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F-111B

Last Updated 22 June, 2005

All F-111 Tail Numbers - Page 2 of 8
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Ron Beerman
This photo is of the F-111B carrier suitability trial team. I believe there were some General Dynamics (Ft.Worth) in the picture, but most are the Grumman maintenance and management personnel. The Navy team consisted of myself (kneeling far left), AZ1 Martin (left standing), and project officer LCdr Harry Errington 3rd from left kneeling. The test pilot was Bill Miller
(6th from left kneeling). The dummy up in the cockpit we called Clyde.
We conducted maintenance and analysis on this aircraft for almost a year, then flew out to Edwards AFB. A handful of people went aboard ship (USS Coral Sea) for trials.
Type
USAF S/N
Location/Remarks
F-111B 
151970

First F-111B flight 18 May 1965 crewed by Ralph 'Dixie' Donnell and Ernie Von Der Hayden. 
Ejection seats fitted. Scrapped December 1969. 
Remains in a Washington DC scrap metal yard were eventually destroyed by July 2000 (Robert Healy). 
(photos here)

F-111B

151971

Crashed and destroyed off the Californian coast (20nm NW of San Miguel Is) 11 September 1968. Killed were Hughes Aircraft test pilot Barton Warren and Anthony Byland. Callsign Bartender 201 (Doc Servo).

IMAGE NEEDED

F-111B

151972

Scrapped December 1971 on completion of AN/AWG-9 programme. 
(Reference: F-111 Success in Action)  Reported at NAWS China Lake 2003
Seen by Jim Rotramel in June 1999 at the China Lake Naval Aircraft Weapons Station. 
151972 in better times - loaded with Phoenix missiles.
Beleived to be used for spares in the eventual restoration of
152715 also at NAWS China Lake
2nd image courtesy of Philippe Colin of FB-111A.net

F-111B 
151973

First F-111B fitted with ejection module. Phoenix missile testbed.There seems considerable conjecture about the fate of this aircraft and crew.Two very good publications have the loss of the aircraft off the coast of Long Island, but witnesses and relatives of the lost crew have contacted the webmaster of this site to say that the aircraft and crew were lost on the Calverton airfield.
Tim Lent reports that his father, a former Grumman Aerospace Corporation employee who worked at the Grumman plant in Calverton,Long Island, NY, was a witness to the loss of this aircraft on 21 April 1967. Tim says that the aircraft actually crashed moments after lifting off from runway 14 at Grumman Calverton after experiencing a dual engine flameout. The cause was traced to the translating cowl switch being in the wrong position. As soon as the aircraft went into a "weight off wheels" condition, the cowls, which normally would be full open,closed,resulting in a dual compressor stall. The aircraft impacted to the left of runway centerline, in the grass, at about the 6000 ft marker after plummeting approx. 200 ft. Both crew members were killed instantly. "Buck" Wangman was piloting, with Ralph Donnell as co-pilot.
Mr
Bruce C Donnell , the son of Mr Ralph Donnell also has independently verified this info. He adds that both ejection handles had also failed,trapping the crew in the jet.
Killed were Mr Ralph H. Donnell and Mr Charles E. Wangeman. Callsign Grumman 67. (Doc Servo)
Previous info: Destroyed off the coast of Long Island 21 April 1967. (near Calverton, New York) after double engine failure after takeoff. (Reference: F-111 Success in Action)
Used in Grumman's test program and first flew on 25 July 1966. It was the first Super Weight Improvement Program (SWIP) aircraft. 151973 crashed and was destroyed off the coast of Long Island 21 April 1967. (near Calverton, NY) after a double engine failure after takeoff, probably caused by closed engine inlet cowls. The aircraft had recorded 53 sorties and 89.1 hours when it was lost. (Source: F-111 Aardvark by Don Logan)
Phoenix test flying - photo Apr 1967  via Tim Lent.

F-111B
1510974

In late 1968, became the only F-111 to perform carrier operations
on the USS Coral Sea after completing arrestor proving tests at
PAX River in February 1968.Crash landed at Point Magu CA 11 October
1968. Radar Operator Bill Bush injured.
Pilot George Marrett unhurt.
Scrapped. (Reference: F-111 Success in Action)

F-111B
152714

First with TF30 P-12 engines, and Triple Plow II intakes. Struck off in May 1971.
Probably the one I saw in the dump in the early 1990's at McClellan AFB.
One report has it at AMARC 8 July 1969.
UPDATE!!!
This aircraft is without any of the three tail surfaces, is missing some panels and the undercarriage, but still has the radome intact. A group is currently trying to get the aircraft hulk shipped to Davis Monthan for museum refurbishment by the Pima Air Museum. Source: Steve Weiss As of August 2000, this airframe was seen at a park in the Majove Desert and is apparently to be used as spares for the restoration of EF-111A 66-047. Source: Walter Witherspoon.

1st photo (1998) by Cedric Mitchell (Mitch) via Pete Fleming
2nd photo (NOV 1999) by Steve Bosang (Gator)
3rd photo (AUG 2000) by Walt Witherspoon

F-111B
152715

Last complete F-111B
Struck off in May 1971. Inactive at China Lake NAWS --- ----------------- IMAGES GALLERY
(Reference: F-111Success in Action)
Steve Weiss writes...
"According to Bill Dietzel of the United States Aviation Museum in Inyokern, CA, while on a volunteer mission to retrieve a B-29 from the gunnery range, told me the F-111B is in the NAWS "boneyard" intact and in good shape except for flat tires." Most recent image of 152715, photo taken 19th April 2002

1st Image Henry Blecha via Jim Rotramel

2nd image Brian Lockett www.Goleta-Air-and-Space.com

3rd image - Sussie Raglin via Cindy Martyn

These images have been some of the hardest to come by !!

F-111B
152716
Not Completed
F-111B
152717
Not Completed
F-111B
153623 to 153642
Not Started as contract was cancelled  
156971 to 
156978
Not started as contract cancelled.
F-111B
151974
Nasa image of 151974 was taken to NAS Moffet Field for full scale wind tunnel flight control tests. In 1970 it was dismantled at Mofet Field. Reference - Don Logans book F-111 Aardvark
F-111B
 
Perculiar Components Diagram
   
Image courtesy of the Defence Visual Information Centre website

Thanks to Paul Abadesso, Joe Arnold, Steve Davies, Phil Dunlop, Robert Healy, Steve Kell, Tim Lent, Ben Marselis, Raymund Santos,
Paul Simpson, Keith Synder, Bill Thurley, Micheal Valcourt, Ron VanDerWarker, Steve Weiss and Zeitvogel, Henry Blecha,
Jim Rotramel.

Comments and contributions welcome.

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