Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA3030 F-111C Aardvark "Pave Tack Prototype" A8-138, No. 1 Sqn., RAAF, 1984/5

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 afterburning turbofans. The USAF retired their last F-111 in 1998 but the RAAF continued to use theirs.

The AVQ-26 Pave Tack pod is used to visually locate targets for laser illumination and accurate bomb delivery. The pod is carried inside the F-111 on the rotating bomb bay cradle which allows the aircraft to maintain supersonic speeds because of the lack of drag. This pod makes it possible to designate targets at night or in bad weather to deliver laser-guided bombs on their intended targets. F-111C A8-138, from No. 1 Sqn., RAAF was the prototype for this adaptation. The aircraft completed its maiden flight in 1968 and was delivered to the RAAF in late 1973.

General Dynamics F-111A specifications
Crew – 2 X pilot, weapon systems officer
Performance
Engines – 2 X Pratt & Whitney TF30-P-3 generating 18,500 lbs. thrust each
Maximum speed – 1,452 mph (2,336 km/h)
Cruising speed - 685 mph (1,102 km/h)
Normal Range - 3,632 miles (5,845 km)
Service Ceiling - 57,000 ft. (17,373 m)
Dimensions
Length - 73.5 ft (22.4 m)
Wingspan - 63.0 ft (19.2 m) spread; 32.0 ft (9.74 m) swept
Height - 17.13 ft (5.22 m)
Wing area - 657.4 ft² (61.07 m²) spread; 525 ft² (48.77 m²) swept
Weight
Empty - 47,481 lb (21,537 kg)
Loaded - 82,843 lb (37,577 kg)
Maximum takeoff - 98,979 lb (44,896 kg)
Armament
1 X 20mm M61A1 cannon and up to 24 conventional or nuclear weapons