• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

General Dynamics / Grumman F-111B

dwomby

ACCESS: Restricted
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
http://www.georgespangenberg.com/exhibitindex.htm

I found this while surfing for F-111B material today.

David W.
 

Tailspin Turtle

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2007
Messages
699
Reaction score
111
Website
www.tommythomason.com
The ready acceptance and lack of scholarship and critical thinking about many things put forth on the interweb doesn’t surprise me, particularly in this case, which is attributable to the success of the Navy’s campaign to smear the F-111B.

One of the half-truths was its poor performance in carrier trials accomplished aboard Coral Sea in July 1968. In fact, few new airplanes get much better than a barely passing grade from the NATC carrier suitability test pilots, with several deficiencies usually noted. In this case, the F-111B being evaluated was actually a prototype that did not have the carrier compatibility modifications like the raised cockpit shown below that were being incorporated- along with engine thrust, control system, and wing lift improvements- on the aircraft on the production line.

According to the respective SACs, the F-111B would be 4,000 lbs heavier than the F-14 on landing (only 8%, far less than most people would guess based on the poor reputation of the "SeaPig"). However, it approached 10 knots slower which meant it was actually easier on the arresting gear than the F-14 (ashore, landing ground roll was 21% less). The F-111B also did not have as significant a directional control problem on a single-engine waveoff, since the engines were not as far from the centerline of the aircraft as they were on the F-14.

This is my best guess at the production canopy. The windshield angle was reportedly increased to 30 degrees and the pilot's eye raised by three inches. All of the lines changes were accomplished with the escape capsule.

Note: No aircraft were completed with the raised canopy. 152714 and 5 had the longer nose.

For a complete and more-balanced history on the F-111B, order my monograph on the F-111B from Ginter Books: http://www.ginterbooks.com/NAVAL/NF41.htm
 

Attachments

  • F-111B Forward Fuselage low res.jpg
    F-111B Forward Fuselage low res.jpg
    207.4 KB · Views: 832

SOC

I look at pictures all day
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2006
Messages
1,205
Reaction score
49
Tailspin Turtle said:
For a complete and more-balanced history on the F-111B, order my monograph on the F-111B from Ginter Books: http://www.ginterbooks.com/NAVAL/NF41.htm

I've got that one, it's a damn good read on one of the easily forgotten Cold War weapons programs.
 

Skybolt

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Messages
2,299
Reaction score
149
I am rank and file with TT ! The F-14 was a great F-4 substitute, BUT not the do-it-all the Navy has tried to promote. From late 50's to late 60s the Navy clamored for a patrol interceptor armed with Eagles and later Phoenixes to counter long range bombers armed with sea-skimming cruise missiles. They got it with the F-111B (they could have got it in a variety of other ways) only to turn to a dogfighter with a marginal patrol-interception capability (great radar and weapon-control, but lacking endurance with the 6 Phoenixes specified for the role), essentially because the Vietnam War lessons made them concentrate on the escort-fighter and short-to medium range air superiority fighter capability. Effectively, they chose the F-14 and pretended they got what they hadn't got with the F-111B. They even tried to make people forget that in 1962-6 the balanced carrier flight group projected for 1970-75 they specified for carrier development incuded BOTH TFX AND Phantoms...
 

flateric

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2006
Messages
9,134
Reaction score
1,230
Well, actually, this is only book that has anything on F-111B that lasts more than one page and two photos)
TT, I wonder, if you ever came across of good F-111B general arrangement drawings?
 

Tailspin Turtle

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2007
Messages
699
Reaction score
111
Website
www.tommythomason.com
flateric said:
Well, actually, this is only book that has anything on F-111B that lasts more than one page and two photos)
TT, I wonder, if you ever came across of good F-111B general arrangement drawings?

Good, no. Helpful, yes. At the minute, I'm working with a fairly good set of General Dynamics F-111A lines drawings from Jay Miller's F-111 Book, Aero Series 29, some inaccurate Grumman three-views, and photos...
 

KJ_Lesnick

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Feb 13, 2008
Messages
1,039
Reaction score
38
I kind of had a feeling the USN had deliberately fudged figures and skewed information to basically kill the F-111B.

I'm guessing they killed it for the following reasons, though I'm not entirely sure...

  • Partially out of spite because it had been forced down their throat and they didn't want the design to begin with
  • The design wasn't quite agile enough for a fighter design, and was less agile than the F-4 Phantom
  • The VG wings took a long time to transition from full forward to full aft; while the wing was in transit significant g-limits would be imposed (and I remember hearing that even certain wing positions had different g-limits) which would seriously reduce its effectiveness as a fighter
  • The design was less maneuverable than the F-4 and was not quite agile enough for the purposes of being a fighter
  • The design was reduced to 4 x AIM-54 instead of the needed six and the desired eight (From what I remember the glove pylons were removed during the weight reduction programs, I'm not sure if they ever planned to put them back)
  • The design might not have been as fast as the USN wanted (It was almost certainly slower than the high-speed F-4 Phantom II)
  • The Navy didn't like having a side-by-side arrangement on a supersonic fighter.


KJ Lesnick
 

Evil Flower

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Oct 12, 2006
Messages
223
Reaction score
4
That's funny considering the side by side requirement came from them to begin with.
 

OM

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Jun 22, 2008
Messages
752
Reaction score
14
Website
www.io.com
Evil Flower said:
That's funny considering the side by side requirement came from them to begin with.

...Correct. Same case with the A-6.
 

Tailspin Turtle

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2007
Messages
699
Reaction score
111
Website
www.tommythomason.com
One of the "interesting" aspects of the F-111 program was engine inlet development. I don't do it justice here and the drawings can't be relied on for detail and accuracy, but this working draft depicts the three major inlet configurations on the seven F-111Bs that flew, two of which had two different inlets during the flight test program...
 

Attachments

  • Engine Inlets Low res.jpg
    Engine Inlets Low res.jpg
    597.8 KB · Views: 796

canisd

ACCESS: Restricted
Joined
Jan 24, 2006
Messages
24
Reaction score
2
Website
wolfsshipyard.mystarship.com
I've been working on and off on a profile of what the 111B might have looked like based on TT's book, which I heartily recommend BTW. Not sure how accurate the nose is, haven't checked it yet against the new drawing in this thread.
 

KJ_Lesnick

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Feb 13, 2008
Messages
1,039
Reaction score
38
Evil Flower,

That's funny considering the side by side requirement came from them to begin with.

I did say I could be wrong...

Either way are you sure about the side-by-side arrangement request coming from the Navy? Because when I looked at the Boeing 818 the USN variant had a tandem cockpit, where as the USAF design had a side-by-side cockpit...


KJ Lesnick
BTW: Why *did* the USN reject the TFX design?
 

Evil Flower

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Oct 12, 2006
Messages
223
Reaction score
4
Well the side-by-side seating stems from the Missileer which of course the navy TFX was supposed to replace.
 

Maveric

Fight for yor Right!
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Messages
1,992
Reaction score
358
Hi Orionblamblam,

some technical data for this Lockheed project?
 

Skybolt

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Messages
2,299
Reaction score
149
CL-314 was a proposal for a side-by-side trainer for the Air Force. Only technical data I know is that the wing area was 400 sqf. Time is mid-50s. One of the many alternatives to the T-38 Talon. Many of them were F-104 derivatives.
 

KJ_Lesnick

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Feb 13, 2008
Messages
1,039
Reaction score
38
How did the Trainer versions of the Lightning compare to the regular versions in performance?
 

Tailspin Turtle

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2007
Messages
699
Reaction score
111
Website
www.tommythomason.com
The schedule below may be helpful in understanding the demise of the F-111B as more than the Navy finally killing an overweight airplane imposed on it by Secretary of Defense McNamara. In order to counter the Russian bomber/cruise missile threat to the aircraft carrier, the admirals felt in the late 1950s that they needed a Fleet Air Defense "fighter" that could carry a large long-range radar and six big air-to-air missiles out to a holding point a long way from the carrier and loiter there for a long time. The good news was that they were going to get one, albeit as a junior partner to the Air Force. However, by the time the F-111B first flew, the Vietnam War had begun. Fleet Air Defense was still a high priority, but air-to-air superiority was now a day-to-day mission. By the end of 1967, new and arguably very capable Russian fighters had been unveiled at the Moscow Air Show, existing obsolescent MiGs had proved to be a handful over Vietnam, and a Grumman study had shown that the F-111B would not be very good at air-to-air combat. No surprise there - that was never supposed to be its raison d'etre. However, Hughes was well behind schedule with the Phoenix missile system. (One F-111B was mothballed for more than a year for lack of hardware.) The Navy felt that they had to deploy a new fighter with superior air-to-air capability as soon as possible, with Phoenix as an overload mission. Its development, given the Hughes status, wouldn't delay the availability of the Phoenix system to the fleet. There was no lack of unsolicited proposals from industry, with Grumman not shy about promoting their candidate and ultimately successful. The surviving F-111Bs were put to good use supporting development of the Phoenix system in the meantime. The last F-111B flight was in late 1971, more than three years after the production program was canceled.
 

Attachments

  • Program Overview Lowest Res.jpg
    Program Overview Lowest Res.jpg
    391.1 KB · Views: 392

AeroFranz

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
May 4, 2008
Messages
2,311
Reaction score
226
KJ_Lesnick said:
How did the Trainer versions of the Lightning compare to the regular versions in performance?

Not a whole lot. The fuselage was 11" wider and conformed to area rule. I found no numbers, but WarbirdTech's "English electric Lightning" says that they had an accident "while performing tests at M1.7@41,000'", so it was at least that fast.
 

Skybolt

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Messages
2,299
Reaction score
149
Triton explained it better than me, and with details for newcomers that we "old hands" give for granted. Thanx !
 

Tailspin Turtle

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2007
Messages
699
Reaction score
111
Website
www.tommythomason.com
As some know, I post occasionally to my blog on carrier-based aircraft topics, http://www.tommythomason.com/. I've started a new one with a more modeling orientation, similar to the Tailhook Topics column that I used to do for the IPMS Update, http://tailhooktopics.blogspot.com/. The first topic is the F-111B.
 

Attachments

  • F-111B Coral Sea.jpg
    F-111B Coral Sea.jpg
    158.5 KB · Views: 618

Colonial-Marine

Fighting the UAV mafia.
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
Messages
719
Reaction score
74
The USAF was obviously focused on getting a new interceptor, but during the development of the F-111B, was a ground attack capability considered? Theoretically it could have replaced the A-6, although I suppose most A-6s were still young at the time.
 

Thorvic

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
639
Reaction score
108
Colonial-Marine said:
The USAF was obviously focused on getting a new interceptor, but during the development of the F-111B, was a ground attack capability considered? Theoretically it could have replaced the A-6, although I suppose most A-6s were still young at the time.

Think you mean USN ?

But you are right should the USN have considered the F=111 as a possible carrier bassed strike aircraft, for that matter should the USAF looked at F-111B as an interceptor as its systems were designed to intercept Soviet bombers at long range !

G
 

F-14D

I really did change my personal text
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2007
Messages
1,784
Reaction score
160
Thorvic said:
Colonial-Marine said:
The USAF was obviously focused on getting a new interceptor, but during the development of the F-111B, was a ground attack capability considered? Theoretically it could have replaced the A-6, although I suppose most A-6s were still young at the time.

Think you mean USN ?

But you are right should the USN have considered the F=111 as a possible carrier bassed strike aircraft, for that matter should the USAF looked at F-111B as an interceptor as its systems were designed to intercept Soviet bombers at long range !

G


A strike F-111 for the Navy would have been very expensive and probably wouldn't have worked all that well. USAF wanted the F-12B, which would have been a much better fit, but McNamara wanted to ram an interceptor version of the F-111 down their throat to the extent that he had the Blackbird production line destroyed.


Tailspin in his post made a good point. Fleet Air Defense/Phoenix was not the primary role/requirement of what would become the F-14.
 

Colonial-Marine

Fighting the UAV mafia.
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
Messages
719
Reaction score
74
Excuse me, I meant to say USN there and not USAF. What would have made the F-111 design a poor strike aircraft for the Navy? Already too heavy as it was without a full load of bombs? Or did the Navy have a preference for the loiter time provided by a subsonic aircraft like the A-6 and decades later the A-12?
 

Tailspin Turtle

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2007
Messages
699
Reaction score
111
Website
www.tommythomason.com
Colonial-Marine said:
What would have made the F-111 design a poor strike aircraft for the Navy? Already too heavy as it was without a full load of bombs? Or did the Navy have a preference for the loiter time provided by a subsonic aircraft like the A-6 and decades later the A-12?
I think you got it right when you wrote that "most A-6s were still young at the time." After a rocky start, they provided a formidable all-weather heavy attack capability for decades. There's also only so much money for development and the attack community priority at the time was a replacement for the AD Skyraider, which resulted in the A-7. In any event, my guess is that the Admirals were not about to do anything that made the F-111B program more attractive to DoD like creating another role for it.

That said, the F-111B would have been a capable carrier-based attack airplane with the A-6 avionics suite replacing the Phoenix avionics. It could carry a heavy load (six Phoenix weigh almost 7,000 lbs) and bring it back, unlike the F-14. It had very good endurance and range on internal fuel, with four external stores pylons and a bomb bay that could house two more fairly big stores.

I've speculated that a more cost-effective alternative that would have satisfied the Navy's overall mission requirements would have been to keep the F-111B for fleet air defense and start the VFAX program in 1968 to replace the F-4 and subsequently the A-7 with a strike-fighter...
 

Rosdivan

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
Messages
89
Reaction score
6
F-14D said:
Thorvic said:
Colonial-Marine said:
The USAF was obviously focused on getting a new interceptor, but during the development of the F-111B, was a ground attack capability considered? Theoretically it could have replaced the A-6, although I suppose most A-6s were still young at the time.

Think you mean USN ?

But you are right should the USN have considered the F=111 as a possible carrier bassed strike aircraft, for that matter should the USAF looked at F-111B as an interceptor as its systems were designed to intercept Soviet bombers at long range !

G


A strike F-111 for the Navy would have been very expensive and probably wouldn't have worked all that well. USAF wanted the F-12B, which would have been a much better fit, but McNamara wanted to ram an interceptor version of the F-111 down their throat to the extent that he had the Blackbird production line destroyed.


Tailspin in his post made a good point. Fleet Air Defense/Phoenix was not the primary role/requirement of what would become the F-14.

With regards to the F-12B, wouldn't the pre-breathe requirement as well as the A-12/SR-71s leakiness which required refueling after takeoff have mitigated against it's effectivness as an interceptor?
 

F-14D

I really did change my personal text
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2007
Messages
1,784
Reaction score
160
Rosdivan said:
F-14D said:
Thorvic said:
Colonial-Marine said:
The USAF was obviously focused on getting a new interceptor, but during the development of the F-111B, was a ground attack capability considered? Theoretically it could have replaced the A-6, although I suppose most A-6s were still young at the time.

Think you mean USN ?

But you are right should the USN have considered the F=111 as a possible carrier bassed strike aircraft, for that matter should the USAF looked at F-111B as an interceptor as its systems were designed to intercept Soviet bombers at long range !

G


A strike F-111 for the Navy would have been very expensive and probably wouldn't have worked all that well. USAF wanted the F-12B, which would have been a much better fit, but McNamara wanted to ram an interceptor version of the F-111 down their throat to the extent that he had the Blackbird production line destroyed.


Tailspin in his post made a good point. Fleet Air Defense/Phoenix was not the primary role/requirement of what would become the F-14.

With regards to the F-12B, wouldn't the pre-breathe requirement as well as the A-12/SR-71s leakiness which required refueling after takeoff have mitigated against it's effectivness as an interceptor?

Leakiness is not the main reason the SR refuels after takeoff. In fact, some missions are flown as a "rocket ride", which involves no refueling, and had the revived SR program not been line item vetoed, it would have done more on its tactical missions. Going more into that is outside the scope of this topic.

Prebreathing would indeed be a consideration, and was potentially the most troublesome issue to be worked out, but apparently USAF had a handle on that, since they wanted a bunch of F-12Bs, and Congress funded them.

Keep in mind that AF role for a pure interceptor was substantially different from Navy's Fleet Air Defense role, and that AF concept no longer exists today. I don't know that either of the aircraft would be used very often in a Quick Reaction Intercept role. It takes a while to get a F-111B ready as well, don't forget the AWG-9 in the F-14 was more evolved than what was in the F-111B. Both aircraft would be based to the rear, and would rely on early warning assets to initially locate the intruders and cue them for launch. The question then is which aircraft you wanted on the way, an F-12B coming like a rocket or an F-111B waddling into the air (hoping the TF30s didn't decide to take a vacation). Plus, it probably would have taken longer to get an AF F-111 into service than the F-12B.

I think it's telling that when McNamara effectively said, "It's the F-111 or nothing [for the Advanced Manned Interceptor role]", AF's response was essentially, "OK---nothing".
 

flateric

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2006
Messages
9,134
Reaction score
1,230
...
 

Attachments

  • F111B_01_1267828237_2300.jpg
    F111B_01_1267828237_2300.jpg
    153.8 KB · Views: 619

Tailspin Turtle

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2007
Messages
699
Reaction score
111
Website
www.tommythomason.com
Gregory,

Wonderful picture! Thanks very much for posting it. Note that this is the carrier trials airplane after the replacement of its original inlet and splitter with the Triple Plow 1 inlet. The main landing gear is also interesting. My understanding is that it was raked aft a bit from the original position to reduce the tip-back problem. It also appears to have the Navy wheels and tires. For the at-sea trials, photo registration stripes were added and the nose boom was removed. I believe that the yellow box on the backside of the nose wheel strut is a radar reflector for the carrier landing system.

After the carrier trials on Coral Sea on the west coast, it was ferried to NASA Ames for a wind tunnel test. It was then stricken.
 

Attachments

  • 974 Ames Tunnel Low Res.jpg
    974 Ames Tunnel Low Res.jpg
    219.1 KB · Views: 472

flateric

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2006
Messages
9,134
Reaction score
1,230
Tommy, photo goes from newly redesigned terrific LM CodeOne magazine web-site
thanks to Eric Hehs and Jeff Rhodes for their massive efforts
seems that they going to put many stuff there - from backissues, from historical archives and new one - till the end of the year (currently site lacks previously published CO articles, but hopefully it will be fixed)
Media Gallery part of the site is astonishing, to say the less
 

Attachments

  • F111_First_Flight_001_web_1267828237_2007.jpg
    F111_First_Flight_001_web_1267828237_2007.jpg
    193.9 KB · Views: 400

Triton

Donald McKelvy
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
9,719
Reaction score
759
Website
deeptowild.blogspot.com
Precise F-111B model found on eBay.

URL:http://cgi.ebay.com/Precise-Navy-F-111B-Airplane-Plane-Model-Topping_W0QQitemZ320575643344QQcategoryZ86954QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp4340.m8QQ_trkparmsZalgo%3DMW%26its%3DC%26itu%3DUCC%26otn%3D5%26ps%3D63%26clkid%3D6268969827210746641

Seller's description:
Nice rare Precise Models General Dynamics F-111B fighter Jet. This plane was never produced for the Navy. Precise only made a few of these. Wings are movable. The only issue is that the little round metal piece underneath that attaches to the stand has come off ( it is glued to the metal pin on top of the stand. ) There is also a crack in the plastic around that place ( see pics ) Easy restorable. Plane displays great. Plane itself measures 10" long.
 

Attachments

  • !B0PllzgEGk~$(KGrHqQOKiIE)UhfKyUvBMZe0F0!KQ~~_3.jpg
    !B0PllzgEGk~$(KGrHqQOKiIE)UhfKyUvBMZe0F0!KQ~~_3.jpg
    28.6 KB · Views: 320
  • !B0Plm,!BGk~$(KGrHqIOKkIE)M)DpOI5BMZe0IzMsg~~_3.jpg
    !B0Plm,!BGk~$(KGrHqIOKkIE)M)DpOI5BMZe0IzMsg~~_3.jpg
    22.8 KB · Views: 297
  • !B0PlmGwEWk~$(KGrHqIOKigE)RO)nzGpBMZe0Hb4R!~~_3.jpg
    !B0PlmGwEWk~$(KGrHqIOKigE)RO)nzGpBMZe0Hb4R!~~_3.jpg
    30.2 KB · Views: 132
  • !B0PlmrgBWk~$(KGrHqIOKm8Ew9GZh0NIBMZe0KPKK!~~_3.jpg
    !B0PlmrgBWk~$(KGrHqIOKm8Ew9GZh0NIBMZe0KPKK!~~_3.jpg
    26.4 KB · Views: 125
  • !B0Plm8g!mk~$(KGrHqYOKj!E)Olf,jgOBMZe0Lq5qg~~_3.jpg
    !B0Plm8g!mk~$(KGrHqYOKj!E)Olf,jgOBMZe0Lq5qg~~_3.jpg
    23 KB · Views: 99
  • !B0PlnUQ!2k~$(KGrHqMOKn!Ew9)B+CdZBMZe0Nk2u!~~_3.jpg
    !B0PlnUQ!2k~$(KGrHqMOKn!Ew9)B+CdZBMZe0Nk2u!~~_3.jpg
    20.6 KB · Views: 99
  • !B0PlnhgB2k~$(KGrHqYOKnEEw83qbTm!BMZe0OonIQ~~_3.jpg
    !B0PlnhgB2k~$(KGrHqYOKnEEw83qbTm!BMZe0OonIQ~~_3.jpg
    18.3 KB · Views: 92

Stargazer2006

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,227
Reaction score
598
Nice pic, Flateric, but this is the standard USAF version, not the Grumman-built F-111B naval variant! ;)
 

flateric

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2006
Messages
9,134
Reaction score
1,230
I kind of know that, just put it to show what collection has to offer.
 

Similar threads

Top