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108 votes
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Why does the F-111 sometimes squirt a giant fire plume behind it? (NOT afterburners!)

The F-111 has, like many aircraft, a fuel dump port so it can get rid of a lot of heavy fuel rather quickly. Most aircraft have the dump ports on the wings, the F-111 designers put it in the tail ...
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69 votes

Why does the F-111 sometimes squirt a giant fire plume behind it? (NOT afterburners!)

There was at least one occasion when the dump-and-burn was used in combat. During the 1986 attack on Libya the U.S. pilots, desperate for fuel, jostling with one another in the air to get access to ...
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34 votes

F-111 emergency landing with no wheel; what is done to reduce risks when loosing a wheel?

What are the relative risks of an ejection vs a no-wheels belly landing. I mean obviously the costly loss of airframe. But is the risk to life pretty even odds? In a conventional aircraft (e.g. ...
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25 votes

Why does the F-111 sometimes squirt a giant fire plume behind it? (NOT afterburners!)

I used to be an F111 test engineer; the jet can hold about 19000 liters of fuel (without external tanks). At 0.81kg/Liter, that's 15390Kg (33,939 Lbs) of weight, which is substantial (the empty ...
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18 votes

Why does the F-111 sometimes squirt a giant fire plume behind it? (NOT afterburners!)

We did have one "practical" application in "torching" as we used to call it: It was great way to find a Lead aircraft in a night formation to complete a night rejoin. Also we often considered it as ...
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  • 181
14 votes

Why does the F-111 have a capsule ejection system rather than a conventional system?

The reason the F-111 has an ejection capsule is pretty weird in itself- its there because USN wanted it. In 1960, USAF asked for an aircraft capable of supersonic flight for 400 miles, and capable of ...
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10 votes

F-111 emergency landing with no wheel; what is done to reduce risks when loosing a wheel?

1.What are the relative risks of an ejection vs a no-wheels belly landing. I mean obviously the costly loss of airframe. But is the risk to life pretty even odds? Realities of ejection: Loss of a $...
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9 votes

F-111 emergency landing with no wheel; what is done to reduce risks when loosing a wheel?

The F111 uses an ejection capsule, not individual ejection seats. Basically the entire cockpit separates from the rest of the aircraft. It requires 3 parachutes to safely let the capsule down. failure ...
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9 votes

Why does the F-111 have a capsule ejection system rather than a conventional system?

My response is that I was a design engineer on the F-111 project with responsibilities associated with the design and test of the module. Traditional ejection seat concept provided no survivable ...
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  • 91
7 votes

Why does the F-111 have a capsule ejection system rather than a conventional system?

It has to do with the realities of a supersonic ejection at high altitudes, which is usually fatal for unprotected aircrews, both from bodily trauma from exposure to a supersonic slipstream and the ...
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3 votes

F-111 emergency landing with no wheel; what is done to reduce risks when loosing a wheel?

Stay with the airplane I did have a squadron mate who was leading a flight in the break and accidentally switched off guard on his radio in the turn downwind. Unfortunately for him, his radios were ...
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2 votes

Why does the F-111 sometimes squirt a giant fire plume behind it? (NOT afterburners!)

The "Dump and Burn" as it was called here in Australia was used for 'effect' at air shows and for 'promoting' the Air Force as a great place to be. The 'effect' was really quite spectacular. And ...
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