Friday, April 2, 2010

'Vark Dump and Burn, Aussie Style

The F-111 Aardvark was operated only by two forces - the USAF and the Australians. The aircraft has never received its due, in my opinion. A friend, Quizmo, flew these incredible aircraft out of Lakenheath and Cannon, before moving on to Beagles.

The F-111 served in A, C, D, E, F, G, EF- and FB- versions. A Navy version, the B, was initially developed, but was found to be totally unsuitable for carrier operations. Sadly, the last American Aardvarks were retired back in the mid-1990s, but the Australians still fly them.

The F-111 has a fuel dump nozzle uniquely placed - between the two engine exhausts. If the dump was turned on while the jet was in afterburner, a 100 foot long torch shot out the rear of the aircraft. The USAF deemed this to be too dangerous to allow, but the Aussies jumped on it and used it to great delight at airshows and other events.

Here are a couple of Aussie 'torches' for your enjoyment ....

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