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General Dynamics F-111 Projects

overscan

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65 FB-111As to be modified to FB-111H, and/or up to 100 FB-111Hs built. Initial funding for two prototypes. $380m for prototype development, with a total program cost of $7000m, for a unit price of $42.1m (less than half the unit price of the B-1) for a 167 aircraft fleet.

43 percent commonality with structure, 79 percent of subsystems of the basic aircraft. Main features are the stretched fuselage and the use of F101 engines. Bomb bay size almost doubled, to allow 4 or 5 nuclear weapons instead of 2. External hardpoints increased to 12, 6 on the wings and 6 on the sides and bottoms of the air intakes. Two wing hardpoints fixed, usable at minimum sweep only. Maximum wing sweep is reduced to 60 deg, with maximum speed reduced to Mach 1.6.

Avionics suite include GE APQ-144 radar, modified APQ-134 TFR, APN-200 Doppler, AJN-16 and SKN-2400 INS, dual IBM CP-2A computers, AN/ALQ-131 band 1 & 2 jammers, AN/ALQ-137 jammer, AN/ALQ-153/154 tail warning, AN/ALR-62 RWR, AN/ALE-28 chaff/flare dispensers.

Engine: 2 x F101-GE turbofans, rated at 17,000lb st dry and 30,000lb st afterburning.
Max speed: Mach 1.6 above 36,000ft, cruise speed Mach 0.75, low altitude penetration speed Mach 0.85 at 200 ft, takeoff distance 6,700ft, high altitude ferry range 6,900 miles.

Empty weight: 30,408 lb
MTOW: 140,000lb
Max in-flight gross weight: 156,000lb (after refuelling)

Span: 70ft spread, 44ft 10in swept
Length: 88ft 2.5in
Height: 22ft
Wing area: 550 ft

Armament: 5 nuclear bombs, 4 AGM-69A SRAM, 3 ALCM-A in the internal bay. 10 weapons on 12 hardpoints.
Air International Jan 1978
 

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overscan

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Internal fuel: 64,574lb

Air International, April 1978.
 

Archibald

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Were the undercarriage and airbrake changed or moved to make more room for the bomb bay ???
Always thought the F-111 had big growth potential, it just needed better engines...
 

Skybolt

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If I remember well, the FB-111H was preceded (or followed ??? ) a by an FB-111G
 

fightingirish

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Skybolt said:
If I remember well, the FB-111H was preceded (or followed ??? ) a by an FB-111G
Are you not mixing up, that after leaving the SAC to the TAC and adding conventionel weapons systems the FB-111A was called F-111G?

The FB-111B was a planned version also with General Electric F101 engines.
 

fightingirish

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From Matej's site:

Source: http://www.hitechweb.genezis.eu/bombers1b.htm
 

Skybolt

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Are you not mixing up, that after leaving the SAC to the TAC and adding conventionel weapons systems the FB-111A was called F-111G?
You're right ! :-[
 

overscan

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FB-111G

Rejected proposal derived from FB-111A with lengthened fuselage and other aerodynamic changes, to allow carriage of 4 SRAM 4,100 miles at height or 2,200 miles at low altitude.

Unit cost $25m (F-111 cost: $16m)

Source:

Air Enthusiast September 1971
 

Archibald

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So we have now
- FB-111A
- FB-111B (http://home.att.net/~jbaugher1/f111_10.html)

- FB-111G
- FB-111H
(from here)

Maybe it's a stupid question, but what about the FB-111C/D/E/F ???
It seems that the FB-111 serie was independant from the basic F-111 list...
 

Skybolt

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The FB-111B had a "C" subversion, don't know differences, probably in avionics ???
 

Angel

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HI, thanks Matej.

You know the specifications of the plane?
 

Archibald

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Hmm I found more details about the FB-111 serie here
http://www.fb-111a.net/History.html

According to this website...

"When the B-1 project was cancelled in July 1977, the USAF was left to find a replacement and plans to modify the FB-111A were studied. GD began to explore the possibilities of an enlarged FB-111 variant and the original proposal called for converting the FB-111As to FB-111H followed by another proposal in 1979 to produce 89 FB-111B from F-111D and 66 FB-111C from FB-111A. The modifications involved adding a 15ft extension to the fuselage and the widening by 1.5ft of the rear fuselage to accommodate a pair of GE F101 afterburning turbofans. The aircraft would have possessed the capacity for 68,000lbs of fuel and the ability to carry a dozen of SRAMs."
 

fightingirish

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Found at key forum:

datafuser said:
A November 1965 draft memorandum by McNamara regarding Recommended FY 1967-71 Strategic Offensive and Defensive Forces found at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/frus/johnsonlb/x/9060.htm mentions FB-111M-3, a little known 3-seat variant of the FB-111.

Below is the part of the memorandum that describes the FB-111M-3.

"The FB-111M-3 is a larger version of the F-111. It would have a longer fuselage, a maximum takeoff gross weight of 130,000 lbs compared with 111,000 lbs for the FB-111A and would carry a crew of 3 instead of 2. It would also have about a 10 percent greater combat range. The AMSA is an entirely new and larger aircraft which has yet to be developed. The characteristics and cost of the AMSA were discussed in considerable detail in my memorandum on this subject last year.

The first operational FB-111s could be available in FY 1969 and the first FB-111M-3s about a year later. For a force of 210 U.E. aircraft, the FB-111M-3 would cost about $800 million more than the FB-111As, including development and production. The most significant operational factor in favor of the FB-111M-3 over the FB-111A is the availability of space for a crew of 3 instead of 2. The larger crew could spread the heavy workload and reduce the strain involved in strategic missions. The FB-111, however, would have essentially the same performance as the fighter version and could be easily used in that role. The FB-111M-3 would have less range with the same payload in that role because of its greater weight, and could not operate as efficiently from the shorter runways for which the F-111A was designed."

Cheers,
Sunho
 

Archibald

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A 3-seat F-111 ???!!! very interesting find! any pic of the beast ?
 

Pioneer

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The proposed FB-111M-3 could have made a good base for a dedicated EW/ECM escort, long before the EF-111A was designed or built.

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Pioneer
 

Jemiba

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".. any pic of the beast ?"

Just a sideview fromAngelucci/Bowers "The American Fighter" and I can't
see a place for the third crew member there ...
 

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Archibald

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Maybe it's stupid, but we have two more questions to answer now
- FB-111 list now aparently extend to the letter M
- the M variant in itself seems to have subvariants... ::)
 

fightingirish

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Jemiba,
don't get mixed up between the FB-111M-3 and the FB-111H!

The FB-111M-3 concept is from 1968/69, the FB-111H is from 1978!
So nearly 10 years later!

But I don't still know if there are any similarities! ???
 

Jemiba

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"..don't get mixed up between the FB-111M-3 and the FB-111H!"

Ooops, sorry !
Nevertheless here ae some pictures of the H
(from AviationWeek 9/79 and Sqadron Signal No.35), but no mentioning
of the M-3 ...
 

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Skybolt

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Sometimes topics come back... ;D
The 3-view and artistic impression is not of the H version, but of the "B" one. Here is another artistic impression of the B/C proposal (AW&ST June 16 1980). Engine two F101s, Armament: 12 N-bombs or SRAMs two in weapons bay, 4 under the wings, 4 under the belly and two under the chin on both side of the landing gear. A variant studied had an enlarged weapon bay, capable of 5 bombs and/or SRAMs. Max sweep cut back to 60 deg from 72.5, so no more sea level supersonic dash capability (max sea level speed 0.95 Mach). Range
 

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Firefly 2

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overscan said:
Stretched F-111, 1982 (designation not given). Via http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil
In a very old " Avions & Pilotes" magazine I have this AI was listed as representing FB111H
 

Pioneer

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I am looking for information on the last ditch attempt by General Dynamics-Grumman to save the F-111B carrier-based program, known as Super Weight Improvement Program ‘SWIP’.
I have seen a desk top model of this proposed modified F-111B SWIP (Super Weight Improvement Program).
Does anyone have any drawings or pics of this F-111B SWIP?
Does anyone have the specifications of this proposed F-111B SWIP?
And what was done to by GD-Grumman to achieve the weight savings?

From memory when I sore the pic of the desk-top model of the F-111B SWIP, it looked shorter than the standard F-111B

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Pioneer
 

Skybolt

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Haven't it at hand, but I seem to remember there i something like that in the F-111B issue of Naval Fighters by Steve Ginter.
 

lark

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A weight improvement program was started called SWIP for
Super Weight Improvement Program.
It managed to remove about three thousend pounds with
internal changes.
The SWIP F-111B looked the same externally.

From : Grumman F-14 Tomcat.
James Perry Stevenson. Aero Publishers Inc.1975.USA
 

elmayerle

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I suspect a lot of the weight reduction came about the same way it was done on the F-35, a lot of multi-piece assemblies were reduced to one machined piece instead of the assembly, removing redundant flanges and fasteners. At the same time, a much more rigorous stress analysis approach would indentify where material could be safely removed without sacrificing strength or airframe life.
 

overscan

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There was also CWIP, Colossal Weight Improvement Program.
 

Pioneer

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overscan said:
There was also CWIP, Colossal Weight Improvement Program.
Please tell me more Overscan
 

overscan

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The SWIP program was a weight saving program, which was implemented on F-111B #4 onwards, but it did little better than counteract natural weight growth. Plans were therefore made for CWIP - Colossal Weight Reduction Program, stages I, II, III. Major surgery, almost entirely in the fuselage, could cut 4,000lb off the structure weight and almost meet Navy requirements. In so doing, however, commonality fell from 80% to 29%. In fact, the resulting "Navy II F-111B" design was virtually a new design, with a long nose housing all the AWG-9 equipment previously behind the cockpit, increasing internal fuel 2000lb and improving avionics accessibility. Landing gear was moved back, and body pylons added for the Phoenix missiles. A completely new canopy and windshield was fitted which, together with increased flap deflection and a raised pilot seat, improved views during carrier landing. At this point, with commonality practically abandoned, and still mediocre performance, Grumman and the Navy started looking at a new airframe to fit the AWG-9 and TF-30 engines- VFX.

Source:

Bill Gunston, F-111, Modern Combat Aircraft 2, Ian Allan, 1978
 

Pioneer

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Thanks for this info on the Colossal Weight Reduction Program - CWIP Overscan -
It sounds as if they almost did it - making the F-111B carrier operational friendly!
As much as I liked the Grumman F-14 Tomcat - I still like to think what if the F-111B CWIP had of been put into production


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Pioneer
 

fightingirish

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If CWIP-program went on, maybe the F-111B might have had conventional ejection seats instead of an escape pod. Just like later with the B-1 programme.
But at that moment, "the Navy refused the substitution of the crew capsule with ejection seats, which would have saved 500 lb, the reduction of the 3.5 hour loiter time and would not consider reducing the Phoenix missile (1000 lb each) load from six to four."

Source: Carlo Kopp - THE GENERAL DYNAMICS F-111 profile
 

Archibald

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overscan said:
The SWIP program was a weight saving program, which was implemented on F-111B #4 onwards, but it did little better than counteract natural weight growth. Plans were therefore made for CWIP - Colossal Weight Reduction Program, stages I, II, III. Major surgery, almost entirely in the fuselage, could cut 4,000lb off the structure weight and almost meet Navy requirements. In so doing, however, commonality fell from 80% to 29%. In fact, the resulting "Navy II F-111B" design was virtually a new design, with a long nose housing all the AWG-9 equipment previously behind the cockpit, increasing internal fuel 2000lb and improving avionics accessibility. Landing gear was moved back, and body pylons added for the Phoenix missiles. A completely new canopy and windshield was fitted which, together with increased flap deflection and a raised pilot seat, improved views during carrier landing. At this point, with commonality practically abandoned, and still mediocre performance, Grumman and the Navy started looking at a new airframe to fit the AWG-9 and TF-30 engines- VFX.

Source:

Bill Gunston, F-111, Modern Combat Aircraft 2, Ian Allan, 1978
This brilliant explanation perfectly prove how absurd Mc Namara requirement were... ::)
Or the F-111B was 80% similar to the -A, (but too heavy!!!), or it was to become an enterely different aircraft!!!
 

uk 75

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I know that this is a well covered subject, but I do not seem to be able to find a good three view of the RAF F 111 K version. I am trying to have one made by Custom Desk Models ( see my thread on Collectors Aircraft Models in the other section). I know it had a refueling probe and different wings.

Uk 75
 

uk 75

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Joe, Tin Wing

Thanks for this. I guess all I really need to decide is whether I want a probe on my model.

UK 75
 
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