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GENERAL DYNAMICS F-111A

Posted 2/15/2011 Printable Fact Sheet
 
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General Dynamics F-111A
General Dynamics F-111A (S/N 63-9773) is refueled. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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The versatile "swing wing" F-111, unofficially named the "Aardvark" until its retirement ceremony on July 27, 1996, when the name was made official, entered the USAF inventory in 1967. The F-111 could exceed twice the speed of sound (Mach 2) by sweeping its wings rearward while in flight. The wings are swept forward for takeoffs, landings or slow speed flight.

Originally known as the TFX (Tactical Fighter "X"), the F-111 was conceived to meet a USAF requirement for a new tactical fighter-bomber. In 1960 the Department of Defense combined the USAF's requirement with a Navy need for a new air superiority fighter, then launched a competition among aircraft manufacturers for the final design. In 1962 General Dynamics and Boeing were selected as finalists with the General Dynamics TFX design eventually winning out. The Navy version was known as the F-111B and the USAF version the F-111A. The first flight of the F-111A took place in December 1964, and the first production models were delivered to the USAF in 1967. Meanwhile, the Navy's F-111B program was canceled. In all, 562 F-111s of all series were built; 159 of them were preproduction and production F-111As.

The National Museum of the United States Air Force has an F-111A on display.


Type Number built/
converted
Remarks
YF-111A 2 RAF K to USAF as YF then FB
F-111A 159 18 pre-production and 141 production aircraft
RF-111A 1(cv) Converted A; program canceled
F-111B 7 U.S. Navy shortnose version
F-111C 24 RAAF; A with FB wings
RF-111C 4 (cv) Photo-recon C for RAAF
F-111D 96 Improved E model
F-111E 94 Improved A model
F-111F 106 Improved D model
F-111G 60(cv) Modified FB-111A
F-111K 0 RAF version; 50 canceled
FB-111A 76 Fighter-bomber; inc. RAF K
FB-111H 0 Larger FB version; canceled
EF-111A 42(cv) Raven; ECM aircraft


Notes: 
- The 11th F-111A S/N 63-9776 became the RF-111A. 
- The 13th F-111A S/N 63-9778 was transferred to NASA Dryden in 1973. 
- The 18th pre-production F-111A S/N 63-9783 became the FB-111A prototype.
- Four F-111Cs were converted to RF-111C for RAAF. 
- One FB-111A crashed during acceptance testing and was never delivered to the USAF. 
- Two US Navy F-111Bs were under construction when the program was canceled. 
- Two nearly complete RAF F-111Ks were turned over to the USAF as YF-111A and completed as FB-111A S/N 67-149/150. 
- RAF F-111Ks under construction (besides the first two) of the 50 ordered were completed as FB-111A.

TECHNICAL NOTES (F-111A):
Armament: One 20mm M61A1 gun, plus a mix of up to 24 conventional or nuclear weapons
Engines: Two Pratt & Whitney TF30-P-3 of 18,500 lbs. thrust each with afterburner
Maximum speed: 1,452 mph
Cruising speed: 685 mph
Range: 3,632 miles
Service ceiling: 57,000 ft.
Span: 32 ft. swept; 63 ft. extended
Length: 73 ft. 6 in.
Height: 17 ft.
Weight: 92,657 lbs. maximum
Crew: Two

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