F-111 Belly LandingSubmitted by emalvini on Fri, 01/04/2013 - 21:47
F-111 Belly Landing
If you're into special airplanes even a little, here is a video I'm sure you'll enjoy. These guys do a remarkable job getting their aircraft back on the ground with a minimal amount of damage. It could have very easily gone the other way. Also, notice early in the video there is a sequence showing a
F-111 dumping fuel with the afterburners on lighting up the night sky. Something a little unique to the F-111.
The Australians flew the F-111 a lot longer than our Air Force. The airplane was originally designed to land on a carrier deck so the gear structure is very strong. Even landing on a long runway you just maintain 10 degrees angle of attack until the runway stops your descent.
Because this is the way the airplane was designed to be landed it felt just fine inside the airplane, but for an observer outside the aircraft it looked like you forgot to flare and really clobbered the landing. I don't know if metal fatigue was a factor in this accident but they are fortunate the wheel fell off upon liftoff and not while accelerating down the runway in full afterburner.
Using the tail hook to catch the arresting cable was a great idea, as you will see. Arresting wires on runways are not like the ones on the flight deck of a carrier. They provide less resistance and let you decelerate over about a 900 ft. range, something you wouldn't have room to do on a carrier.
Pretty neat landing and luckily no fire. I heard them say in the video that the airport tower had to tell them that they had lost a wheel on takeoff. I'm surprised, with today's technology, that there isn't a device built into to the plane that would tell the pilot immediately that a wheel was missing. Especially as critical as wheels are for landing the plane. I thought this was rather strange.
Check out the 7:05min. video below:
Real Top Guns F-111 Belly Landing