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- Type: SPH
- Class: aircraft
- Part Count: 111
- Mods: 10
Summary: Supersonic interdictor and tactical attack aircraft with entered service with USAF in 1967, serving in various roules until 1998. Also operated by Australia from 1973 - 2010. Pioneering swing-wing, taileron, terrain following radar, and escape capsule.
This KSP #AedsPlanes model has functioning variable geometry (swing wing) and rotating underwing weapon pylons to keep the bombs/missiles pointing forward. Also includes functioning emergency escape crew capsule.
The F-111 was an all-weather attack aircraft, capable of low-level penetration of enemy defensed to deliver ordanance on the target. It featured variable-geometry wings, an internal weapons bay, and a cockpit with side-by-side seating within a unique escape crew capsule. Wing sweep varied between 16 and 72.5 degrees, allowing rapid, relatively short takeoff and high maneuverability with wings forward, and then rapid supersonic dashes with wings swept back, powered by the two powerful Pratt & Whitney TF30 afterburning turbofans.
The F-111’s variable geometry, escape capsule, terrain following radar, and afterburning turbofans were all pioneering technologies for production aircraft, which paved the way for their incorporation into many future designs.
Developed initially as a nuclear interdictor suitable for deployment from short or poorly surfaced forward runways, the F-111 saw its most use as a conventional strike / ground-attack aircraft. The plane played an important role in the Vietnam War, participating in the final month of Operation Linebacker I and II, and in the Laotian Civil War. One F-111 could carry the bombload equivalent to that of four McDonnel Douglas F-4 Phantom IIs(see model), did not require tanker support, and could fly in weather conditions unsuitable for other aircraft.
The F-111 also played an important role in air strikes against Libya n 1986, and in the Gulf War (operation Desert Storm) in 1991, scoring a higher success rate than any other U.S strike aircraft. F111s were credited in destroying more than 1,500 Iraqi tanks and armoured vehicles during the conflict.
The F-111 was also adopted by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in 1968 to replace their English Electric Canberras (see model) in the bombing and tactical strike role. In Australia the F-111 was referred to as the
Pig due to its long snout housing the terrain-following radar.
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Although the RAAF F-111s never saw combat, they were the longest range combat aircraft in Southeast Asia. The Australian F-111 fleet did, however, serve a deterrent purpose, intimidating potential rivals in the region, most notably Indonesia during the late 1990s East Timor crisis. In 2006, an RAAF F-111 was used to scuttle a seized North Korean drug ship, the Pong Su, using two GBU-10 Paveway IIs. The RAAF was the last force to operate the trusty Aardvark, retiring it in December 2010, with the intention to replace it in the strike role with the long awaited F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
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