The first of six initial production Fs was delivered on 17 July to fighter squadrons at Nellis Air Force Base. After early testing, a detachment of six aircraft were sent in March to Southeast Asia for Combat Lancer testing in real combat conditions in Vietnam. In little over a month, three aircraft were lost and the combat tests were halted. It turned out that all three had been lost through a malfunction in the horizontal stabilizer, not by enemy action. It was not until that TFW was fully operational. The worth of the new aircraft was beginning to show; Fs flew more than 4, combat missions in Vietnam with only six combat losses.
The 18 Fs of the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing and the 20th Tactical Fighter Wing flew what turned out to be the longest fighter combat mission in history.
One F was lost over Libya, probably shot down. During Desert Storm, FFs completed 3. The purchase proved to be highly successful for the RAAF. Although it never saw combat, the FC was the fastest, longest range combat aircraft in Southeast Asia. The FA was the initial production version of the F Early A-models used the TFP-1 engine.
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Total production of the FAs was , including 17 pre-production aircraft that were later brought up to production standards. Navy , fulfilling a naval requirement for a carrier-based fighter aircraft capable of carrying heavy, long-range missiles to defend aircraft carriers and their battle groups from Soviet bombers and fighter-bombers equipped with anti-ship missiles. General Dynamics, lacking experience with carrier-based aircraft, partnered with Grumman for this version.
The FB suffered development problems and Navy requirements changed to an aircraft with maneuverability for dogfighting. The Tomcat would be large enough to carry the AWG-9 and Phoenix weapons system while exceeding both the F's and the F-4's maneuverability. Australia ordered 24 Fs and, following delays, the Royal Australian Air Force accepted the aircraft in The FD was an upgraded FA equipped with newer Mark II avionics, more powerful engines, improved intake geometry, and an early glass cockpit.
The variant was first ordered in and delivered from The FD reached initial operational capability in Deliveries were delayed due to avionics issues. The Mark II avionics were digitally integrated microprocessor systems, some of the first used by the USAF, offering tremendous capability, but substantial problems. It also included digital computer set and multi-function displays MFDs. It took years to improve the reliability of the avionics, but issues were never fully addressed.
The FE was a simplified, interim variant ordered after the FD was delayed. The E-model was first ordered in and delivered from It achieved initial operational capability in The avionics were upgraded on some E-models as part of an Avionics Modernization Program. The variant served in during the Gulf War. It also included the more powerful TFP engine and strengthened wing carry-through box. Although it was tested with digital moving-target indicator MTI capacity, it was not used in production sets.
The FE's weapon management system was also included. In the early s, the FF began to be equipped with the AVQ Pave Tack forward looking infrared FLIR and laser designator system, which provided for the delivery of precision laser-guided munitions and was mounted in the internal weapons bay. Other changes included weapons bay modifications, addition of a centerline pylon, a retractable refueling probe, provisions for a reconnaissance pallet, and a higher gross weight with the use of FBA landing gear. With Air Force's Advanced Manned Strategic Aircraft program proceeding slowly, and concerns of fatigue failures in the B fleet, the service needed an interim bomber quickly.
In , plans called for FBs, but the total was reduced to 76 in The first production aircraft flew in For the FBA the system used an attack radar improved from the FA's system, along with components that would be used later on the FD, including the inertial navigation system, digital computers , and multi-function displays. Nuclear gravity bombs were also typical FB armament. Fuel tanks were often carried on the third non-swivelling pylon of each wing. Multiple advanced FB strategic bomber designs were proposed by General Dynamics in the s.
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The first design, referred to as "FBG" within the company,  was a larger aircraft with more powerful engines with more payload and range. The rear landing gear were moved outward so armament could be carried on the fuselage there. The remaining FBs were subsequently reconfigured for tactical use and redesignated FG. The conversions began in and ended after 34 FG conversions were completed. They were used primarily for training.
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Data from Miller,  Donald . American artist James Rosenquist portrayed the aircraft in his acclaimed room-sized pop art painting entitled F that features an early natural-finish example of the aircraft in USAF markings. The sound of an F flyby is on the Voyager Golden Record. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Main article: General Dynamics FC. Main article: General Dynamics FK.
Military of Australia portal Aviation portal. Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. Retrieved: 5 October Widmer, Designer of Military Aircraft, Dies at Federation of American Scientists.starburdispdi.gq
General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark
Retrieved 15 August Retrieved: 3 December Retrieved 25 November Air Force Historical Research Agency. Archived from the original on 3 December Air Force, April Michael J. William W. Bruner III. Retrieved: 1 August Retrieved: 30 December Retrieved: 3 February Retrieved: 2 February Retrieved: 5 July The Sydney Morning Herald.
Retrieved 29 January Retrieved: 16 August Australian Government. Archived from the original on 12 March Retrieved 16 August The Daily Telegraph.
F Aardvark by Peter E. Davies, Anthony M. Thornborough | Book
Retrieved 3 August Archived 12 October at the Wayback Machine Boeing. Boeing Australia. Retrieved: 3 July Retrieved 20 September Retrieved: 11 March Retrieved: 24 July Retrieved 14 February Retrieved 27 February Retrieved: 29 August Sawyer Heritage Museum. Retrieved: 5 February The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft , p. Retrieved: 30 April The Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved: 21 September Angelucci, Enzo.
The American Fighter. Thunderchief au Viet-Nam. Le Rhino. Faucons de Spangdahlem. Electric Weasel. Dos satisfaisant. London: Collins, Peakirk Books Professional seller. Catalogue: To Be Sorted. Looks at the jet aircraft that became a legend in its own lifetime with its versatility, rugged construction and brute power in delivering payloads deep into heavily defended areas.
Comprehensive history covering all naval and land based versions, development prototypes, modifications and long service history.
F 111 Aardvark by Anthony Thornborough
YesterYear Books Professional seller. Catalogue: Zvab. UK: Ian Allan , Very Good. Catalogue: Transport: : Aviation. Ad Hoc Publications, Slightly better than very good condition. Large format. Card wraps. The Crowood Press, 1st Hardback, with dustjacket.
Slightly better than very good condition in a nearly fine dustwrapper.
The book tells the story of the world's first operational swing-wing bomber, the General Dynamics F Spine and corners bumped. Contents fine. Hardcover, with dust jacket. Riverside Books Professional seller. First Edition. Blue hardback cloth cover.