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General Dynamics F-111A Aardvark

The F-111 was originally part of the TFX (Tactical Fighter X) project. It was to be used by the Air Force as a new tactical fighter-bomber. In 1960, the Department of Defense proposed joint development to meet the need for an air superiority Navy fighter. The first F-111 flew for the Air Force in December 1964. The first production models were delivered in 1967. The Navy cancelled their part in the project at this time. 566 planes were delivered to the Air Force; 159 were A models. The F-111 was officially retired in 1996. The name “Aardvark” did not become official until retirement. A feature of the plane was the variable-geometry wings, which gave the plane a lot of versatility in combat. F-111 were tested in Southeast Asia in 1968. Results were mixed, resulting in correction of early problems. In 1872 the F-111 flew very successfully in night raids against North Vietnamese targets. Later in 1986, the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing flew F-111’s against the forces of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya.

 

History

Manufactured by General Dynamics, Fort Worth, Texas. Served as a testbed for the MK-1 NAV/Attack system. First flew on February 25, 1965 and gained by the Air Force on February 26, 1965. Later retained by the manufacturer in 1966, to be used as a testbed for engine intake research, which led to redesign of translating cowl (Triple low I) and the design of blow in doors (Triple Plow II). Dec. 1969 delivered to 3345th Maintenance and Supply Group (Air Training Command), Chanute Air Force Base, IL Status changed to GF-111A. Engines had been removed. 1974, dropped from inventory by transfer to museum status.

 

 

 

SPECIFICATIONS
Average Cost: Not Available
Crew: 2
Wingspan: 62.99 ft
Length: 73.49 ft
Height: 17.13 ft
Weight: 47,179 lbs (Empty)
Engine: 2 Pratt & Whitney TF30-P111 turbofans generating 25,000 lbs thrust each
Speed: 1,650 mph Max
Service Ceiling: 65,945 ft
Range: 4,200 miles
Rate of Climb: 25,890 ft/min
Armament: 5 Hardpoints; Optional 1x20mm M61 Vulcan Cannon; Mission specific ordinance to include: GBU-12 laser guided bomb, GBU-10 laser guided bomb, GBU-15, AGM-142 air-to-surface missile, AGM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile, Conventional iron/dumb/drop bombs

 

This aircraft is on loan to the Chanute Air Museum from the National Museum of the Unites States Air Force.