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General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark

General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark Book Review

By Rachel E. Veres

Date of Review December 2013 Title General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark
Author Peter Davies Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2013 ISBN 9781780966113
Format 64 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $18.95


In October 1964, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara declared "'[The F-111] had the range of a transport, the carrying capacity and endurance of a bomber and the agility of a fighter.'"  Did it?  Over 40 years of aerial action say yes!

In Osprey's General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark, author Peter Daviesexamines "one of the most underestimated and misunderstood 20th-century combat aircraft".

After a brief introduction, Davies focuses the first two-thirds to the Aardvark's design development, technical specifications and variants.  Handy tables detailing the aircraft's dimensions, weights and production numbers summarize preceding pages.

The book's remaining third concentrates on Aardvark operations.  Despite a horrific 1968 debut during Combat Lancer, F-111s disproved naysayers with Operation Linebacker II four years later in Vietnam.  With 4,000 sorties flown by March 1973, only six F-111s were destroyed – the lowest for any US combat plane during the war.  Aardvarks again proved themselves in 1986's Operation El Dorado Canyon over Libya and 1991's Operation Desert Storm.

The author concisely concludes discussing the aircraft's retirement and replacement with the F-15.  Despite lacking secondary air-to-air capability of the Strike Eagle, F-111s could carry a 6,000 warload over 1,000 miles – markedly further than F-15s can.

Further reading recommendations, documents and index complete this excellent Osprey publication.

Forty-three photographs and artwork by Adam Tooby and Henry Morshead complement Davies's narrative.  Needing some modeling ideas?  Eight profiles offer readers color inspiration.

Want more?  The back cover offers related titles including five reviewed by me.  See my Cybermodeler Online reviews for the Osprey's F-105 Wild Weasel vs. SA-2 "Guideline" SAM (July 2012), Republic F-105 Thunderchief (November 2012), A-6 Intruder Units of the Vietnam War (February 2013), USAF McDonnell F-4 Phantom II (June 2013), and Martin B-26 Marauder (September 2013).

Highly recommended.

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!