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..
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!
Oct 27, 2012 9:22:13 pmby RodS Online Now! Homepage »
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.
Oct 28, 2012 7:16:19 amby 1358 Homepage »
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!