Manufactured by General Dynamics
The F-111 was designed in the early 1960s to meet a USAF need for a Strike Fighter and a US Navy requirement for a Fleet Defense Interceptor. The F-lll was the world’s first operational aircraft to use Variable Geometry wings that could be swept back in flight to allow higher speeds. It was also the first production aircraft to use an ejectable crew module instead of ejection seats. The Navy F-111B was soon canceled but its Phoenix missile/radar system was later used in the F-14 Tomcat.
After overcoming many early technical problems, the F-111 became an outstanding attack aircraft and was employed in Vietnam, the 1986 Libyan Strikes and the Gulf War. The FB-111A was a strategic bomber designed to deliver nuclear strikes within the USSR. The USAF never officially named the F-111, but to its pilots and maintenance crews it is known as the “Aardvark”.
- Role/Category: Fighter
- Role/Category: Bomber
- Wingspan: Extended – 70 feet, 0 inches, Fully Swept – 33 feet, 11 inches
- Length: 73 feet, 6 inches
- Height: 17 feet, 1 inches
- Weight: 70,380 lbs
- Powerplant: two Pratt & Whitney TF-30-P-7 turbofans each providing 20,350 lbs. of thrust in afterburner
- Speed: maximum – 1,650 mph (1,433 knots) or Mach 2.5 at 36,000 feet; normal cruise – 571 mph (496 knots)
- Ceiling: 60,000 feet
- Crew: 1 pilot, 1 navigator/weapons operator
- Armament: Any combination of six nuclear weapons or nuclear-armed AGM-69A Short Range Attack Missiles (SRAM) carried on four wing pylons and two weapons bay attachments.