Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA3027 RF-111C A8-143, 1 Squadron, RAAF Tindal, November 1999

The General Dynamics F-111 entered service in 1967 as a medium-range aircraft designed for interdiction and tactical strikes. The F-111 was used as an all-weather attack aircraft capable of low-level penetration of enemy territory. It also could be used for reconnaissance and electronic warfare. Some unique features are variable geometry wings, the 2 crew members sat side by side in an escape capsule, internal weapons bay; terrain following radar and after-burning turbofans. The USAF retired their last F-111 in 1998 but the RAAF continued to use theirs until 2010.

In 1963 Australian ordered 24 F-111Cs. In 1992 another 15 F-111G aircraft were delivered. Between 1979 and 1980 four F-111Cs were modified to RF-111C reconnaissance variants. Delivered in 1973 F-111C A8-143 was one of the 4. In 1975 Indonesia invaded East Timor and in 1999 after years of violence, the UN issued a resolution to restore peace. Australia took the lead and the RAAF sent 10 F-111s and numerous other types to RAAF Tindal to operate over East Timor and help restore peace. RF-111C was written off in 2006.

Specifications for the General Dynamics F-111C
Name – referred to as “Pig” by the RAAF
Role - two-seat variable geometry, all-weather strike bomber
Entered service - Ordered in 1963, Delivered in June 1973
Crew - 2 side by side in air conditioned and pressurized capsule. The capsule ejects to provide shelter and protection from outside elements
Powerplant – 2 x Pratt & Whitney TF30-P103 two shaft axial flow turbofan engines rated @18,500 lb thrust with afterburners Engine weight - 4,062lb (1,843 kg)
Max Speed (clean) - Mach 2.4 @ 40,000ft, Mach 1.1 @sea level Typical range - cruise 485 mph at 19,000ft Climb rate (combat) - 23,000ft/min Ceiling Height - 50,000 / 65,000ft (depending on weight) Ferry range with internal fuel - 3,700 miles
Length - 73ft 6in (22.4m) Height - 17ft 1.4in (5.22m) Wing area - 550sq ft (51.1m2) Wing Sweep 16 degrees (extended) - 70ft (21.33m) span 72 degrees (full) sweep - 33ft 11.5in (10.35 m)
1 x 20mm M61A1 Vulcan with 2,084 rounds. (No longer carried) 4 x GBU-15, 2000lb T.V. Guided Bombs 4 x GBU-10, 2000lb Laser Guided bombs 4 x Mk.84, 2,000lb bombs 20 x Karinga cluster bomblet dispensers 24 x 25lb practice bombs 24 x 25 lb high-drag practice bombs 4 x Harpoon, radar guided anti shipping missiles 4 x GBU-12, 500lb Laser guided 20 x Mk.82 500lb iron bombs with high-drag tail attachment 24 x standard Mk.82 bombs Up to 6 x AIM-9 Sidewinder, Air-Air Missiles 6 x 600 gallon drop tanks
The internal weapons bay can house either fuel, bombs or the AVQ-26 Pave Tack Target Designator