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Hajo L.

FB-111A - Pictures and Armament?

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7rD5ZX.jpgFound this interesting photo of an alert FB at Plattsburgh in late 70’s early 80’s. Looks like 2 B83’s.

Edited by Hooker169
Ordinance are actually B43 nukes.

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AGjwg3.pngThe post prior to this actually shows B43 nukes. Which makes sence, the B83 didn't come online till mid 80's and this pic is certainly prior to that.

Edited by Hooker169
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Nice pic Hooker!  Quite the rarity,  I'm guessing that was an "informal" shot, since it was probably forbidden to take pics of alert birds with live weapons. 

 

I know the answer is impossible to know for sure but any speculation on what it would have carried internally?   2 more B43's or SRAM's?

 

 

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11bee, I’m not sure. It’s seems to be a unique loadout considering all the above posts so who knows for sure what’s loaded in the bay. I would assume from a tactical standpoint you would need to retain some sort of standoff capability so I’m guessing SRAMs.

Its interesting going back and researching this stuff and coming up with little tidbits like this, someone can correct me if I’m off base, but apparently the FBs would penetrate low and fast to between 50 or 100 miles from Soviet AA defenses, launch SRAMs to “kick the door down” then fly through to their main targets. Talk about a one way trip!

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2 minutes ago, Hooker169 said:

11bee, I’m not sure. It’s seems to be a unique loadout considering all the above posts so who knows for sure what’s loaded in the bay. I would assume from a tactical standpoint you would need to retain some sort of standoff capability so I’m guessing SRAMs.

Its interesting going back and researching this stuff and coming up with little tidbits like this, someone can correct me if I’m off base, but apparently the FBs would penetrate low and fast to between 50 or 100 miles from Soviet AA defenses, launch SRAMs to “kick the door down” then fly through to their main targets. Talk about a one way trip!

Agreed, this has been a very interesting thread.   I read somewhere that the main role of the FB’s  was to take out air defense sites on the Soviet border to allow the heavy bombers to further penetrate inland.  

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I think it would interesting to see what a typical alert mission profile would have been. How many ships? Where and how many times do you have to tank to get to Eastern Europe or Soviet Union. As far as after weapon delivery what then? Obviously the world just completely changed since we took off so where are we flying back to, stopping for fuel, tanking?  

Just trying to put myself in the crews shoes for a moment; you’re on alert taking off for most likely a one way mission knowing that one way or another you’ll never see your wife and kids again and still maintaining your ability to think through critical issues throughout.  Truely unimaginable.

People sometimes scoff at the term Cold War Veteran. I personally think these folks did more to secure global peace than any since WWII.

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I know the operational B-61s are silver; these B-43s look to be painted white ?  

Would this be their operational colour, or are these 'drill rounds' for load-handling training ?

 

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5 hours ago, 11bee said:

Nice pic Hooker!  Quite the rarity,  I'm guessing that was an "informal" shot, since it was probably forbidden to take pics of alert birds with live weapons. 

 

I know the answer is impossible to know for sure but any speculation on what it would have carried internally?   2 more B43's or SRAM's?

 

 

 

20 minutes ago, Piker38 said:

I know the operational B-61s are silver; these B-43s look to be painted white ?  

Would this be their operational colour, or are these 'drill rounds' for load-handling training ?

 

We’re assuming these are operational weapons. Could it be an alert drill? Possibly, but the presence of both boarding ladders and air start cart tells me its an actual alert jet being discretely photographed by one of its ground crew warming up in a crew van.  Like 11bee and another ARCer said, these pictures are extremely rare and the mere possession of a camera around alert aircraft and weapons would bring a world of hurt down on you.

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1 hour ago, Hooker169 said:

I think it would interesting to see what a typical alert mission profile would have been. How many ships? Where and how many times do you have to tank to get to Eastern Europe or Soviet Union. As far as after weapon delivery what then? Obviously the world just completely changed since we took off so where are we flying back to, stopping for fuel, tanking?  

Just trying to put myself in the crews shoes for a moment; you’re on alert taking off for most likely a one way mission knowing that one way or another you’ll never see your wife and kids again and still maintaining your ability to think through critical issues throughout.  Truely unimaginable.

People sometimes scoff at the term Cold War Veteran. I personally think these folks did more to secure global peace than any since WWII.

Somewhere on the interweb a few years ago, I read an awesome short story about WW3 from the perspective of a B-58 crew that was sitting on alert.   Very intense and gives you some idea what it would have been like.

 

I'm currently reading another book and there is a quick interview with an A-4 pilot, circa 1963.  He said that in those pre-Vietnam days,  80% of his training was SIOP related and something to the effect that he had no doubt that he would reach his assigned target in the USSR and deliver his weapon "without remorse or compassion".   He said he probably had performed over 4,000 LABS deliveries in the course of his career.  50 miles from the target, they were expected to be at 50' altitude, in any weather.  These guys took it seriously!

 

With regard to what they would have done after weapons delivery, in theory many of the bombers would have landed at various bare-bones bases in the mid-east, Turkey or other locales and then launched for follow up strikes but in reality, it didn't sound like anyone really expected this to be feasible. 

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http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArchive/Pages/2011/March 2011/0311victor.aspx

So basically all these guys knew they were training for a one way trip, amazing!

The article above is about fighters on Victor alert in Europe and their evolution through the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Super interesting. But down at the bottom there is a short piece from a pilot who said they would navigate towards a target with an eye patch covering one eye, with nukes going off all around at least you would have two shots at hitting the target. He made no mention of navigating home.

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Days before Open House 1989 at Pease,  personal pix from my youth!

 

John

 

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John! Those are priceless shots! Thanks for sharing. 

I went to every open house from 1986 till Pease closed, man those great.

That looks like ship 508 “Strange Cargo” with the SRAM and B61, obviously a loadout strictly for the “civilian folk” right?wVQj0r.jpg

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2 hours ago, Hooker169 said:

John! Those are priceless shots! Thanks for sharing. 

I went to every open house from 1986 till Pease closed, man those great.

That looks like ship 508 “Strange Cargo” with the SRAM and B61, obviously a loadout strictly for the “civilian folk” right?wVQj0r.jpg

Very surprised that they would equip a display ship w nukes, even just shapes.   Never saw that before, typically the AF never wanted to “advertise” special weapons.   

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28 minutes ago, 11bee said:

Very surprised that they would equip a display ship w nukes, even just shapes.   Never saw that before, typically the AF never wanted to “advertise” special weapons

You are right about that but that is what was on display.  Inert trainers of course.  Notice the gray radome on the FB in the 4th pic, we had a couple AMP modded FB's, they had the gray radomes.  By this time SAC knew it's days were numbered and it's influence was not what it once was.

John

 

 

Edited by Raptor01
grammar

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On 11/19/2017 at 11:03 AM, 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.  

 

 

From what I recall , the outer pylon were stationary while the inboards one  adjusted to the sweep of the wing.

 

Cheers, Christian

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3 hours ago, 11bee said:

Very surprised that they would equip a display ship w nukes, even just shapes.   Never saw that before, typically the AF never wanted to “advertise” special weapons.   

 

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I stand corrected, it’s not 508, it’s ship 513 “Top Secret”

6 hours ago, Hooker169 said:

John! Those are priceless shots! Thanks for sharing. 

I went to every open house from 1986 till Pease closed, man those great.

That looks like ship 508 “Strange Cargo” with the SRAM and B61, obviously a loadout strictly for the “civilian folk” right?wVQj0r.jpg

rlL1BS.jpg 

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14 hours ago, Raptor01 said:

 

Notice the gray radome on the FB in the 4th pic, we had a couple AMP modded FB's, they had the gray radomes.  

 

 

I did notice that, can’t recall ever seeing a non-black radome on a Vark before.

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1 hour ago, habu2 said:

 

I did notice that, can’t recall ever seeing a non-black radome on a Vark before.

 

Although not a FB the first F-111E (S/N 68-0050) at RAF Upper Heyford to be painted grey had a grey radome.

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Just a short message: Thanks for all the input!

 

This is my representation of the FB-111A in 1/72 by Hasegawa:

 

0MY6G9b.jpg

 

Gallery-pictures here:

 

HAJO

 

 

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Very nice! Glad we could help but I think we all are learning a bunch about FB thanks to you starting this thread!

35 minutes ago, Hajo L. said:

Just a short message: Thanks for all the input!

 

This is my representation of the FB-111A in 1/72 by Hasegawa:

 

0MY6G9b.jpg

 

Gallery-pictures here:

 

HAJO

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Hajo L. said:

Just a short message: Thanks for all the input!

 

This is my representation of the FB-111A in 1/72 by Hasegawa:

 

0MY6G9b.jpg

 

Nice finish, if only Hasegawa would upscale the F-111 to 1/48 scale, it would make many of us happy.  This is definitely one of their better fitting kits and it came out in 1989!

 

John

 

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