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I guess I don't need to specify RAAF, right?¬†ūüėÄ

 

I've always liked the F-111 especially since seeing it, as an Aussie kid, doing the infamous dump and burn manouevre.

 

To the non-Aussies I am sure this sounds like something we do when caught without a loo at a friend's barbecue...but no, it's releasing jet fuel straight out the back of the plane while the afterburner is on, leaving a huge crackling plume of raw flame behind the plane.

 

When I was about, well I don't know, very early 20s, my grandfather (an ex-RAAF pilot from WW2) was very ill. He and I had been to the Avalon Air Show a few years prior, and he was too unwell to come to this one. It was to end with a night display of the dump and burn by the F-111. I am pretty sure by this time Australia had the -G as well as the -C, but either way the plane that did it was the dark grey one.

 

So I called him up on a cellphone as the display was beginning (cells were not that common in those days, I think I had bought it so I could be in constant touch with family as his condition deteriorated). He was in and out in those days, just a few weeks before he died, but he was awake enough to realize who I was and what I was doing and I basically said, with about three seconds to spare, "hey, listen to this".

 

The F-111 ripped past at what seemed like basically no height at all, then as it pulled back and raced skywards it did the dump-and-burn.

 

The night sky lit up like day, you could feel the heat on your face, and that thing went up like a rocket - I mean the night launch of Apollo 17 was kind of boring compared to this, you know?

 

The whole time I held the phone out towards it and then I said "DID YOU HEAR THAT?!?" and all I could hear was him laughing happily down the phone. 

 

That was in 1995. 

 

So I found this kit at a local shop here when I returned to my home town after 15 years away and I just decided to pay the absolutely outrageous price they wanted for it and go ahead and build the kit. As I am sure many of you will agree, something about 2020 just prompted a huge wave of nostalgia, and this F-111 dump-and-burn episode came back to me one late despairing night in DC as I was wondering whether my own daughter would ever see her grandparents again. (For those wondering what that's about, it was and remains incredibly difficult to get back to Australia at the moment due to COVID-related travel restrictions).

 

It's the Haswegawa kit - basically their FB-111A kit with new decals. It even comes with the instruction sheet to build it as a USAF FB-111A! I am not enough of an expert to know whether the -G was literally just an old FB-111A, on the outside anyway. I don't envisage any surgery or aftermarket, not least because I have sunk enough cash into this just with the base kit. I did buy a can of Tamiya Gunship Grey to spray it with.

 

I will probably start this later in the GB, because I also have an EF-111 to do, which I might put up in the Unarmed GB that comes along in the last month of this one. It might be fun to do them side-by-side.

 

IMG_20210110_153857766-1-2048x1152.jpg

 

IMG_20210110_153913400-2048x1152.jpg

 

Of course there has to be at least one F-111 in an Australia New Zealand GB - hopefully someone among you with a little more skill will also do one!

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nice!!! Unfortunately I'm no help with this one, the G's came into service well after I left in the late 80's.

 

I will have to build another F-111C one day....but I couldn't face building that dog of a model by Hobby Boss again and I'm not too sure how much better the Academy one is either......plus I'd end up also spending a small fortune on AM bits as well!  :whistle:

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Great choice. 

 

1 hour ago, bianfuxia said:

That was in 1995. 

 

And my first experience with the dump and burn was Richmond NSW just about twenty years before. A crowd pleaser. For me the best was always wings swept back, high knots, low. I was fishing on Oberon Dam when an F-111 came screaming in low, obviously using it as a "target. I should say deathly silent until it passed overhead. What an aircraft! Always be a favorite.

 

A lot of good information on Aussie Modeller for F-111 builds.

 

Ray

Edited by Ray_W
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Gidday Bianfuxia, Although I'm not an aircraft fan, like you I'm rather fond of the F-111. I knew of the RAAF having the F-111C but not the G. With it's wings extended forward I think the aircraft is one of the most graceful to ever take to the skies (beauty in the eye of the beholder etc). I also saw one do a dump and burn over the Swan River here in Perth, a long time ago, but I was quite a long way away and didn't get the best view.

     I built a model kit of one in 1/72 I think, about 40 years ago for one of my young cousins, sadly no photos of it AFAIK. For myself I've scratchbuilt two, rather simple and crude, in 1/250 several decades ago. I've still got them.

     I'm interested in seeing how yours turns out here. Regards, Jeff.

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4 hours ago, Ray_W said:

I was fishing on Oberon Dam when an F-111 came screaming in low, obviously using it as a "target. I should say deathly silent until it passed overhead. What an aircraft! Always be a favorite.

 

 

Now that you mention this I remember another cool F-111 memory. 

 

You probably know the legendary story of how the RAAF wanted to get laser guided bombs for the F-111 but some bureaucrat (sorry, scratch that, some "shiny-bum faceless Canberra bureaucrat"*) kept blocking it. So then the RAAF flew a mock mission against the Defence Department at Russell in Canberra and used the laser pod to target this guy's office, then mailed him the video showing his office in the little cross-hairs. According to the legend, the bureaucratic resistance suddenly disappeared.

 

Well, whether that story is true or not, I was riding my bike across Commonwealth Avenue bridge one day during high school, so this was between 1984 and 1988, when a three-tone camo F-111 screamed in left to right (as I rode north, in other words, it was heading direct towards Russell). At the time I just thought "COOOOOL" but later when I heard that story, I wondered if I'd struck it lucky and been there right at the right moment.

 

* shiny-bum faceless Canberra bureaucrat - I write this in jest having spent the first part of my career being one of those. We do a lot more good than people outside Canberra give us credit for, hahahaha.

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38 minutes ago, bianfuxia said:

Well, whether that story is true or not,

 

Great story whether it is F-111 mythology or not. 

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13 hours ago, bianfuxia said:

It's the Haswegawa kit - basically their FB-111A kit with new decals. It even comes with the instruction sheet to build it as a USAF FB-111A! I am not enough of an expert to know whether the -G was literally just an old FB-111A, on the outside anyway. I don't envisage any surgery or aftermarket, not least because I have sunk enough cash into this just with the base kit. I did buy a can of Tamiya Gunship Grey to spray it with.

I think that was the case.  When the FB-111A was retired from USAF service, some airframes were transferred to strengthen RAAF - possibly pending delivery of more, or new  F18s.

The FB-111A and F-111C both having the long span wings.   The C has splitter plate intakes - the G not - hence basing on an FB kit.

The only other difference I can think of that really matters is the astro-tracker.   This a circular porthole just in front of the cockpit. 

Looks like it was removed and plated over in the photos of RAAF F-111Gs that I've found,  so just fill and smooth that area before painting.

 

Here's my Hasegawa FB-111A, built 1991ish.

Hasegawa-FB111-A-P.jpg

Hasegawa-FB111-A-S.jpg

 

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The F-111G was the USAF designation given to the FB-111As following their avionics update program. Theses G's were no longer in the nuke deliver business (but could still deliver conventional weapons) and this gear was removed when the RAAF took delivery of the Gs, although they retained their astrotracker, nuclear flash blind curtains and the CBs for the SRAMs. The astrotracker 'hump' was still there, but the glass section of the astrotracker was faired over. They also retained their cockpit ashtrays, apparently some of the USAF 'good ól boys' enjoyed a stogey in-flight! 

 

The Gs were bought to reduce the flying hours accrued by the Cs and were only operated by 6SQN, as 1SQN  used the F-111Cs and later the RF-111Cs exclusively. Whilst 15 F-111Gs were bought, in practice only about six of these airframes actually flew with the RAAF as the remaining airframes were bought as attrition spares. 6SQN's role was as a type conversion unit and recce, with the ability to augment 1SQN when required. The recce role was later transferred to 1SQN shortly after the RAAF AUP programme was introduced and so the four RF-111Cs were transferred to 1SQN and and 6SQN operated a mix of Cand G models. The G's also had  a different fuel dump mast, pylons , external fuel tanks and were alos fitted with low-viz formation lights

 

Pappy

Edited by Pappy
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  • 2 weeks later...

Good to see a F-111 in this GB. I intend to join in with one as well, either with the F-111G with a maritime strike loadout (would four Harpoons be accurate?) or an RF-111C (could someone comment on the quality of Hasegawas Recon 'pod' and if these aircraft were fitted with more than two drop tanks?).

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I'm glad I won't be the only F-111 builder! I don't know the answer to those questions though, I'm sorry.

 

I do know that when the F-111s (C or G I don't know) sank the DPRK drug smuggling boat they used laser guided bombs:

 

 

Edited by bianfuxia
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21 hours ago, Anatol Pigwa said:

Good to see a F-111 in this GB. I intend to join in with one as well, either with the F-111G with a maritime strike loadout (would four Harpoons be accurate?) or an RF-111C (could someone comment on the quality of Hasegawas Recon 'pod' and if these aircraft were fitted with more than two drop tanks?).

I don't believe the G was ever clear for the maritime strike role, I have only seen images of them carrying LGBs and slick bombs. The C models were configured though and I have only seen 2 harpoons carried by operational F-111Cs, the ARDU )a8-132) jet did carry 4 in trials.

 

The Hasegawa kit of the F-111C does not include the recon pallet, the pallet replaces the weapons bay doors and is a resin aftermarket part. I believe you are talking about the the Pave Tack targeting pods which looks pretty good. though it is portrayed in the deployed passion, on the ground it was stowed and pivoted partially into the weapons bay.

 

 

 

 

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22 hours ago, bianfuxia said:

I'm glad I won't be the only F-111 builder! I don't know the answer to those questions though, I'm sorry.

 

I do know that when the F-111s (C or G I don't know) sank the DPRK drug smuggling boat they used laser guided bombs:

 

 

The 2 aircraft were both C models, A8-148 dropped the LGBs while was A8-145 a airborne spare just in case 148 went unserviceable.

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6 hours ago, Romeo Alpha Yankee said:

I don't believe the G was ever clear for the maritime strike role, I have only seen images of them carrying LGBs and slick bombs. The C models were configured though and I have only seen 2 harpoons carried by operational F-111Cs, the ARDU )a8-132) jet did carry 4 in trials.

 

The Hasegawa kit of the F-111C does not include the recon pallet, the pallet replaces the weapons bay doors and is a resin aftermarket part. I believe you are talking about the the Pave Tack targeting pods which looks pretty good. though it is portrayed in the deployed passion, on the ground it was stowed and pivoted partially into the weapons bay.

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the info. Ib the grand scheme of things I might do the following F-111 1:72retrospective over the coming year(s):

 

The FB-111 as a Dark Vark with SRAM missiles.

 

YFB-111 (with a F-111C as the base?) (If I can source the microscale decals 72-132 from somewhere)

 

The F-111A with mk-82s

 

the RF-111C wth 82nd Wing 6th Sq. 90th anniversary markings. 

 

the F-111D in SEA camo and CBU loadout

 

the F-111E with bicenntial markings and a durandal/BLU 107 load

 

the F-111F as a LGB carrier (GBU-15?)

 

the F-111G as a maritime strike package -strayibg in the 'what if' territorry or with one if those nifty asymmetric loads with 1 Harpoon 1 Sidewinder and two different LGBs.

 

 

 

 

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Lovely story about your grandfather. Enjoy the build and the fond memories. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have got close to building this aircraft on many occasions and for reasons I can recall have never followed through with it.

I look forward to seeing this one come together and hopefully finally getting to build one myself in the near future 

Cheers Pat 

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