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General Dynamics EF-111A Raven

Member Since Mar 28, 2008
2225 Images, Last upload Mar 2, 2015

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Greetings Folks,

Return to the USAF Museum, Dayton, Ohio now and a rare aircraft.. Only a few of these were made (or rather converted)..

EF-111A Ravens, known affectionately as 'Fat Tails' and 'Spark Varks,' (the F-111 is known as the Aardvark), served as tactical electronic jamming aircraft in the 1980s and 1990s. The U.S. Air Force received 42 EF-111As between 1981 and 1985, and the aircraft supported several USAF operations in the 1980s and 1990s..

In the 1970s Grumman began modifying 42 F-111A fighters by adding jamming equipment to create the EF-111A. A 16-foot-long, canoe-shaped radome on the underside for the fuselage housed high-powered transmitter antennas, and a fin-tip pod on the vertical stabilizer housed receiving antennas and other equipment, including a processor to detect hostile radar emissions. This complex gear weighed about four tons. Because the equipment required full-time attention in flight, the right seat crewmember, or Electronic Warfare Officer, no longer performed flight-related duties but instead monitored the jamming equipment.

In 1984 Grumman/General Dynamics Corp. began building additional modification kits for the EF-111A which enabled the aircraft to operate in three roles: standoff jamming, close in jamming and penetration/escort.

Ravens served first with the 390th Electronic Combat Squadron based at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Later, they were based at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico. The U.S. Air Force retired its EF-111As in June 1998, and this aircraft was placed on display at the museum in July 1998..

Armament: None
Engines: Two Pratt & Whitney TF30-P-109 turbofans of 20,840 lbs. thrust each
Maximum speed: 1,452 mph
Range: 2,482 miles
Ceiling: 55,400 ft.

Note the escape pod in front of it..
This cockpit crew escape module on display is the first one ever used to save the lives of its occupants. On Oct. 19,1967, two General Dynamic contractor pilots flying F-111A (s/n 63-9780) over Texas were required to eject the module when the plane experienced complete hydraulic failure and became uncontrollable.

Ejection was made at 28,000 feet and 280 knots air speed; the two occupants remained in the module as it parachuted to earth and were not injured. In contrast to the one-man escape capsule that was installed in the B-58, the complete cockpit section of the F-111 separates from the plane's fuselage and is lowered safely to earth by parachute.

Hope you like!
October 27, 2012
451.6 kB

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Image Comments

Oct 27, 2012 11:34:43 am
EXCELLENT photo and descriptive INFO!

by TallPockets Homepage »

Oct 27, 2012 11:41:43 am
Very cool image and information, especially about the pod

by Faemike55 Homepage »

Oct 27, 2012 11:47:00 am
Fantastic looking photo Rob, that is one amazing airplane.

by magnus073 Homepage »

Oct 27, 2012 11:59:05 am
Love it! F-111s operated out of my brother's base in Thailand during Vietnam. Great history!

by Buffalo1 Homepage »

Oct 27, 2012 12:00:36 pm
Cool shot.

by ragouc Homepage »

Oct 27, 2012 1:29:54 pm
Well, I see it coming, one day I have make a render with such a aircraft, GREAT!!

by munich68 Online Now!   Homepage »

Oct 27, 2012 2:06:49 pm
Great shot, and as usual a top notch history!

by taliesin86001 Homepage »

Oct 27, 2012 2:24:59 pm
A wonderful and well lit shot Rob and thanks for the info too.

by jayfar Homepage »

Oct 27, 2012 3:28:27 pm
Always so impressive planes my friend a long nose like pinocio Lol... ((5++))

by mickeyrony Homepage »

Oct 27, 2012 6:41:14 pm
Great photo. I miss our F111s already... though some will be bound for display I'm sure.

by Briney Homepage »

Oct 27, 2012 9:22:13 pm
A great shot of this amazing airplane, Rob! I'll never forget when I was stationed at Holloman AFB in New Mexico - we had a couple of these fly over, wings fully extended, and land. I was amazed at how large they were. It was still classified a fighter-bomber at that time.

by RodS Homepage »

Oct 28, 2012 12:27:05 am
I am one who luvs this aircraft, excellent photo.

by bebopdlx Homepage »

Oct 28, 2012 4:44:56 am
Yep, I Like!!.. cool shot, and as always.. you put up an itneresting read as well!

by tigertim Homepage »

Oct 28, 2012 7:16:19 am
liked it a lot... you can't appreciate exactly how immense this thing is until you see one up close... and then you wonder, "how did it ever get airborne...."
for every hour the plane was up, it took ten hours of downtime for repairs...
cool capture, m'friend!

by 1358 Homepage »

Oct 28, 2012 7:26:56 am
Wow such a long nose on this one awesome capture and history piece.

by dakotabluemoon Homepage »

Oct 28, 2012 8:54:12 am
superb picture

by flavia49 Homepage »

Oct 28, 2012 10:08:58 am
Excellent picture of a classic!

by steelrazer Homepage »

Oct 28, 2012 12:02:19 pm
Never even heard of this one before Rob so thanks for that.
I can also see how it got it's Aardvark name and the escape pod is interesting.

Great POV and write up mate, i've tried looking for a model of this but can't find one.

by Maxidyne Homepage »

Oct 28, 2012 12:16:42 pm
This a great shot of this poweful machine.

by knupps Homepage »

Oct 28, 2012 5:11:33 pm
Superb POV employed to capture at least most of the length of this flying electronics aircraft, Rob, with most extensive information in this posting. I seem to recall the F-111s being used in Vietnam. This model appears in need of a new paint job.

by goodoleboy Homepage »

Nov 2, 2012 11:56:23 pm
That is so cool! Almost space aged!!

by lunchlady Homepage »

Dec 10, 2012 6:06:58 pm
#1759 in the back log and then I am gone. I am feeling not well today just letting you know I saw your render.

by HADCANCER Homepage »

Jan 22, 2013 6:13:52 pm
I remember they wanted to do the same style ejection pod on the Space Shuttle. So very cool to see it next to the F-111.

by Inspired_Art Online Now!   Homepage »


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