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F-111 and FB-111 Aardvark

The F-111 was designed in an attempt to meet United States Air Force and U.S. Navy requirements for a tactical fighter bomber. It was the first production swing-wing aircraft. The wings are set forward when more lift is needed, for takeoffs and landings or low speed flight. They are retracted for high speeds to reduce aerodynamic drag on the aircraft.

The Air Force was looking for a less expensive substitute for the B-1 penetration bomber, and a replacement for the B-58 and early model B-52s.

The USAF's F-111A first flew in December 1964, and the first production models were delivered to the USAF in 1967. However, the Navy's F-111B program was canceled. In all, 566 F-111s of all series were built; 159 of them were F-111As.

The General Dynamics FB-111 was SAC’s medium-range bomber, capable of flying supersonic speeds at 200 feet above the ground and twice the speed of sound above 35,000 feet. It was the strategic/theater bomber version of the F-111 multi-purpose aircraft. It was meant to supplement the B-52 fleet after the retirement of the B-58 Hustler and until the B-1 could be put into production. However, the production delays and one-time cancellation of the B-1 ensured the FB-111 would see service for a long time. The SAC version FB-111 had longer wings than the F-111, and strengthened landing gear.

Technical Specifications of the F-111

Armament: One 20mm M61A1 cannon and up to 24 conventional or nuclear weapons
Engines: Two Pratt & Whitney TF30-P-3 of 18,500 lbs. thrust each
Maximum speed: 1,452 mph
Cruising speed: 685 mph
Range: 3,632 miles
Ceiling: 57,000 ft.
Span: 32 ft. swept; 63 ft. extended
Length: 73 ft. 6 in.
Height: 17 ft.
Weight: 92,657 lbs. maximum

F-111 Aardvark Photographs

FB-111A Aardvark S/N 68-0284 in Bossier City, Louisiana
FB-111A Aardvark S/N 68-0284
F-111 at Eglin AFB, Florida
F-111 at Eglin Air Force Base airpark
F-111E Aardvark "Heart Breaker", S/N 68-055, Robins Air Force Base, Warner-Robins, Georgia
F-111E Aardvark "Heart Breaker", S/N 68-055
Nose art on F-111E Aardvark "Heart Breaker", S/N 68-055
Nose art on F-111E Aardvark "Heart Breaker", S/N 68-055
FB-111A Aardvark, S/N 80248, near Ellsworth Air Force Base, Rapid City, South Dakota
FB-111A Aardvark, S/N 80248
"Free for All" nose art on FB-111A Aardvark, S/N 80248
"Free for All" nose art on FB-111A Aardvark, S/N 80248
F-111 Aardvarks in storage at AMARC at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona
F-111s in storage at AMARG


F-111 Photographs by Airplanes of the Past Friends and Supporters

F-111, S/N 63-9771, 27FW, at Cannon Air Force Base, Clovis, New Mexico
(photo by Andrew Hersey)
F-111, S/N 63-9771, 27FW, on display at Cannon Air Force Base, Clovis, New Mexico
EF-111A, S/N 66-0016, at Cannon Air Force Base, Clovis, New Mexico
(photo by Andrew Hersey)
F-111, S/N 63-9771, 27FW, on display at Cannon Air Force Base, Clovis, New Mexico
EF-111 at Mountain Home Air Force Base
(photo by Michael Hoschouer)
EF-111 at Mountain Home Air Force Base
F-111 at Mountain Home Air Force Base
(photo by Michael Hoschouer)
F-111 at Mountain Home Air Force Base