The F-111, a supersonic jet fighter that can travel two and a half times faster than sound, was successfully tested yesterday in Forth Worth, Texas.
LS plane takes off
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Background: The F-111, a supersonic jet fighter that can travel two and a half times faster than sound, was successfully tested yesterday in Forth Worth, Texas. But, though the test was termed "successful" the plane ran into some mechanical difficulty.
The F-111 was scheduled to fly for 40 minutes but loaded after only 21 minutes in flight. The two man crew was unable to retract the plane's wing flaps after takeoff. However, project directors called the malfunction ---"minor." Another test is planned in 10 days
The aircraft has movable wings. They stick straight out in a span of 63 feet when fully extended for low altitude flight, landing and takeoff. During fast high altitude runs, they fold back to a wingspread of 31 feet and give the plane a lower drag arrowhead shape. This, incidentally, wasn't demonstrated at yesterday's test, for the plane didn't go higher than 15 thousand feet.
The pilots that took part in the test were R.L. Johnson and Val Prah.