General Dynamics FB-111A Aardvark

General Dynamics FB-111A Aardvark

Developed as a medium-range bomber for the Strategic Air Command, the FB- 111 is based upon the F-111 fighter, which was the first production aircraft to utilize the variable-sweep wing, incorporate automatic terrain-following radar, and feature a crew module escape capsule. Originally planned to replace the B-52C/F versions of the Stratofortress. Compared to the F-111 the wingspan of the FB-111 was lengthened, its landing gear strengthened, and braking increased. Provisions were made to carry six nuclear bombs, or six SRAM missiles, or a combination of these weapons.

The F-111 “swing” wing is a feature allowing relatively low landing speeds and excellent range, while at the same time being able to sprint to more than twice the speed of sound. The F-111 had various variants including the TAC F-111D and the Australian export version, the F-111C. The last remaining operational F-111 aircraft are those in service with the Royal Australian Air Force.

USAF S/N 67-159 is an FB-111A-CF, the first of 76 built by General Dynamics in Fort Worth, Texas. It was delivered to the USAF on September 4, 1968 and assigned to the Air Force Flight Test Center (AFSC), Edwards AFB, California. In July 1980 it was assigned to the Sacramento Air Logistics Center (AFLC), McClellan AFB, California to test and verify technological and weapons modifications. Originally painted in the white and orange of Sacramento Flight Test, It was retired in August 1990, and is painted in the camouflaged color scheme used by strategic and tactical forces.


Crew: Two: Pilot and Weapons System Operator

Power Plants: Two Pratt & Whitney TF30-P-7 engines, 19,000 lbs thrust each.


Span: 70 ft 0 in.

Length: 73 ft 6 in. Height: 17 ft 1 in.


Speed: Maximum: Mach 2.7 at altitude (1600 mph); Mach 1.2 at SL (914 mph)

Service Ceiling: 60,000 ft.

Range: 4,000 miles.

Armament: Six nuclear bombs or SCRAM missiles; total weapons load of 31,500 lbs.


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