Aircraft Type and Background
USAF General Dynamics F-111F / 70-2375
Aircraft Type Nickname: "Aardvark". (Accepted as official name on retirement)
Built by General Dynamics [Wiki] and carrying a crew of two, the F-111 was capable of flying at twice the speed of sound (Mach 2). This swing-wing aircraft entered service with the USAF in 1967. The F-111 could swing its wings rearward while in flight, and forward for take-off, landings, and slow-speed flight.
Two main versions (with later variants) were produced: The F-111A for the USAF and the F-111B for the US Navy. The Navy variant was later cancelled. F-111K variants intended for the RAF were also cancelled. The F-111E variant featured here was an improved version of the F-111A.
The F-111A was equipped with two Pratt and Whitney TF30-P-3 engines with afterburners. The aircraft had a maximum speed of 1,452mph and a range of 3,632 miles. Its service ceiling was 57,000ft.
The armaments carried were one 20mm M61A1 gun, plus a mix of up to 24 conventional or nuclear weapons.
[Above data courtesy of National Museum of USAF]
BELOW: An F-111 with variable-swing wings configured for take-off, landing and low-speed flight.
Photo: Courtesy of the National Museum of the USAF
Aircraft Accident Details
However, it seems that the pilot may have pulled up from the attack and entered cloud. This disorientated him momentarily, causing him to lose his bearings and to permit the aircraft to enter a nose-down attitude.
Before he could recover, the F-111 had crashed into a field just outside the village off Lauder, killing both airmen and leaving a deep scar in the field. The aircraft had narrowly avoided hitting a row of cottages a quarter of a mile away.
Registration or Serial: 70-2375
Operator: USAF (United States Air Force)
Operating Base: Unknown
F-111 Aardvark Links
F-111 Video Links
F-111 Jets on Display at YouTube (video: 0:43 seconds)
F-111 Wings at YouTube (F-111 in action / video with commentary: 10:02 minutes)
Local Region Museum
General Dynamics F-111A Aardvark at National Museum of the USAF
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F-111F Aardvark 70-2375
Lauder near Galashiels, Borders