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Hajo L.

FB-111A - Pictures and Armament?

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I was lucky and got hold of a Hasegawa FB-111A-kit for only little money.

 

I´m planning to build "68-0239" of the 380 BW. Are there any pictures around of that particular (dark green, dark grey) camoflage?

 

Any ideas about the armament? The kit comes with 3 pylons on each wing, carrying 2 tanks and a MER (the special "Aardvark-one") with Durandal anti-runway bombs... Don´t know if that makes sense on a strategic bomber.

 

 

HAJO

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Standard armament for SAC birds in that timeframe was usually 2 SRAM’s internal and tanks on the 4 inner pylons.  

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Should have did one from the 509th.  They some times painted up their RWRs on the tail to look like a smiley face. 

http://www.airfighters.com/photo/20465/M/USA-Air-Force/General-Dynamics-FB-111A-Aardvark/68-0273/

 

Usually from what I could tell for practice they had two SUU-20's on the outer two pylons and some times a CATM-9 on one of the inner pylons. http://www.airfighters.com/photo/20462/M/USA-Air-Force/General-Dynamics-FB-111A-Aardvark/68-0257/

 

 

or you could load it heavy with a full load of MER's and MK.82 AIR's. 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nomans_Land_Range#/media/File%3AA_509th_Bombardment_Wing_FB-111A_aircraft_drops_Mark_82_high_drag_practice_bombs_along_a_coastline_during_a_training_exercise_DF-ST-91-02468.jpg

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Thanks for the input! Looks like the camoflage-colors are very close to each other with only minimal contrast...

 

The kit instructions say that the bird should have 3 pylons on each wing. If I´m not mistaken, this would limit the operation of the swept wing to only one position, since the oitboard pylons could not be moved in their angle. Am I right?

 

 

HAJO

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30 minutes ago, Hajo L. said:

 

The kit instructions say that the bird should have 3 pylons on each wing. If I´m not mistaken, this would limit the operation of the swept wing to only one position, since the oitboard pylons could not be moved in their angle. Am I right?

 

 

HAJO

Hi,

 

Yes, that is something I read about the FB-111.

Apparantly, they did practice (or had warplans for) taking off with the outer pylons positioned for swept back wings while the other pylons and the wings were in the normal position for take-off. Once they went to high-speed flight, all pylons would be pointing in the same direction.

It would be an interesting model and most people looking at it would think that you did something wrong.:rolleyes:

 

Cheers, Stefan. 

  

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4 hours ago, Stefan buysse said:

Hi,

 

Yes, that is something I read about the FB-111.

Apparantly, they did practice (or had warplans for) taking off with the outer pylons positioned for swept back wings while the other pylons and the wings were in the normal position for take-off. Once they went to high-speed flight, all pylons would be pointing in the same direction.

It would be an interesting model and most people looking at it would think that you did something wrong.:rolleyes:

 

Cheers, Stefan. 

  

Very interesting.   I never heard that one before, be curious if anyone can confirm this.  I'm thinking the lateral loading on the outer tank / pylon (if the tank even could clear the middle one) would be too much.   What I've read is that for certain missions that required max range for the FB, they would launch tanks on all 6 pylons (or possibly SRAM's on the inners).   They would fly with wings in the forward position until a predetermined point, at which time they would jettison the outer tanks and pylons.  

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I'm beginning to think that not many of these images exist. I've been scouring the inter webs and with the exception of a few SRAM test pictures I haven't come across any images of operational FB nuke loadouts. It makes sense I guess, imagine the proverbial s-storm that would've ensued should someone whip out a camera on a SAC base flight line to snap a few pics of an FB taxing by with nukes!

I remember flights of two FB's flying over the house in the 80's having four external tanks. Now weather they had B61, B83 or SRAM's internal I have no idea but I thought the USAF practice of flying nukes over the mainland ended in the late 60's.

So I guess the next question would be what would the loadout be if SAC received the strike order? 11bee might be validating what I remember as a kid.

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For the strategic nuclear mission you're looking at the AGM-69 SRAM, B61, or B83 weapons depending on timeframe and tasking.  Here's a nice build of an FB-111, showing a mixed load and how the wings and pylons would be set on the ground.  LINK  For the conventional mission, the four inboard pylons would be used with F-111 specific MERs mounted there, carrying Mk-82s or SUU-30s.  Notice on the picture below the outboard pylons have six weapons but the inboard pylons have MERs loaded in the "slant four" configuration without weapons on the inboard stations.

 

Regards,

Murph

 

EJxCQ7i.jpg

 

Edited by Murph

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6 hours ago, Hajo L. said:

Thanks for the input! Looks like the camoflage-colors are very close to each other with only minimal contrast...

 

The kit instructions say that the bird should have 3 pylons on each wing. If I´m not mistaken, this would limit the operation of the swept wing to only one position, since the oitboard pylons could not be moved in their angle. Am I right?

 

 

HAJO

ipiM5v.jpgebUMUl.jpgFrom certain distance or angles there is little contrast but up close reveals significant contrast. These are of ship 267 at the SAC museum in Omaha.

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4 hours ago, 11bee said:

Very interesting.   I never heard that one before, be curious if anyone can confirm this.  I'm thinking the lateral loading on the outer tank / pylon (if the tank even could clear the middle one) would be too much.   What I've read is that for certain missions that required max range for the FB, they would launch tanks on all 6 pylons (or possibly SRAM's on the inners).   They would fly with wings in the forward position until a predetermined point, at which time they would jettison the outer tanks and pylons.  

Hi,

 

The description is on page 65 of "F-111 Aardvark" by Davies and Thornborough in the Crowood Aviation series.

They write that the usual combat load for the FB-111 was 4 nuclear weapons (2 internally and 2 on the inner pylons) and 4 droptanks.

They describe the take-off with the outer tanks pigeon-toed as one of the most curious sights in aviation.

The plan for combat (which luckily never came) was to take off and meet KC-135's that had taken off earlier. The KC-135's would have climbed to 25,000 feet and would be descending  to gain speed while the FB-111's would be climbing. Their time gate for the rendez-vous was tighter than with the B-52/KC-135 combination. The solid flight characteristics made the tanking itself a bit easier than in the B-52.

 

Cheers, Stefan.

 

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I used to maintain FB's at Pease AFB 1986-90 during the Dark Vark days.  The camo color call outs and pattern are 100% correct on the 1/72 Hasegawa FB kit.

This is the Academy 1/48 FB-111A with loads of resin.  The upper colors are Model Master Green Drab, Euro I Gray, on the bottom there is some patches of Gunship Gray.

The Hasegawa 1/72 kits are still the gems of the F-111 kits.

John

 

H1IxSw3.png?1

 

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6Gr7Voh.png?1

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9 minutes ago, Raptor01 said:

I used to maintain FB's at Pease AFB 1986-90 during the Dark Vark days.  The camo color call outs and pattern are 100% correct on the 1/72 Hasegawa FB kit.

This is the Academy 1/48 FB-111A with loads of resin.  The upper colors are Model Master Green Drab, Euro I Gray, on the bottom there is some patches of Gunship Gray.

The Hasegawa 1/72 kits are still the gems of the F-111 kits.

John

 

H1IxSw3.png?1

 

Ezdlasa.png?1

 

6Gr7Voh.png?1

Nice job Raptor, where did you get the SRAM’s?  Did you ever see the tank configuration Stefan described above?  Seems improbable.  I’d love to see some pics of it.  Also, what was the most common SIOP loadout you saw during those days. 

Edited by 11bee

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Here is a FB-111A starting up showing the tank configuration:

 

4724d8cdeeb4a561cb028dbf2d45a95d.jpg

 

Jari

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That pic is how they sat on alert.  Usual load out were 2 SRAMS & 2 B-61 silver bullets.  The 1/48 resin SRAMS were Scaldown items,  there might be some in the 1/48 Revell B-1B.  Memory is a little sketchy, back in those days photography was forbidden on the flight line and especially in sensitive areas.  You would be in serious shite if you were caught taking unauthorized pictures.

 

John

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Thanks John and Jari. What a cool picture, wouldn’t have believed it that was possible.  What’s that store on the inner pylon? 

 

Was up at Pease a few months back.   Sad seeing those shelters sitting empty.   

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17 minutes ago, 11bee said:

Thanks John and Jari. What a cool picture, wouldn’t have believed it that was possible.  What’s that store on the inner pylon? 

 

Was up at Pease a few months back.   Sad seeing those shelters sitting empty.   

Looks to be a B61 with the Buck Rogers looking tail fins, possibly circa late 70's from the looks of the crew car and SIOP scheme.

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I was stationed at Pease from 84-86 .....worked in the weapons 'systems' shop .....where we took care of the aircraft's weapons systems ...conventional and non-conventional ......

other weapons guys did the loading or worked in the back-shop, maintaining weapons bomb racks, pylons, etc.

 

anyways .....I got to spend a lot of time out on the alert pad, in the event they ever had to launch and ran into a weapon's issue before taxiing out.

Normal load was the toed-in tanks on stations 2 & 7 (station 2 & 7 pylons were in a fixed position, they did not pivot when the wings changed positions, when the wings were swept back about 1/2 way back  the tanks would then be aligned straight along the fuselage axis line, if the wings were swept further back, the pylon with tanks would automatically be jettisoned from the aircraft) ....on the alert pad, stations 2 & 7 would have tanks loaded, stations 3 & 6 would have tanks (pivot pylons) and the inboard pylons, 4 & 5, were also pivot pylons. We normally saw two SRAMs in the weapons bay and either one each B61 bombs or one each B83 bombs on stations 4 & 5. I did see a four SRAM loadout on a couple of occasions ( two in the bay and one each on stations 4 & 5).

off the alert pad,  the jets normally flew 2 or 4 tank configurations. 

 

Hope this helps.

 

Scott

 

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If the SRAMs were in the weapons bay, did they still have the tail end fairing installed?

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Now I guess its time to find 2 more Monogram/Revell A-10 fuel tanks, I thought i only needed 2 total, lol. BTW, Belcher bits sells a 1/48 B61 and B83 in his Modern US Nukes set. The SRAMs can be had from the B-1 kit.

Also, with all the cool stuff hanging from the wings I guess I need to figure a way to stiffen the wing a bit to prevent droop over time.

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8 hours ago, Mstor said:

If the SRAMs were in the weapons bay, did they still have the tail end fairing installed?

I do not think the fairings on the SRAMs were needed in the weapons bay.  I think they were used when the SRAMs were mounted externally to ensure a smooth release.  MMS guys know more, I was AMS.

 

John

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You might find this helpful, although I was a fighter, not a bomber guy :) There are other segments there as well.

 

The tanks on 2/7 were mounted to be streamlined at a 26° wing sweep (the normal climb/cruise setting). Takeoff wing sweep was normally 16° (or sometimes 20°), which presented the somewhat disconcerting pigeon-toed appearance on takeoff.

 

There was a detent at 26° on the wing sweep control lever. I seriously doubt the outboard tanks/pylons were 'automatically' jettisoned, rather the pilot would be reminded by the detent to jettison them before moving the wings farther aft.

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One more thing—NEVER hang fuel tanks on the onboard pylons! That never happened operationally, despite what Hasegawa box art might indicate.

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42 minutes ago, mrvark said:

One more thing—NEVER hang fuel tanks on the onboard pylons! That never happened operationally, despite what Hasegawa box art might indicate.

I remember an unclass SIOP brief we had in 1990 about the FB mission profile.  It has been about 27 years but I think the toed in tanks launched dry and the first rendezvous with the KC’s would tank up over Newfound & Labrador northbound, it has been a few years.

 

John

Edited by Raptor01

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