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McDonnel Douglas F-110E

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McDonnell Douglas F-110E Phantom - 555th TFS, United States Air Force, 1975

The resounding success of the US Navy's F-4B in the competitive fly-off against the F-106 during ‘Operation Highspeed’ led to a more comprehensive evaluation of two loaned Navy F-4B’s (designated as the F-110A) but McDonnell had already been planning a purpose-built tactical fighter version of the F-4 for the USAF with manual terrain-following radar and TF30 turbofan engines. Designated F-110B this aircraft promised to be an excellent partner to the F-111A (TFX) and quickly gained the support of Defense Secretary Robert McNamara who authorised production of the type in February 1962. The pre-production prototype first flew in November 1963 and the F-110B entered service during the following year before production switched to the improved F-110C for TAC and the F-110D interceptor for ADC. In 1969 the definitive F-110E started to roll off the St. Louis production line which matched the AN/APG-59 pulse doppler radar coupled with the AN/AWG-10 Fire Control System for look-down shoot-down capability. The F-110E also featured the substantially more powerful TF30-P-100 turbofan rated at 25,000 lbs thrust each and was far less prone to compressor stalls at high angles of attack than previous versions of the TF30. Initial production aircraft were delivered to USAFE in 1970 but soon began to replace F-105D's and F-110B's in Vietnam from 1971 onwards.






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