Monday, February 16, 2015

The F-111 Aardvark

When I got in the car this morning, the thermometer read -10 or something like that.  It didn't really matter because it was cold.  In my effort to do at least one picture  a day, I decided to do one of my models.
 The F-111 Aardvark was developed in the early 1960's after the requirement for a tactical fighter came about.  The Secretary of Defense at the time decided that the fighter should be developed for both the Navy and the Air Force.  The Navy version never came to fruition (although parts of it was used in the development of the F-14 Tomcat).
 While I don't think this was the first variable geometry aircraft, it might have been the first to see service.  The variable geometry came about because of the different characteristics needed in different parts of the flight envelope.  The delta configuration was good for high speed and the other was good for slower flight.  The wings could be swept to any angle depending on what was needed at the time.
 Because it was determined that flying low was helpful in penetrating air defenses, the F-111 was equipped with a terrain following radar.  There was also a bomber version that was developed.
The F-111 first flew in 1964 and was introduced to service in 1967.  It lasted until 1996 as the fighter and 1998 as the electronic warfare version.  I'll have to admit it was a pretty cool aircraft.

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