The F-111A had tires that were 47-inches in diameter and
18-inches wide (the same-size tires as C-130s), while the tires on the Navy’s
F-111B were only 42 x 13 inches. The structure of the FB-111A/F-111G, F-111C,
F-111D, F-111E, and F-111F landing gears was strengthened, but this wasn’t
readily apparent visually, especially in modeling scales. Their tires were the
same size as those used on the F-111As.
In anticipation of carrying much larger payloads than the
tactical variants, the FB-111A/F-111G also had more powerful brakes fitted,
which made the depth of their wheels much shallower; the F-111C also uses
these larger brakes.
produced both sets of wheels.
The interior of the speedbrake door on all variants was gloss
red with black anti-skid strips over the areas rounded out for the tires. The
shape of the door on the Minicraft kit is wrong (for that matter, so is that
on the Hasegawa kit—the Monogram EF-111A kit looks better). On the Minicraft
kit, the door isn’t long enough, which probably means the aft door is too
produced replacements for the nose gear doors and the front main landing door
(speed brake) that replaces the kit door with one that’s thicker, but the same
shape as the kit door. The nose gear doors are fine, but my gut feeling is
that the speed brake is too thick and that the
indents for the wheels are too pronounced.
The aft main gear door was originally designed to align
parallel to the fuselage when extended. About 1975 this door was attached to
the gear strut, thus making it mount perpendicular to the fuselage when the
gear was extended. To do this, the back of the door was cut off, making it
28.5 inches long.
Unfortunately, the Scaledown gear door set doesn’t include the modified aft
main gear door.
Scaledown promises to
eventually release a complete wheel well set that will correct the geometry of
the gear door openings and have a detailed wheel bay.
The original aft main landing gear door installation (at
left, during an FB-111A test flight) and the one used for most of the
aircraft’s service (at right on an F-111F) showing how the aft part of the
door was cut off. Also note how the anti-collision light is offset to the
right side of the fuselage.
note the length and shape of the speed brake door and compare it to the
incorrect Minicraft and Hasegawa door shapes.
The aft main landing gear door originally extended to be
parallel to the bottom of the fuselage. However, it was soon attached to the
back of the main landing gear strut, which required cutting off several inches
of the door so it wouldn't impact the fuselage (right). Also note the external
stiffeners that were added. Behind the door is the front of the conduit that
leads to the ECM pod fairing. The interior of the front main landing gear
door, which doubled as a speedbrake, is shown in the right photo.
Tail bumper used on all F-111s except the FB-111A/F-111G
is shown on the left, while the FB-111A/F-111G tail bumper featured an extra
fairing (black arrow) is shown on the right. Also note the additional UHF
antenna (white arrow) that was unique to these variants.
Wheel used by the F-111A/D/E/F (left) compared with that
used by the F-111C and FB-111A/F-111G (right). Note how much shallower it is
than the tactical brake. The wheels could be either silver (as shown) or gloss
white, depending on the aircraft and timeframe. On F-111Fs during the Gulf
War, the center “hub caps” were often painted with the squadron color.