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Falconxlvi

F-111A and Mk.20 Rockeye

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Question to the crowd-

 

   Does anyone have a picture of an F-111A carrying Mk.20 Rockeye?  A web search says it’s possible, looks like 4x on each MER, but I haven’t found a single photo.  I know it probably wasn’t carried operationally but...if it’s possible, 16 Mk.20s are going on my recently delivered Hasegawa F-111A  😉
 

Cheers,

 

Steve

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F-111A was more usual to carry the M117 LDGP, Mk82 LDGP or Snake eye in theatre operations.

 

Mk20s would/could have been slat 4 inboard and 6 outboard or slat 4 on both in and outboard

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4 hours ago, ElectroSoldier said:

F-111A was more usual to carry the M117 LDGP, Mk82 LDGP or Snake eye in theatre operations.

 

Mk20s would/could have been slat 4 inboard and 6 outboard or slat 4 on both in and outboard


thanks for the responses! 

Slant 4 inboard- you mean on the bottom side of the MER and the side away from the aircraft right? 

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F-111Fs were configured with Mk 20s if tasked with Tactical Air Support of Maritime Operations (TASMO) missions (i.e., attacking ships). When informed of this, any sane person would inquire, why not Harpoon? Apparently, the USAF bureaucracy didn't feel this was a likely mission, so adopting that Navy weapon wasn't cost effective. That calculus  didn't fill those of us at the pointy end of the spear who might actually have to perform the mission with loads of confidence! Loads of 8, 12, 16 or 20 Rockeye II's were authorized, with inboard MERs always loaded as slant 4, outboards loaded as slant 4 or six. As I recall, the jets I saw in 1982 had 8 loaded on the outboard pylons. 

 

The first deployment of F-111As to SEA, Combat Lancer, carried loads of 12 x M117/MAU-91 High Drag bombs on the outboard pylons, the gun in the right bay and a single AIM-9B loaded on the trapeze in the left bay.

 

The second deployment of F-111As to SEA, Constant Guard V did not use M117s or AIM-9s, but instead used 12 x Mk 82/Mk 15 Snakeyes on the outboard pylons for low level attacks. For high level attacks, they were loaded with 24 x Mk 82 LDGP, 16 x SUU-30B/B cluster bombs (CBU-58-slant 4), or 4  x Mk 84s.

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9 hours ago, Falconxlvi said:


thanks for the responses! 

Slant 4 inboard- you mean on the bottom side of the MER and the side away from the aircraft right? 

Yeah a slant 4 load would ocupy the lower stations and the outer most stations of the BRU...

The F-111 didnt use a MER it always always always used a BRU-3/A

 

The most common load for an F-111A after they moved to Mountain Home was the SUU-20 inboard and the empty BRU-3/A on the outboards.

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Posted (edited)

 

6 hours ago, mrvark said:

F-111Fs were configured with Mk 20s if tasked with Tactical Air Support of Maritime Operations (TASMO) missions (i.e., attacking ships). When informed of this, any sane person would inquire, why not Harpoon? Apparently, the USAF bureaucracy didn't feel this was a likely mission, so adopting that Navy weapon wasn't cost effective. That calculus  didn't fill those of us at the pointy end of the spear who might actually have to perform the mission with loads of confidence! Loads of 8, 12, 16 or 20 Rockeye II's were authorized, with inboard MERs always loaded as slant 4, outboards loaded as slant 4 or six. As I recall, the jets I saw in 1982 had 8 loaded on the outboard pylons. 

 

The first deployment of F-111As to SEA, Combat Lancer, carried loads of 12 x M117/MAU-91 High Drag bombs on the outboard pylons, the gun in the right bay and a single AIM-9B loaded on the trapeze in the left bay.

 

The second deployment of F-111As to SEA, Constant Guard V did not use M117s or AIM-9s, but instead used 12 x Mk 82/Mk 15 Snakeyes on the outboard pylons for low level attacks. For high level attacks, they were loaded with 24 x Mk 82 LDGP, 16 x SUU-30B/B cluster bombs (CBU-58-slant 4), or 4  x Mk 84s.

great info!  Thanks for the reply!
 

 

1 hour ago, ElectroSoldier said:

Yeah a slant 4 load would ocupy the lower stations and the outer most stations of the BRU...

The F-111 didnt use a MER it always always always used a BRU-3/A

 

The most common load for an F-111A after they moved to Mountain Home was the SUU-20 inboard and the empty BRU-3/A on the outboards.

Ok, forgive my ignorance, but how does a BRU-3/A differ from a MER?  Is it just an aerodynamic fairing at the front of the pylon?  They look awfully close online- perhaps I could get away with it in 1/72 as I don’t see any off the shelf BRU-3s but Eduard makes a 1/72 MER?   Thanks,

 

Steve

Edited by Falconxlvi

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I think the Hasegawa kits come with the proper bomb racks for the F-111.

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, Paul Boyer said:

I think the Hasegawa kits come with the proper bomb racks for the F-111.

EDIT- you’re right and x4.  Basic, but I can work with them.   

Steve

Edited by Falconxlvi

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3 hours ago, Falconxlvi said:

 

Ok, forgive my ignorance, but how does a BRU-3/A differ from a MER?

 

Technically, it's a BRU-3A/A (the BRU-3/A was for the F-4, but was not procured). Aside from being more aerodynamically smooth, it had a different suspension mechanism that didn't require the sway braces for individual bombs found on MERs. The bombs had to use different suspension lugs--instead of the U-shaped lugs used with most systems, the lugs used with BRU-3A/As were square blocks. As the jet taxied out to takeoff, the bombs would gradually tighten to the BRU using a system kind of like the Chinese finger toy where you stuck a finger in each end and the harder you tried to pull them out, the more firmly it would capture your fingers.

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9 hours ago, mrvark said:

 

Technically, it's a BRU-3A/A (the BRU-3/A was for the F-4, but was not procured). Aside from being more aerodynamically smooth, it had a different suspension mechanism that didn't require the sway braces for individual bombs found on MERs. The bombs had to use different suspension lugs--instead of the U-shaped lugs used with most systems, the lugs used with BRU-3A/As were square blocks. As the jet taxied out to takeoff, the bombs would gradually tighten to the BRU using a system kind of like the Chinese finger toy where you stuck a finger in each end and the harder you tried to pull them out, the more firmly it would capture your fingers.

Fascinating- thanks for the info!

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In modelling terms its a very different device to a MER, in real life it works differently in modelling it looks differently too and making a BRU-3 from a standard MER, which also have technical names, none of which Im going to bother to look up because theres no point.

 

Kits generally come with the BRU-3/As you need for the model, if not Scaledown make them in 48th scale and Hasegawa supply more than you need with their kit.

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Posted (edited)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Dynamics_F-111_Aardvark#/media/File:An_air-to-air_left_front_view_of_an_F-111_aircraft_during_a_refueling_mission_over_the_North_Sea_DF-ST-89-03609_(altered).jpg

 

vvo9s2vm0uq41.png

 

474th_F-111A_crew_at_Takhli_1972.jpg

 

F-111_1968.jpg

 

428th_Tactical_Fighter_Squadron_Combat_L

 

MrVark are these the High drag fins you mentioned or the LDGP fins I said about?

 

One of my favorite F-111C photos

QBJUOA9.png

Edited by ElectroSoldier

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I definitely see the differences now between a MER and a BRU-3A/A!  This thread has been super enlightening.  Rest assured,  I will use the kit pylons 😇

 

I have been trying to find some closer views of the pylon to see if there are any details I can add.  The kit pylons are a bit basic, but serviceable.  
 

Steve

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1 minute ago, Falconxlvi said:

I definitely see the differences now between a MER and a BRU-3A/A!  This thread has been super enlightening.  Rest assured,  I will use the kit pylons 😇

 

I have been trying to find some closer views of the pylon to see if there are any details I can add.  The kit pylons are a bit basic, but serviceable.  
 

Steve

 This link should help.

 

Here is a pic of the M117s with MAU-91 HD fins. After several accidents, the TFR low level attacks were canceled and the Combat Lancer jets flew a few high altitude missions before returning stateside. That is probably when the photo in the previous post was taken.

 

When you see a picture with BRU-3A/As on the inboard pylons, its a pretty safe assumption they were doing a high level mission.

 

A interesting variation was the F-111Es during Op Proven Force (Desert Storm missions flown out of Turkey). Those aircraft were often configured with 14x Mk 82/BSU-49 Air Inflatable Retard (AIR) fins, with the outboard pylons loaded with six bombs and the inboards with a single bomb parent-loaded to the pylon.

 

889483370_680300F111A66-0018M117.jpg.cb3a17da508b6d442c540fa91206af91.jpg

 

 

 

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20 minutes ago, mrvark said:

 This link should help.

 

Here is a pic of the M117s with MAU-91 HD fins. After several accidents, the TFR low level attacks were canceled and the Combat Lancer jets flew a few high altitude missions before returning stateside. That is probably when the photo in the previous post was taken.

 

When you see a picture with BRU-3A/As on the inboard pylons, its a pretty safe assumption they were doing a high level mission.

 

A interesting variation was the F-111Es during Op Proven Force (Desert Storm missions flown out of Turkey). Those aircraft were often configured with 14x Mk 82/BSU-49 Air Inflatable Retard (AIR) fins, with the outboard pylons loaded with six bombs and the inboards with a single bomb parent-loaded to the pylon.

 

889483370_680300F111A66-0018M117.jpg.cb3a17da508b6d442c540fa91206af91.jpg

 

 

 


mrvark, you sir, are my hero!  Those are exactly the kinds of pictures I have been searching for!  Thank you very much.  I am amazed at how clean and slick the BRU-3A/A is!  The Hasegawa kit pylons looks to be a pretty good representation.   
 

- Steve

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Hi mrvark.  Any chance that’s you in the sunglasses in front of the NA bird?

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4 minutes ago, Gary F said:

Hi mrvark.  Any chance that’s you in the sunglasses in front of the NA bird? 

 

No! Never flew A's, just D's & Fs. 🤪

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5 hours ago, ElectroSoldier said:

One of my favorite F-111C photos

QBJUOA9.png

 

Trying to imagine how long of a runway they would need to get off the ground.....  :woot.gif:

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, habu2 said:

 

Trying to imagine how long of a runway they would need to get off the ground.....  :woot.gif:

Australia, space for runways isnt at a premium, which is good for a bomb load like that 🙂

 

9 hours ago, mrvark said:

 This link should help.

 

Here is a pic of the M117s with MAU-91 HD fins. After several accidents, the TFR low level attacks were canceled and the Combat Lancer jets flew a few high altitude missions before returning stateside. That is probably when the photo in the previous post was taken.

 

When you see a picture with BRU-3A/As on the inboard pylons, its a pretty safe assumption they were doing a high level mission.

 

A interesting variation was the F-111Es during Op Proven Force (Desert Storm missions flown out of Turkey). Those aircraft were often configured with 14x Mk 82/BSU-49 Air Inflatable Retard (AIR) fins, with the outboard pylons loaded with six bombs and the inboards with a single bomb parent-loaded to the pylon.

 

Do you know of a source for the high drag tail on the M117?

From what I was told about the second outing for the F-111A in Vietnam once they stopped the low level single aircraft missions they used its large bomb load capability a lot. When you look at F-111.net it doesnt really illude to any of that, it gives you the impression that the inboard pylons never had more than 4 bombs loaded onto tha BRU.

 

Of course a lot of time has passed since then and a lot more information has come to light over the years.

Edited by ElectroSoldier

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To me this looks like a standard MER:

 

428th_Tactical_Fighter_Squadron_Combat_L

 

note the breeches (silver parts aft of the racks), the breech caps hanging down and the gap between the aft bottom rack and main body.

 

Jari

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Posted (edited)

I think you'r co

55 minutes ago, Finn said:

To me this looks like a standard MER:

note the breeches (silver parts aft of the racks), the breech caps hanging down and the gap between the aft bottom rack and main body.

You're right and I can't explain it. I know that MERs were used early on before the BRUs showed up, but I did ask the question through an intermediary of the Combat Lancer Det commander, Col. Ivan Dethman a number of years ago and the answer came back that that they used BRUs. The image title says it was taken during Combat Lancer. Here's a lightened version of the pic taken in March (cropped to meet size constraints):

428_TFS_Combat_Lancer_F-111A_w M117s on MER.jpg

 

But here's another pic, taken in May showing a jet configured for a high altitude Combat Skyspot mission that is clearly using BRU-3A/As for it's load on Mk 82/MAU-93s (see link).

 

Edited by mrvark
Additional informaation

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On 5/18/2020 at 2:00 PM, mrvark said:

F-111Fs were configured with Mk 20s if tasked with Tactical Air Support of Maritime Operations (TASMO) missions (i.e., attacking ships). When informed of this, any sane person would inquire, why not Harpoon? Apparently, the USAF bureaucracy didn't feel this was a likely mission, so adopting that Navy weapon wasn't cost effective. 

 

Jim,

 I can recall seeing pictures of Mk 20s loaded up on BRU-3A/As which were being trucked out to a Vark at a TDY location after the infamous "axe murders" incident at the Korean DMZ back in 1976.  I always assumed they were destined for ground targets.

 

Apparently, the USAF bureaucracy didn't feel this was a likely mission, so adopting that Navy weapon wasn't cost effective. That calculus  didn't fill those of us at the pointy end of the spear who might actually have to perform the mission with loads of confidence!

 

Better than the Durandal mission.

 

Regards,

Murph

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