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Dump and burn
Lens: DA 55-300 Camera: K7 Photo Location: Newcastle, NSW, Australia ISO: 200 Shutter Speed: 1/2000s Aperture: F8 
Posted By: RobG, 11-14-2019, 11:58 PM


RAAF F111 dump and burn
by RobGeraghty, on Flickr

The Royal Australian Air Force was the last in the world to operate the F111. The last public airshow where it made an appearance was at RAAF Williamtown in 2010, although a final display flight was made at RAAF Amberley where the aircraft were based before they were retired. The F111 had one feature which made it popular at airshows and public events, which was the ability to dump fuel and burn it in the exhaust of the engines. This is not afterburners, even if it makes the aircraft look like a rocket! It was a feature to allow an aircraft to land quickly if necessary by dumping fuel to avoid damage to the wheels (and reduce the amount of fuel for a fire). Regardless of what it was really for, it was spectacular to see, especially at night. This display was during the day, but it was a very dull day indeed. Unfortunately the burning fuel was so bright that the aircraft is underexposed, but I think the red reflection on the wingtip looks pretty cool. The F111 reminded me of Thunderbird 1, from a TV show I loved as a kid. The nickname "pig" was unfortunate for such an innovative and advanced aircraft. The nickname "pig" is either because of its long nose and the ground-following radar which allowed it to operate at very low altitudes (barely above tree-top height, ie in the dirt), or the original designation in the USA of Aardvark which is Afrikaans for "earth pig", possibly for similar reasons.

I was lucky enough to see them in flight a number of times, and I've sat in the cockpit of one, albeit when the escape pod was no longer in the aircraft. One feature I'm assured is true is that the control column doubled as a bilge pump in the situation where the pod landed in water, but this may be apocryphal.
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11-15-2019, 12:15 AM   #2
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Great timing, great shot!
11-15-2019, 12:53 AM   #3
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Wonderful shot; they were a fine bird for their day.
11-15-2019, 01:01 AM   #4
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Rob, thanks much for indulging

Though i spent four years in Oz, i did not get to see any F111 flying around.

The only time i saw one, was just the cockpit section of this great airplane, in an aviation museum in Perth, Western Australia

fine aircraft. Overcame lots of initial problems, to become one of the premier low-level strike platform around.

Wonder if the RAAF did quietly keep one of it that could be returned to flying condition (if there be finances to do that).

11-15-2019, 01:44 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
I was lucky enough to see them in flight a number of times
We used to get them at home in the days before the F/A 18 Hornets. My most memorable encounter was probably about 12 years ago. Short story - 6:00 PM, winter, so it's dark. I put on the TV and the old Dr Who was just beginning. You know the wheezing tardis sound in the theme music. Well, the tardis was just reaching its loudest when the whole house began to shake and there was a screeching of tortured air and metal. And you know how the mind works - one half of the brain is saying "What the ..."? and the other half is expecting the tardis to materialise right there in the room. It was an F111, of course, flying at about 300 feet right over the top of the house. I reckon he lined up the lights of the three houses spread over about 3 km on Mosquito Creek and let us have it. I could see the circle of the exhaust as he disappeared towards Mount Bodumba.

They were a mighty aircraft!
11-15-2019, 02:15 AM - 2 Likes   #6
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Wonderful!
Giant cigarette lighter.
11-15-2019, 02:47 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote

RAAF F111 dump and burn
by RobGeraghty, on Flickr

The Royal Australian Air Force was the last in the world to operate the F111. The last public airshow where it made an appearance was at RAAF Williamtown in 2010, although a final display flight was made at RAAF Amberley where the aircraft were based before they were retired. The F111 had one feature which made it popular at airshows and public events, which was the ability to dump fuel and burn it in the exhaust of the engines. This is not afterburners, even if it makes the aircraft look like a rocket! It was a feature to allow an aircraft to land quickly if necessary by dumping fuel to avoid damage to the wheels (and reduce the amount of fuel for a fire). Regardless of what it was really for, it was spectacular to see, especially at night. This display was during the day, but it was a very dull day indeed. Unfortunately the burning fuel was so bright that the aircraft is underexposed, but I think the red reflection on the wingtip looks pretty cool. The F111 reminded me of Thunderbird 1, from a TV show I loved as a kid. The nickname "pig" was unfortunate for such an innovative and advanced aircraft. The nickname "pig" is either because of its long nose and the ground-following radar which allowed it to operate at very low altitudes (barely above tree-top height, ie in the dirt), or the original designation in the USA of Aardvark which is Afrikaans for "earth pig", possibly for similar reasons.

I was lucky enough to see them in flight a number of times, and I've sat in the cockpit of one, albeit when the escape pod was no longer in the aircraft. One feature I'm assured is true is that the control column doubled as a bilge pump in the situation where the pod landed in water, but this may be apocryphal.
Thank you for sharing this great photo even under far from ideal light conditions is still exciting! Also thanks for the info, really interesting!
11-15-2019, 05:48 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bertrand3000 Quote
Great timing, great shot!
Thank you!


QuoteOriginally posted by GRB Quote
Wonderful shot; they were a fine bird for their day.
The F111 was ahead of its time, and personally I think they were retired too soon. They suited the defence of a country as huge as Australia better than more recent aircraft in a number of ways - two of the most important being range and having two engines.

---------- Post added 15-11-19 at 11:55 PM ----------

A short and shaky video of the three-ship demonstration of the swing-wing configuration.



11-15-2019, 06:09 AM   #9
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Wow, Rob, a truly dramatic photo!! Good stuff.

Jer
11-15-2019, 06:12 AM - 2 Likes   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by termy Quote
Rob, thanks much for indulging Though i spent four years in Oz, i did not get to see any F111 flying around. The only time i saw one, was just the cockpit section of this great airplane, in an aviation museum in Perth, Western Australia
fine aircraft. Overcame lots of initial problems, to become one of the premier low-level strike platform around.
Wonder if the RAAF did quietly keep one of it that could be returned to flying condition (if there be finances to do that).
You should have visited Amberley. I saw them flying in northern NSW a number of times. You never heard them coming but you certainly heard them going away! I also saw two of them flying very low and very fast off the coast near Byron Bay one time. I doubt that one will ever fly again because of their operational capability.


QuoteOriginally posted by PJ1 Quote
We used to get them at home in the days before the F/A 18 Hornets. My most memorable encounter was probably about 12 years ago. Short story - 6:00 PM, winter, so it's dark. I put on the TV and the old Dr Who was just beginning. You know the wheezing tardis sound in the theme music. Well, the tardis was just reaching its loudest when the whole house began to shake and there was a screeching of tortured air and metal. And you know how the mind works - one half of the brain is saying "What the ..."? and the other half is expecting the tardis to materialise right there in the room. It was an F111, of course, flying at about 300 feet right over the top of the house. I reckon he lined up the lights of the three houses spread over about 3 km on Mosquito Creek and let us have it. I could see the circle of the exhaust as he disappeared towards Mount Bodumba.
They were a mighty aircraft!
I can well imagine, since I had several fly over me very low in NSW.


QuoteOriginally posted by kiwi_jono Quote
Wonderful! Giant cigarette lighter.
A very fast one!

QuoteOriginally posted by redpit Quote
Thank you for sharing this great photo even under far from ideal light conditions is still exciting! Also thanks for the info, really interesting!
You're welcome! I really don't know what I did so badly wrong with the exposures on the day. I should have just let the sky go white and captured the aircraft better.

---------- Post added 16-11-19 at 01:07 AM ----------



---------- Post added 16-11-19 at 01:07 AM ----------



---------- Post added 16-11-19 at 01:08 AM ----------



---------- Post added 16-11-19 at 01:08 AM ----------



---------- Post added 16-11-19 at 01:08 AM ----------


RAAF F111
by RobGeraghty, on Flickr

---------- Post added 16-11-19 at 01:09 AM ----------


Turn and burn
by RobGeraghty, on Flickr

---------- Post added 16-11-19 at 01:09 AM ----------


Gone vertical
by RobGeraghty, on Flickr

---------- Post added 16-11-19 at 01:10 AM ----------


Dump and burn
by RobGeraghty, on Flickr

---------- Post added 16-11-19 at 01:10 AM ----------


Touch and Go
by RobGeraghty, on Flickr
11-15-2019, 07:34 AM - 1 Like   #11
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Climbing out of the touch and go with a dump and burn!


A dirty dump and burn
by RobGeraghty, on Flickr


F111 cockpit
by RobGeraghty, on Flickr

The tail design on A8-113, celebrating 37 years of the F111 with the RAAF.


37 Years of the F111
by RobGeraghty, on Flickr
11-15-2019, 08:10 AM   #12
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Fantastic images of The Pig!!!

but yeah, i think likewise, the RAAF retired them kind of way too early.
11-15-2019, 05:01 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sailor Quote
Wow, Rob, a truly dramatic photo!! Good stuff.
Thanks Jer, wait, there's more!

---------- Post added 16-11-19 at 10:04 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by termy Quote
Fantastic images of The Pig!!!
but yeah, i think likewise, the RAAF retired them kind of way too early.
Sadly it was a political decision. The sustainment program was to have kept them flying until 2020.
11-15-2019, 07:35 PM   #14
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Cool shots! Congrats!
11-15-2019, 08:46 PM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Urs Quote
Cool shots! Congrats!
Thanks! Now if only I had a time machine to go back with the K3 and DFA 150-450.
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