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Posted 10/30/2009 Printable Fact Sheet
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General Dynamics F-111D
General Dynamics F-111D (S/N 68-093) of the 27th Tactical Fighter Wing in April 1973. (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's wings are straight for takeoffs, landings or slow speed flight; by sweeping its wings rearward, it can exceed twice the speed of sound (Mach 2).

In 1960 the Department of Defense combined the USAF's requirement for a fighter-bomber with a Navy need for an air-superiority fighter, though the Navy eventually canceled its program. In all, 562 F-111s of all series were built; 96 of them were production F-111Ds, 94 were production F-111Es, and 106 were production F-111Fs.

The F-111 was a long-range, all-weather strike aircraft capable of navigating at low level to reach targets deep in enemy territory and to deliver ordnance on the target. Primarily a bomber, the F-111 featured a sweep wing varying between 16 degrees and 72.5 degrees, with side-by-side seating for a pilot and weapons systems officer.

The E model was an improved version of the F-111A and was introduced before the D model. The F-111D featured an improved Mark II avionics package, more powerful TF30-P-9 engines, and an environmental control system. The F-111F model was equipped with an all-weather AN/AVQ-26 Pave Tack infra-red targeting designator/reader carried in a pod-mounted turret. It could track and designate ground targets for targets for laser, infra-red and electro-optical bombs.

The National Museum of the United States Air Force has an F-111F on display in its Cold War Gallery.

Type Number built/
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

- 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.

Armament: One 20mm M61A1 Vulcan cannon, plus a mix of up to 24 conventional or nuclear weapons
Engines: Two Pratt & Whitney TF30-P-100 of 25,000 lbs. thrust each with afterburner
Maximum speed: 1,452 mph/1,262 knots
Cruising Speed: 470 mph/408 knots
Service ceiling: 60,600 ft.
Range: 2,971 statute miles/2,584 nautical miles
Span: 32 ft. swept, 63 ft. extended
Length: 73 ft. 6 in.
Height: 17 ft.
Weight: +100,000 lbs. maximum
Crew: Two

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