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F-111 Supercruise

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posted on Dec, 4 2005 @ 05:17 PM
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I"ve found a very interesting article on a plan to upgrade RAAF F-111's with supercruise capability. If this can be done I think it would be a great alternative for the Aussies since the probably won't get the F-22 and with current JSF delays.

www.ausairpower.net...




posted on Dec, 4 2005 @ 09:29 PM
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First time I see this pic!

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I didn't read it all but it sounds like an interesting development!

Mod Edit: Image Size – Please Review This Link.

[edit on 4/12/2005 by Mirthful Me]



posted on Dec, 5 2005 @ 12:26 PM
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My guess is that this is written by an enthusiastic amateur and is what he would like to happen, rather than being an official proposal. The reason I think this is that it would take much more than fitting new engines to make the F-111 capable of supercruise.

The TF-30 engine of the F-111 is already a very powerful unit (almost twice the power of the R-R Avon of the BAC Lightning for example) and the reason the F-111 is firmly subsonic at low level is its transonic drag rise, not a lack of power. This drag rise in the F-111 is so severe that its low level performance is actually less than that of the Buccaneer (which cannot exceed 660mph at ANY altitude). Therefore to impart supercruise to the F-111 would require a major redesign of the airframe and a complete redesign of the air intakes, neither of which is financially viable.

I read an account of the F-111 recently (sorry, cannot quote the source as I can't remember, I read so much!) and even in that I was surprised to see it stated that, aerodynamically, the design of the F-111 was very poor and GD frequently wished it had done certain things (like the intakes) differently.

General Dynamics DID actually tackle this problem with a major redesign of the airframe for their FB-111H proposal of 1979 but this was cancelled in order to save money before it flew.



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 05:11 PM
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Will this F-111 be fitted with thrust vectoring exhausts and maybe ATF't up?

The F-111 is still a great plane even though it is old, I still like the thing, Suits Australian service!.



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 05:19 PM
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What's that plane in the right picture? Looks like an FB-22 concept rather than a modifed FB-111.



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 05:33 PM
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Originally posted by BlackThorn311
What's that plane in the right picture? Looks like an FB-22 concept rather than a modifed FB-111.


it's a F/A-22 cross with a F-14 tomcat, they thinking about replacing the tomcat with this F/A-22 version for the navy, since the Airforce version won't be able to land on carriers... i think



posted on Dec, 13 2005 @ 02:10 PM
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Though based on the F/A-22 Raptor, It looks more like the F-111 than the F-14 Tomcat. It would look more F-14ish if its engines were wider apart from each other, had a big back(like the F-14 has), 2 seats and more sweped back tails

And if the program was left to Northrop Grumman.

Australia want the F/A-22 Raptors to replace thier F-111s next decade or the 2020s.

Some older planes have happened to be more advanced than these new projects now!



posted on Dec, 13 2005 @ 08:27 PM
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The pic to the right is specifically the NATF, the proposed Navy version of the F-22 with swing wings very much like the F-14. This varient was sadly cancelled only a few weeks after the F-22 was selected over the F-23.

Ironically, the ease with which the F-22 can be adapted to a NATF was one of the key selling points of the F-22.



posted on Dec, 13 2005 @ 09:26 PM
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Dr. Kopp is a good man and a generally very knowledgable person.

However; his obsession with the Pig is similar to mine with UCAVs but on the backside of anachronism rather than the bleeding edge of piloted-system bigotry.

That said, let's be clear here dears. The F-111F is THE FASTEST JET ON THE PLANET AT LOW LEVEL. Even the earliest A and E models with the P-3 engine is quite capable of exceeding airframe thermal limits on the aluminum and fiberglass dome and I know that F-model Varks have done more than Mach 1.3 in the Nellis complex. At TFR heights. This obviously makes ZERO reference to the type's external carriage mode as racks and rails and ordnance usually limiter a jet long before anything else and even the big BRU-26 MERs were not fully cleared throughout the 111's envelope.

OTOH, what kills the F-111's ability to 'supercruise' is lift at drag, and total lift, at altitude. Even with the longspan jets, you are looking at ceilings on the order of 14,000ft (the infamous 'lower than Pike's Peak' quote) when fully loaded which means that you WILL be leaving half your 32,000lb internal fuel behind if you wish to transit at anything near optimal density heights for cruise.

So you motorvate out at half gas and meet a tanker just before crossing the fence and then burn or drop it all off before coming back out for a second sip.

Something which can be done, more or less just as well, with an F-16E and some 15,000lbs of CFT+600 gallon tanks. The only difference, if any, is that the F-111 may be able to bring along it's own SEAD weapons or a second set of heavy-hard target killers (Popeye or GBU-15) while an F-16E costs around 10mmh:fh and 3,800 dollars/fh vs. the Switchblades 100 and 10,000 or more.

Of course the 111 will pay another (small) drag penalty in total radius whle the APG-80 and AMRAAM-C7 will give the F-16 a /massive/ improvement in both A2G standoff targeting and self-defense optimization (you need a Meteor to 'selfprotect' the 111, it is that bad at AAW).

At the same time, AIR-6K will have long since passed it's buy-by date for both the F/A-22 and the F-35 (which are the /only/ runners if Oz is serious about hitting Jakarta on a 'regular' basis with cheap J-weapons) when, in 2010-2015, the Aussies finally pull the plug on the dated 111 maintenance and logistics life support (even with the AMP and RAAF MLU, the 111 is basically a ramp umbrella, during peacetime training).

At which point, we will be almost certainly looking at the first generation of directed energy 'eyeblink' weapons (one second your tooling along, the next you are flying formation with your flash burned body parts).

And to counter these via saturation tactics, it will be a LOT cheaper to use systems like the Falcon and ARRMD/FastHawk as aeroballistic cruise out of pennies-per-mile destroyer VLS. Mach 8 to 800nm being /yards and miles/ more responsive and restrike capable on time critical 'special' targets as well as general interdiction than even the supercruise manned-jet equivalent.

Which only leaves the support-of-troops CAS/BAI/OBAS mission arena. Where loiter with payload and sensors is second only to overall cheapness. And a combination of UCAV+SDB takes you out to 1,100nm for 2hrs without refueling on a jet that HAS NO training costs.

And so lets you keep your warchest fully vested with more airframes per orbit point (or hours in a day) in places like East Timor where Aussie troops are basically swinging in the breeze on little more than a hairy eyeballs worth of pretense at force protection.

If the Aussies have a disturbing question to ask and answer, it is one inherent to the notion of how they defend their offshore interests and huge coastline while providing realistic GAI options to aid zombies and counter smuggling.

It seems a terrible waste to invest in MB.339 and Hawk LIFT for nothing. And yet here too the 'obvious solution', to go in on the MAKO or A-50 as license production partners (effectively reinventing the Mirage III) as both a fighter and trainer that runs 25-27 million rather than the 80-100 which a JSF will. Seems to be beyond their ability to accept.

Which is a shame because Stealth is functionally more of an offensive tool than a defensive one and with proper weapons (turbo or ram powered AAM are the only way forward) and GCI support, the RAAF could as readily kill Su-30's over /their/ turf, as an F/A-22 could over Indonesia. And probably better than an F-35 (of like purchasing power numbers) could do anywhere.


KPl.



posted on Dec, 15 2005 @ 09:27 AM
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That said, let's be clear here dears. The F-111F is THE FASTEST JET ON THE PLANET AT LOW LEVEL.


What about the B-1? The Air Force tells its pilots to keep their hands off of the controls when they're flying low because they're going so fast that one little pilot error would lead to a crash.



posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 11:04 AM
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Well the F-111F actually could supercruise(unloaded however).


The -F also used the Triple Plow 2 intakes, along with the substantially more powerful TF30-100 turbofan with 25,100 lbf (112 kN) afterburning thrust. This substantially improves the -F's performance, allowing a top speed of Mach 2.5 at altitude and enabling an unloaded F-111F to supercruise (fly at supersonic speeds without afterburner). In 1985-86, engines were upgraded to the TF30-P-111 turbofan.


F-111F



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 12:02 AM
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Originally posted by BlackThorn311



That said, let's be clear here dears. The F-111F is THE FASTEST JET ON THE PLANET AT LOW LEVEL.


What about the B-1? The Air Force tells its pilots to keep their hands off of the controls when they're flying low because they're going so fast that one little pilot error would lead to a crash.


No, he is right. There was nothing faster in the USAF (except the SR-71 and maybe black programs) than the F-111.

B-1B is not supersonic at low level, but it can cruise around just fine at .98M, which is still really fast.

F-111 could do over M1 fine, someone i know took a D model to 1.35 on the deck, with empty bomb racks and not even in full burner.

Unfortunately there is no proposal to re-engine the F-111s in the Aussie air force. And it looks like the clock is slowly running out on them. Its a same, because for sheer performance, no other plane can still touch it.



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