By Jim Rotramel
The rear bulkhead of an EF-111A (left)
showing the hit and run mini-survival kit contained in a small,
triangular-shaped box located above the pilot's headrest. The flight control computer
ground-check panel is the bottom of the three panels between the seats. Its door was
always open from engine shutdown until after engine start. Also, note that clip to hold
the nuclear flash shield is in place at the top of the photo, but no shield is fitted. The
rear bulkhead of an F-111F (right) showing the hit and run kit mounted behind
the WSO's headrest. Note the nuclear flash shield in place on the canopy sill at the top
of the photo. The leather headrests were always red, but the seat cushions were normally
green, and rarely red fabric. The hit-and-run kit was on the WSOs side
in the F-111D/F and FB/G. It was above the ACs seat in the F-111A/C/E variants.
This left photo of an FB-111A
clearly shows both the silver-colored blast curtains and the panels on the glare shield
that fold up to provide all-round flash protection in the cockpit in a nuclear
environment. These blast curtains were only found on FB-111As, many F-111Ds,
and all F-111E/Fs (prior to 1991), although the framing was common to all variants. Note
that the rectangular optical display sight (ODS) is only on the pilots side. This
was the configuration of all but the F-111Ds and EF-111As.
The EF-111A (not shown) lacked the ODS, glare
shield blast screens, and blast curtain.
The gray scheme on this F-111D dates the right
photo as having been taken after 1991, as does the lack of nuclear blast curtains Note the
unique shape of the F-111D heads up displays (HUD) and that they were on both sides of the
cockpit. Also clearly shown is the track along which the blast curtain unfolded in an arc
at the rear of the canopy from its axis at the front inboard corner of the canopy. This
track was common to all F-111s.
Above left -
After the 1991 Gulf War, EF-111As received Avionics Modernization Program (AMP)
modifications. This manifested itself in the cockpit by the addition of two F-16
Above right - This restored display shows
the unique features of the F-111D cockpit. Despite the moving map (top center), HUDs
(either side of the moving map) and multi function displays for both the pilot and WSO,
this advanced cockpit was designed in the 1960s! Unfortunately, it didnt work
reliably until the 1980s, after the Regan administration adequately funded spare parts and
upgrades. When it worked, it was a dream to fly and much easier to operate than the other
Above left -
This photo shows the massive structure of the F-111 canopies. Note the nuclear blast
curtain at the top of the photo and the curved track at the rear of the far canopy for its
curtain. By the way, they bicycle locks were installed for an air show appearance to
protect visitors from themselves!
Above right - EF-111A restored cockpit.
These photos show the F-111F
cockpit as it appeared during the 1991 Gulf War. The WSOs virtual image display
(VID) is visible in the background of the left photo.The right photo shows how it was two
small TVs behind a large magnifying glass.The two screens allowed both radar and infrared
video to be viewed simultaneously. When the WSO was working those two systems during an
attack he was said to have his head in the feedbag.
Above Left - After the
Gulf War, some F-111Fs received the Pacer Strike modifications. Similar to the AMP
modification, it also introduced two of the F-16 MFDs onto the front panel.
Above right - Although it looks similar to the F-111F, this is an F-111G cockpit.
These were FB-111As that had been given the AMP modification and then given several other
internal modifications to make them trainers for TAC aircrews. What looks like a VID was
just a hood for a single unmagnified TV-display. In fact, there was a Velcro flap on the
left side of the hood so the pilot could peak at what the WSO was looking at on his radar!
Edited by Assistant
David de Botton Flash@F-111.net
Base Location: http://www.F-111.net/models/cockpits/index.htm