Making F111B work

uk 75

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The F111B has come up in a number of other threads as being less of a lemon than is usually suggested.
The Tornado was able to produce both a strike and air defence variant which entered service..
The F111 would have found a ready market in the mid 60s for a version able to carry an F4 style warload but faster.
An F111 able to perform both fighter and bomber roles was the original intention. The B seems to be the key to getting this right.
 

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The problem with the B model is it's utter lack of maneuverability. In a contested air space, the plane is little better than a sitting duck. As a missile truck who's primary purpose was shooting down Soviet bombers, it was fine. But in actuality, it was little more than a supersonic Missileer. The plane maybe wasn't as bad as the Navy made it out to be, but it wasn't exactly a rockstar either
 

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With enough time an and money, they could have put one on deck and been a successful Missileer, as noted above. It almost certainly would not have been worth the money and time, but it would have done that job satisfactorily, maybe excellently.
Not hard to imagine an eventual attack and recce ability that let's you retire the A-5 and A-6, either. Maybe an EF-111 version eventually, as well.
As to the maneuverability, In the very early sixties this wasn't considered a terrible drawback. Dog fighting was going to be rare or nonexistent. But much like the Navy learned with the gunless Phantoms, lessons in Vietnam were proving that Crusaders and Phantoms were having their fair share of furballs by the time the cancellation arrived.

If you can get the F-111 on deck for fleet air defense and strike, leaves the Hornet to replace the Phantoms and Scooters (as intended), and brings your tactical fleet down to two. But how long and much money does that take?!
 

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Apart from the film Top Gun did the F14 improve much on F111B as a dogfighter. And except for the Libyan clashes wasnt the F14 intended to splash Bears, Backfires and Badgers rather than mix it with Yak36 or Migs.
 

kaiserd

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Apart from the film Top Gun did the F14 improve much on F111B as a dogfighter. And except for the Libyan clashes wasnt the F14 intended to splash Bears, Backfires and Badgers rather than mix it with Yak36 or Migs.
To be fair the F-14 was intended to be both the missileer and have the flexibility and agility for the wide range air to air roles. It wasn’t quite a match for the F-15 or (more clearly) F-16 or F/A-18 as a close-in dog fighter (and the TF-30s were real flies in the ointment re: limiting how aggressively the F-14A could pushed in the real-world) but comparisons with the F-111B are very wide of the mark. For example depending on weight/ external load the F-14 of any variation was very clearly superior to the F-4 in this regard, while the F-111B was clearly inferior to the F-4 (an aircraft it was intended to replace).
 

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Rather suggests the opposition to fitting Spey while logical at the time, was actually a flawed decision.
 

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Rather suggests the opposition to fitting Spey while logical at the time, was actually a flawed decision.
Well, the TF-30 was only intended to be an interim engine. Install the F401 like was originally intended and the Tomcat would be a much better dogfighter
Err....for the F111 not the F14.
 

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Rather suggests the opposition to fitting Spey while logical at the time, was actually a flawed decision.
Well, the TF-30 was only intended to be an interim engine. Install the F401 like was originally intended and the Tomcat would be a much better dogfighter
Err....for the F111 not the F14.
Ugh. Forgot which thread I was in for a minute.
 

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The F-14 was everything the F-111 should have been. I recall reading that of all the F-111 variants, the F comes closest to being a viable fighter in terms of thrust to weight ratio... but even then is more along the lines of a tolerably good interceptor, and then only land based.

I wonder how it might have gone chasing down enemy low-level attack aircraft in the clean configuration for maximum low level speed, with its own TFR to reduce the risk of CFIT and the Vulcan cannon with that enormous magazine (2000 rounds) in the weapons bay.
 

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The F-14 was everything the F-111 should have been. I recall reading that of all the F-111 variants, the F comes closest to being a viable fighter in terms of thrust to weight ratio... but even then is more along the lines of a tolerably good interceptor, and then only land based.

I wonder how it might have gone chasing down enemy low-level attack aircraft in the clean configuration for maximum low level speed, with its own TFR to reduce the risk of CFIT and the Vulcan cannon with that enormous magazine (2000 rounds) in the weapons bay.
From what I've read and heard (aircrew interview has some interviews with Aardvark pilots) the F-111 with 4 Mk84s was almost as aerodynamic as clean. I doubt four AMRAAMs would have more of an effect on performance. There was also a snippet in one of the interviews about F-111Fs touching Mach 3 at altitude, and 1.4 on the deck. Not quite able to supercruise though. Maybe with F110s.

While I don't see the B working as a fighter, a B-like version of the F would have been a capable interceptor for ADC/NORAD, the GIUK gap, maybe even Australia. Basically anywhere the primary concern is bombers and/or long range interception involving large areas. Sort of a MiG25/31 role for the West. Enable flights to share data like Mig31s and that would considerably increase their usefulness. Central Europe, not so much. Protecting Japan, Australia, Hawaii, the North Sea, GIUK, Arctic approaches to North America, Canada, etc., yes.
 

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The F-14 was everything the F-111 should have been. I recall reading that of all the F-111 variants, the F comes closest to being a viable fighter in terms of thrust to weight ratio... but even then is more along the lines of a tolerably good interceptor, and then only land based.

I wonder how it might have gone chasing down enemy low-level attack aircraft in the clean configuration for maximum low level speed, with its own TFR to reduce the risk of CFIT and the Vulcan cannon with that enormous magazine (2000 rounds) in the weapons bay.
From what I've read and heard (aircrew interview has some interviews with Aardvark pilots) the F-111 with 4 Mk84s was almost as aerodynamic as clean. I doubt four AMRAAMs would have more of an effect on performance. There was also a snippet in one of the interviews about F-111Fs touching Mach 3 at altitude, and 1.4 on the deck. Not quite able to supercruise though. Maybe with F110s.

While I don't see the B working as a fighter, a B-like version of the F would have been a capable interceptor for ADC/NORAD, the GIUK gap, maybe even Australia. Basically anywhere the primary concern is bombers and/or long range interception involving large areas. Sort of a MiG25/31 role for the West. Enable flights to share data like Mig31s and that would considerably increase their usefulness. Central Europe, not so much. Protecting Japan, Australia, Hawaii, the North Sea, GIUK, Arctic approaches to North America, Canada, etc., yes.
There is a photo out there of an F-111C with four Phoenix, its in one of my books but I will try to find it online. I believe it was weapons carriage trials before anyone gets too excited.
 

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Well without an AWG-9 to guide it, a Phoenix is essentially a much oversized FFAR rocket... :p
 

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The F-14 was everything the F-111 should have been. I recall reading that of all the F-111 variants, the F comes closest to being a viable fighter in terms of thrust to weight ratio... but even then is more along the lines of a tolerably good interceptor, and then only land based.

I wonder how it might have gone chasing down enemy low-level attack aircraft in the clean configuration for maximum low level speed, with its own TFR to reduce the risk of CFIT and the Vulcan cannon with that enormous magazine (2000 rounds) in the weapons bay.

Did they ever trained F-111 pilots to DACT ? I do know French Jaguar drivers trained with Mirages to learn self-defense... and despite the Jaguars well known flaws, in close combat with guns and Magic 1 & 2, the Mirages did not always won...
 

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Rather suggests the opposition to fitting Spey while logical at the time, was actually a flawed decision.
Well, the TF-30 was only intended to be an interim engine. Install the F401 like was originally intended and the Tomcat would be a much better dogfighter
I think if you wanted a better "fighter" specific F-111B, I'd enact the Colossal Weight Improvement Program (CWIP) to the F-111 design - F-111B CWIP.
I would also think the Convair Model 200 and Model 201 CTOL derivative still gets developed to complement the F-111B CWIP, especially as a replacement for the Vought F-8 Crusader aboard smaller USN carriers - giving a Hi-Lo weight/technology/affordability system, much like the F-14/F/A-18 did in real world terms.

Regards
Pioneer
 
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Archibald

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Keep the TF30, Phoenix and AWG-9, VG wing; and put them into a new airframe... oh wait that's a Tomcat, forget it.

:p

More seriously: as soon as the A-7D / A-7E happens circa 1966, put Allison TF41s in the fucking thing (sorry for the swearing, but the F-111B deserves it). It won't save it, but it will immensely help the Tomcat afterwards.

Also screw the stupid crew capsule and put decent ejector seats in that cockpit.

the Colossal Weight Improvement Program
If that's not despair, I don't what it is. How about the megagiganormous hyper-improvement weight trim ? ROTFL
 
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Pioneer

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Keep the TF30, Phoenix and AWG-9, VG wing; and put them into a new airframe... oh wait that's a Tomcat, forget it.

:p

More seriously: as soon as the A-7D / A-7E happens circa 1966, put Allison TF41s in the fucking thing (sorry for the swearing, but the F-111B deserves it). It won't save it, but it will immensely help the Tomcat afterwards.

Also screw the stupid crew capsule and put decent ejector seats in that cockpit.

the Colossal Weight Improvement Program
If that's not despair, I don't what it is. How about the megagiganormous hyper-improvement weight trim ? ROTFL
Totally agree with both the incorporation of TF41's and the elimination of the crew capsule.

Regards
Pioneer
 

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The F-14 was everything the F-111 should have been. I recall reading that of all the F-111 variants, the F comes closest to being a viable fighter in terms of thrust to weight ratio... but even then is more along the lines of a tolerably good interceptor, and then only land based.

I wonder how it might have gone chasing down enemy low-level attack aircraft in the clean configuration for maximum low level speed, with its own TFR to reduce the risk of CFIT and the Vulcan cannon with that enormous magazine (2000 rounds) in the weapons bay.
From what I've read and heard (aircrew interview has some interviews with Aardvark pilots) the F-111 with 4 Mk84s was almost as aerodynamic as clean. I doubt four AMRAAMs would have more of an effect on performance. There was also a snippet in one of the interviews about F-111Fs touching Mach 3 at altitude, and 1.4 on the deck. Not quite able to supercruise though. Maybe with F110s.

While I don't see the B working as a fighter, a B-like version of the F would have been a capable interceptor for ADC/NORAD, the GIUK gap, maybe even Australia. Basically anywhere the primary concern is bombers and/or long range interception involving large areas. Sort of a MiG25/31 role for the West. Enable flights to share data like Mig31s and that would considerably increase their usefulness. Central Europe, not so much. Protecting Japan, Australia, Hawaii, the North Sea, GIUK, Arctic approaches to North America, Canada, etc., yes.
There is a photo out there of an F-111C with four Phoenix, its in one of my books but I will try to find it online. I believe it was weapons carriage trials before anyone gets too excited.
That one?
 

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While I don't see the B working as a fighter, a B-like version of the F would have been a capable interceptor for ADC/NORAD, the GIUK gap, maybe even Australia.
Australia didn't really have a need for this sort of Missile (despite the fanciful rantings of some...:rolleyes:). That said, the F-111B does look cool in fictional Australian markings:

f-111bRANEarly.jpg
 

Volkodav

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The F-14 was everything the F-111 should have been. I recall reading that of all the F-111 variants, the F comes closest to being a viable fighter in terms of thrust to weight ratio... but even then is more along the lines of a tolerably good interceptor, and then only land based.

I wonder how it might have gone chasing down enemy low-level attack aircraft in the clean configuration for maximum low level speed, with its own TFR to reduce the risk of CFIT and the Vulcan cannon with that enormous magazine (2000 rounds) in the weapons bay.
From what I've read and heard (aircrew interview has some interviews with Aardvark pilots) the F-111 with 4 Mk84s was almost as aerodynamic as clean. I doubt four AMRAAMs would have more of an effect on performance. There was also a snippet in one of the interviews about F-111Fs touching Mach 3 at altitude, and 1.4 on the deck. Not quite able to supercruise though. Maybe with F110s.

While I don't see the B working as a fighter, a B-like version of the F would have been a capable interceptor for ADC/NORAD, the GIUK gap, maybe even Australia. Basically anywhere the primary concern is bombers and/or long range interception involving large areas. Sort of a MiG25/31 role for the West. Enable flights to share data like Mig31s and that would considerably increase their usefulness. Central Europe, not so much. Protecting Japan, Australia, Hawaii, the North Sea, GIUK, Arctic approaches to North America, Canada, etc., yes.
There is a photo out there of an F-111C with four Phoenix, its in one of my books but I will try to find it online. I believe it was weapons carriage trials before anyone gets too excited.
That one?
Yes
 

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