F-111E Aardvark

Technical Notes

Manufacturer
General Dynamics
Crew
Two
Engines
Two Pratt & Whitney TF30-P3 turbofans; 18,500 lbs. thrust each in afterburner
Wingspan
63 feet (extended); 31 feet, 11.5 inches (swept)
Length
73 feet, 5.5 inches
Height
17 feet, 6 inches
Weight
46,172 pounds (empty); 98,850 pounds (max.)
Speed
1,453 mph / Mach 2.5 (max.); 470 mph (cruise)
Range
3,165 miles (with external fuel tanks)
Service Ceiling
61,000 feet
Armament

One 20mm M61A1 Vulcan rotary cannon with 2,000 rounds of ammunition; up to 30,000 pounds of conventional or nuclear ordnance (internal and external)

Aircraft History

The Fort Worth Aviation Museum’s F-111E was Air Force serial number 68-0009. It was constructed by General Dynamics (c/n A1-178, E-19) here in Fort Worth, Texas. It is there where it received it’s nickname “Balls 9” as the Air Force serial number depicts zeros and a “9.” It was accepted by the Air Force on November 10, 1969. It was first assigned to the 27th Tactical Fighter WingTactical Air Command, at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico. It was then assigned to the 20th Tactical Fighter Wing "Gamblers,” US Air Forces Europe, beginning in January 1971. It carried the tail code "UH" as it was based at RAF Upper Heyford, Great Britain, for just over 21 years. During this time, the aircraft was seen in the markings of the 77th Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS) and possibly the 79th TFS.

After retirement, “Balls 9” was transferred to AMARC as FV0093 on May 11, 1992, for storage. It remained in “the Boneyard” in Tucson, Arizona, until 2003. A museum in Connecticut acquired it but soon went out of business and “Balls 9” languished until 2007. The Fort Worth Aviation Museum discovered the aircraft in a salvage yard. With help from the B-36 Peacemaker Museum this aircraft was brought home to Fort Worth in 2008.

Badges

20th FW 27 tfw 77TFS_decal 79th TFS TAC USAFE

Historical Images

68-0009-jas-4-6-88 F-111 009-July1976