Chapter 414

Lake County, IL

February 2017 Update

As virtually everyone knows, some EAA Chapter 414 members have volunteered their many skills and a great amount of time to prepare an F-111 for display at Waukegan Airport. The aircraft was acquired by the Waukegan Airport Authority from the Rantoul Air Force Museum last year. The cosmetics of the aircraft were not great. A few pictures will tell the story of the significant progress thus far. What a difference a year makes. I am informed that the F-111 will be ready to mount on its permanent display pedestal at the airport come the Spring thaw.

 

February 2016 Update

The F-111 Aardvark has been moved from the Rantoul Air Force Museum with funds provided by the Waukegan Port Authority and others. This aircraft has been delivered in disassembled form to a hangar at the Waukegan Airport on December 18th. This plane is one of the original build of 10 with the tail number 63-9767. The plane had been disassembled with the fuselage places in one hanger and the wings and tail-planes in another. The paint scheme was discussed and has not been decided upon. The paint is being donated by Akzo Nobel Aerospace Coatings, whose office is located in Waukegan. 

December 2015 Update

The F-111 has been disassembled and transported to Waukegan Airport. It arrived December 18th.

October 2015 Update

The F-111A Aardvark project is starting to gain some traction. For those that did not attend our last meeting, we have been offered the opportunity to participate in a project for the Waukegan Airport. The project entails re-locating an F-111A Aardvark from the soon-to-be closed Octave Chanute Air Museum in Rantoul, IL to Waukegan National Airport. We would participate in the restoration of the aircraft to a condition suitable for static display on the airport grounds.
This aircraft is unique in that it was the first production swing wing aircraft capable of both sub- and super-sonic flight. Developed in the 60’s, key points include:
• Although designated a fighter, the F-111 was a medium-range heavy tactical bomber
• Nicknamed the Aardvark, a solitary night hunter with excellent senses that roots round in the dirt
• First operational swing-wing aircraft, first turbofan with an afterburner, and pioneer of terrain-following flight
• Extremely long range on internal fuel alone; usually bombed without tanker support
• Heavy bomb load
• Mach 1.2 speed while hugging the terrain; Mach 2.5 at high altitude
• Highly politicized and wasteful procurement process
• Initial disaster in Vietnam
• Later success in Vietnam, Tripoli, and Desert Storm
• Used by the Royal Australian Air Force until 2010
What makes this particular aircraft significant is that it is the second one built by General Dynamics. Michael Haupt and I have visited the museum and found it to be in good shape. A project update will be given at the meeting.
The F-111A Aardvark project is starting to gain some traction. We have been offered the opportunity to participate in a project for the Waukegan Airport. The project entails re-locating an F-111A Aardvark from the soon-to-be closed Octave Chanute Air Museum in Rantoul, IL to Waukegan National Airport. We would participate in the restoration of the aircraft to a condition suitable for static display on the airport grounds.
 
This aircraft is unique in that it was the first production swing wing aircraft capable of both sub- and super-sonic flight. Developed in the 60’s, key points include:
  • Although designated a fighter, the F-111 was a medium-range heavy tactical bomber
  • Nicknamed the Aardvark, a solitary night hunter with excellent senses that roots round in the dirt
  • First operational swing-wing aircraft, first turbofan with an afterburner, and pioneer of terrain-following flight
  • Extremely long range on internal fuel alone; usually bombed without tanker support
  • Heavy bomb load
  • Mach 1.2 speed while hugging the terrain; Mach 2.5 at high altitude
  • Highly politicized and wasteful procurement process
  • Initial disaster in Vietnam
  • Later success in Vietnam, Tripoli, and Desert Storm
  • Used by the Royal Australian Air Force until 2010
What makes this particular aircraft significant is that it is the second one built by General Dynamics. Michael Haupt and I have visited the museum and found it to be in good shape.
 

  
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