14 Facts About F-111


General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark is a retired supersonic, medium-range, multirole combat aircraft.

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F-111 pioneered several technologies for production aircraft, including variable-sweep wings, afterburning turbofan engines, and automated terrain-following radar for low-level, high-speed flight.

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The F-111 suffered a variety of problems during initial development.

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The F-111 was replaced in USAF service by the F-15E Strike Eagle for medium-range precision strike missions, while the supersonic bomber role has been assumed by the B-1B Lancer.

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The F-111 design included new features on a production military aircraft, such as variable-geometry wings and afterburning turbofan engines.

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Cracks in the F-111's wing attach points were first discovered in 1968 during ground fatigue testing; an F-111 crashed the following year due to this issue.

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F-111 was an all-weather attack aircraft, capable of low-level penetration of enemy defenses to deliver ordnance on the target.

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The F-111 featured variable-geometry wings, an internal weapons bay and a cockpit with side-by-side seating.

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F-111 used a three-point landing gear arrangement, with a two-wheel nose gear and two single-wheel main landing gear units.

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Early F-111 models had radars equipped to guide the AIM-7 Sparrow medium-range air-to-air missile, but it was never fitted.

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One F-111 could carry the bomb load of four McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom IIs.

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One F-111 was lost over Libya and crashed into the Mediterranean Sea, probably shot down.

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F-111 was in service with the USAF from 1967 through 1998.

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In 2006, an RAAF F-111 was chosen to scuttle the North Korean ship Pong Su that had been seized in 2003 in one of the largest drug hauls in Australia.

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