Re: Pace (pah-chay) (was Re: Zen and the Art of Flying Saucer

Michael M. Butler (butler@comp*
Tue, 15 Jul 1997 21:09:25 -0700

Hoping to draw to a close this particular tangent,
FWIW, both the Wright Patt and the Eglin museum Web
pages contain essentially the same text:

Originally known as the TFX (Tactical Fighter "X"),
the F-111 was conceived to meet a USAF requirement
for a new tactical fighter-bomber. In 1960, the
Department of Defense combined the USAF's requirement
with a Navy need for a new air superiority fighter,
then launched a competition among aircraft
manufacturers for the final design. In 1962,
General Dynamics and Boeing were selected as
finalists with the General Dynamics TFX design
eventually winning out.
The Navy version was known as the F-111B and the
USAF version the F-111A. The first flight of
the F-111A took place in December 1964, and
the first production models were delivered to
the USAF in 1967. Meanwhile, the Navy's F-111B
program was canceled. In all, 566 F-111s of all
series were built; 159 of them were preproduction
and production F-111As.

All other references I can find, both print and Web,
refer to the actually-fielded AF bomber variant as FB-111A.
The airframe was stretched, it has more tankage,
and of course it has AF-style midair refueling,
rather than the Navy's probe-and-drogue.

It seems clear to me that Grumman "recycled" the suffix
when the time came to propose an enhanced FB-111A,
and that the F-111B was a substantially different
critter than the FB-111 with any trailing letter.
Find me an FB-111 with a tail hook and
fold-up wings, and I'll reconsider. :)

The source I find most instructive is

where FB-111B and FB-111H are mentioned as
_proposed_ variants of the FB-111A.

I haven't found any Navy sources on the Web yet.

Hoping we can now draw the curtains, I remain

Yr ob't Corresp.


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