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Aussie F-111s
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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:28 pm    Post subject: Aussie F-111s Reply with quote

I thought our Australian friends might be interested in this story about the RAAF F-111s being retired and their final flight.


news.ninemsn.com.au/ar...id=8173851

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Vince
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Aussie F-111s Reply with quote

Yep...the Pig has been retired Punkin.

They made their final farewell flight this morning (they are based about 20km (as the crow flies) from my place...we had a couple do a flyover of Brisbane as a farewell. They will be missed...they are famous for their ability to "dump and burn" and put on a display at a number of different times throughout the year.

On a different note...I cannot understand why they are retiring them. The F-111 is still the best fighter/bomber in the world today. Not the best fighter, not the best bomber...but the best combination aircraft...and their range is excellent for Australia. Oh well, I suppose the boffins know what they are doing (or reckon they do). They are being replaced with Super Hornets so only time will tell whether or not they have made the right decision.

Cheers, Vince

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gelandangan
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Aussie F-111s Reply with quote

Yeah, they fly the "Pigs" real low so some of us have opportunity to take photos.

Problem is they do not have real replacement for these..
Must have been some internal politics with well greased wheels in the decision making machinery.

Just inline with the decision to scrap the SLR's, and now according to rumors,
there is NOT ENOUGH WORKING RIFLES there to outfit every enlisted person in Australian defense force.
I hope this aint true.. sad..

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Vince
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Aussie F-111s Reply with quote

There is no shortage of rifles Gelan...although they odd one or two might not be totally serviceable.

Cheers, Vince

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PaulS
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 1:40 am    Post subject: Re: Aussie F-111s Reply with quote

The F/A 18 S is being surplussed out of the USA air force to make room for the new fighter/ bombers based on the F22 design. They are probably getting them real cheap with a lot of spare parts (which they will need to keep them in the air).

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 6:36 am    Post subject: Re: Aussie F-111s Reply with quote

Vince wrote:
They will be missed...they are famous for their ability to "dump and burn" and put on a display at a number of different times throughout the year.

For those that haven't see this display of "fire", here is a link to some photos. The F-111s even did this at night for the Olympics. They can do this because their fuel dump nozzle is on center-line over the engines. The pilot would dump fuel then light their afterburners to ignite the now trailing fuel-air mixture. The airplane's speed is faster than the flame front can advance, thus protecting the aircraft from catching fire.

F-111 "Dump and Burn" Photos

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 6:52 am    Post subject: Re: Aussie F-111s Reply with quote

Vince wrote:
I cannot understand why they are retiring them. The F-111 is still the best fighter/bomber in the world today.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-111

Vince, I'm surprised they have stayed in the air this long. The F-111 entered service in 1967. Think of it this way, how many people are still driving a 40-year old car around? As an aircraft ages, they run into two problems; service life and parts obsolescence. The airframe structure is only designed to take so much fatigue before cracks develop. Often the cracks develop in areas that can not be inspected. Crack growth can have catastrophic results. Often, it is just too hard to find parts to keep them flying. This problem starts early in an fighter’s life. Even the F-35 which hasn’t even entered service yet has parts obsolescence that has to deal with. We have already had to redesign replacement parts that are form-fit-function or do a life-time buy where we purchase enough parts to cover the service life of the airplane and just store them.

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 6:59 am    Post subject: Re: Aussie F-111s Reply with quote

PaulS wrote:
The F/A 18 S is being surplussed out of the USA air force to make room for the new fighter/ bombers based on the F22 design.

F/A-18s are a US Navy fighter. A surplussed F/A-18 isn't woth much. They had structural cracking issues early in their life. Canada but flight restrictions on their fleet of F/A-18s so they could use them long enough to afford to buy replacements.

The F-22 just entered operational service a couple of years ago and is already out of production. I walked down the production line today and the lights are turned out. Sad

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PaulS
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Aussie F-111s Reply with quote

Slim - what about the dirivitives? the navy/ marine attack fighter and the airforce fighter/interceptor? I think there is a total of four different planes - some are not yet ready to put into service - "Raptor" comes to mind.

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Vince
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:49 am    Post subject: Re: Aussie F-111s Reply with quote

WOW...I would have been present at all of the "dump and burn" pics taken in Brisbane.

There are some that say we should never have bought the FA18 because it is a Naval orientated aircraft...we should really have bought the F15 for our ground attack and also air superiority roles. Like everything else, I would hazard a guess at saying the decisions to purchase would have been politically motivated.

Cheers, Vince

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 6:05 am    Post subject: Re: Aussie F-111s Reply with quote

PaulS wrote:
Slim - what about the dirivitives? the navy/ marine attack fighter and the airforce fighter/interceptor? I think there is a total of four different planes - some are not yet ready to put into service - "Raptor" comes to mind.

The derivatives of the F-18 including the 2-seat attack and electronic warfare, have stayed in service the Navy and Marine Corp. The USAF has not procured any F-18s nor would I expect them to.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-18

The Raptor is the F-22 and it is already out of produciton and, because of its technology, was not allowed outside the US Air Force.

Vince, I agree with you. Your country would have been way better off with the F-15!

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tcknight
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Aussie F-111s Reply with quote

slimjim wrote:
Vince, I'm surprised they have stayed in the air this long. The F-111 entered service in 1967. Think of it this way, how many people are still driving a 40-year old car around? As an aircraft ages, they run into two problems; service life and parts obsolescence.

EXCEPT of course the DC3 which entered service in 1935. The only replacement for a DC3 is another DC3. Very Happy Smoke jumpers used a 1946 model just this last May to jump to a fire (in Texas for the very first time) in Big Bend National Park.

Here's a cool story on why the Aussies turned down a DC-10 for firefighting tanker duty. But not because of old age although they are 1970's vintage.

wildfiretoday.com/2010...australia/

We also still fly DC-7's for fire fighting in the Forest Service and they were produced from 1953 - 1958. Of course, I'm not making light of your point on cracks and stresses since it was a 1957 Model C-130 I think which lost it's wings over a California wildfire five or six years ago. Correction: 8 years ago. Time flys. It was June 17, 2002.

Here's to great old aircraft. Cheers

Long live the "collection of parts flying in loose formation!" Very Happy
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slimjim
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 5:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Aussie F-111s Reply with quote

tcknight wrote:
Long live the "collection of parts flying in loose formation!"

Here, Here!!

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radar
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:50 am    Post subject: Re: Aussie F-111s Reply with quote

About 25 years ago I lived in Palmerston North which is about 30km from Ohakea which was NZs biggest Airforce base (when we had an attack wing) and saw an air display by F111s from Brisbane - FKN Awesome, same display had an F15 which took off the runway then did a power climb straight up acelerating until it passed through the sound barrier.

All NZ had was some A4 Skyhawks - We don't even have them now. Mothballed about 10 years ago by a Labour Govt. You know? the skyhawks were older than me!!! Bit like the family axe 3 new heads and 2 new handles.

Anyway I would dearly love to attend an real airshow in either USA or GB and see all them big boys toys doing it!

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:35 am    Post subject: Re: Aussie F-111s Reply with quote

radar wrote:
I would dearly love to attend a real airshow in either USA or GB and see all them big boys toys doing it!

Ah, yes! The sound of freedom!!

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