had on display.

What you see here is an honest to goodness F-111 Aardvark fighter-bomber. Not a mockup. And yes, it is in a private collection. Talking to the man who owns it, it seems this particular airframe never flew. Or if it did, not much. It spent most of it’s life as a grounded test-bed for F-111 engines in the support and logistics role.

He keeps some bigger items outside to entice foot traffic.

The owner did tell me what he paid for the plane and what it cost him to get it on location. I asked him if he had a number in mind to sell it? In confidence, he stated a price that he knew was unrealistic. But explained that the F-111 brings in so much foot traffic to his Army-Navy store, that selling it would likely mean retirement from the business.

F-111 Aardvark is on permanent static display outside.

So…if anyone has a few gold bars laying around, I can hook a brother up. Shipping not included of course.


“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”

Marky Mark

Marky Mark

Writer at John1911.com
Writer for john1911.com. Co-Host of the John1911 Podcast. Video content provider for John1911-TV.

Areas of focus: Defense and National Security, Modern Light Weapons, Analysis of the Geo-political / Military Relationship in the Context of Strategic Goals.
Marky Mark

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  • Gary Tompkins

    At the airport in dekalb, Illinois there is a MIG that is seen flying on occasion.

    • MIGS are pretty common actually. I’ve seen MIG-15’s, MIG-21’s. maybe a MIG-23. And I know a guy who got into trouble with his L-39. 😎

      I’ve seen US made. Flying: F-4, Skyraider, Coursair, Texans, B-17, B-36.

      I had never seen a F-111 in private hands. Not flying condition but if someone had stupid money, they could get it running.

      But the operating cost of the F-111 would be prohibitively excessive. Even very wealthy people wouldn’t see the value.

      You’ll note the B-17, B-36 are run as 501’s and they sell rides. That’s the ONLY way to afford to turn those engines.

      MIGS are generally cheap airplanes to operate.


      • Relatively speaking….

        • I was shocked when I saw the F-4 in private hands that was flyable. Twin engines. Lots of gas. Lots of maintence. Horrendous money to turn those engines.

          A F-111 would likely be 4x as bad.

          And THAT is why in the long run, the F-16 will never go away. Civilian and commercial use.

          It’s a simple, cheap plane to fly relative to its performance.


  • TxDeadGuy

    If I’m not entirely mistaken, that aardvark is sitting on the side of interstate 35.

    • I believe that is correct. I spotted it on the way to a Texas pig hunt and made it a point to stop in on my way back out.


  • Mikial

    I can think of a lot of other things I would do with a couple of gold bars, but it is a cool plane. Back when I first went into Iraq in 2004, Saddam’s little collection of warplanes next to the crossed swords parade ground was still intact (lots of Russian and European models along with a couple of old US types) and there was no control whatsoever of who went where. So, of course we crawled all over them. It was the same with his tank collection up on the base in Taji, renamed Camp Cooke. If you had access to the base and vehicle parks, you could pretty much crawl around on anything you wanted to. He had quite a tank collection including a fully restored WWII M4 with the Lend Lease “Hands across the water” slogan painted on it. Probably not authentic, but it was fun to see and touch.

    • I have seen stories of desirable WWII armor sitting in the Middle East.

      Think about a business opportunity to buy that Sherman on the cheap, have it demilled according to DOS, and selling it on the US MILSURP armor market.


    • P.s. A couple of gold bars gets you duel-citizenship in some interesting places.

      Those passports are very handy.