Hobby Master HA3009 USAF General Dynamics F-111E "Aardvark" Strike Aircraft - 79th Tactical Fighter Squadron, NATO Tiger Meet, 1991 (1:72 Scale)
"Obsolete weapons do not deter."
- British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
The General Dynamics F-111 "Aardvark" is a medium-range interdictor and tactical strike aircraft that also fills the roles of strategic bomber, reconnaissance, and electronic warfare in its various versions. Developed in the 1960s and first entering service in 1967, the United States Air Force (USAF) variants were officially retired by 1998. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is the sole remaining operator of the F-111.
The F-111 pioneered several technologies for production military aircraft including variable-sweep wings, afterburning turbofan engines, and automated terrain following radar for low-level, high-speed flight. Its design was influential, being reflected in later Soviet aircraft such as the Sukhoi Su-24, and some of its advanced features have since become commonplace. During its inception, however, the F-111 suffered a variety of development problems, and several of its intended roles, such as naval interception through the F-111B, failed to materialize.
In USAF service the F-111 has been effectively replaced by the F-15E Strike Eagle for medium-range precision strike missions, while the supersonic bomber role has been assumed by the B-1B Lancer. In 2007, the RAAF decided to replace its 21 F-111s in 2010 with 24 F/A-18F Super Hornets.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale rendition of a USAF General Dynamics F-111E "Aardvark" strike aircraft that was assigned to the 79th Tactical Fighter Squadron, then participating in the NATO Tiger Meet during 1991.
Wingspan: 12.25 inches
Length: 10.5 inches
Release Date: January 2012
Historical Account: "Return to Duty" - After WWII, the 79th was brought back to active service on July 29th, 1946, at Biggs Field, Texas. The unit moved to Shaw Field, South Carolina, in October 1946. The squadron moved again to Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, in November 1951, and in June 1952, trained to support NATO ground forces in conventional and nuclear roles. The next change came in 1970, when the squadron transitioned to the F-111 Aardvark and moved to RAF Upper Heyford, England. The 79th received the Commander in Chiefs Trophy in 1981, as the best tactical fighter squadron in U.S. Air Forces in Europe.
From 1990 to 1991, the 79th deployed to Southwest Asia to support Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. On June 30th, 1993, the squadron inactivated. On January 1st, 1994, it was reactivated at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, transitioning to the F-16 Fighting Falcon and assuming the mission of suppression of enemy air defenses. Since that time, the 79th has continuously supported Operations Northern and Southern Watch in Southwest Asia.