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Topic: Swing Wing Aircraft Take Off / Landing?
Username: Max Q
Posted 2012-03-24 21:26:49 and read 5844 times.

A trivial question perhaps but I wonder if the F111, F14, Tornado etc would ever have a reason to take off or land with the wings not in the full forward position ?

Topic: RE: Swing Wing Aircraft Take Off / Landing?
Username: legs
Posted 2012-03-24 22:44:55 and read 5824 times.

The first thing that comes to mind is a wing sweep actuator failure, though there's probably a couple of other things like control circuitry or feedback mechanism failures that will stop you from sweeping the wings.

I know the F-111 flight manual had charts for landing speeds at different wing sweeps, and according to some of the pilots back in the day it wasn't a huge issue to land with the wings swept back a bit. Obviously, its going to be faster and depending on how swept the wings are the spoilers may well be locked out so you'll use a lot of runway and work the brakes pretty hard.

As far as taking off, they'd probably use way too much runway for it to ever used normally, maybe a ferry flight with only minimal fuel would be the only way to even get off the ground.

[Edited 2012-03-24 22:52:23]

Topic: RE: Swing Wing Aircraft Take Off / Landing?
Username: Max Q
Posted 2012-03-24 23:13:31 and read 5815 times.

Quoting legs (Reply 1):


The first thing that comes to mind is a wing sweep actuator failure, though there's probably a couple of other things like control circuitry or feedback mechanism failures that will stop you from sweeping the wings.

I know the F-111 flight manual had charts for landing speeds at different wing sweeps, and according to some of the pilots back in the day it wasn't a huge issue to land with the wings swept back a bit. Obviously, its going to be faster and depending on how swept the wings are the spoilers may well be locked out so you'll use a lot of runway and work the brakes pretty hard.

As far as taking off, they'd probably use way too much runway for it to ever used normally, maybe a ferry flight with only minimal fuel would be the only way to even get off the ground.

Thanks but I didn't mean if there was a mechanical problem.


My question, as strange as it seems is whether any of these swing wing Aircraft would take off or land with the wing's not full forward (slightly less)

[Edited 2012-03-24 23:14:27]

Topic: RE: Swing Wing Aircraft Take Off / Landing?
Username: legs
Posted 2012-03-25 00:54:21 and read 5782 times.

Operationally, I can't see a situation that would dictate taking off or landing with the wings swept. I'd imagine the F-14 and the Tornado are similar to the F-111 in that as soon as the wings are pulled back from full forward, the high lift devices are locked out and can't operate.

Topic: RE: Swing Wing Aircraft Take Off / Landing?
Username: Max Q
Posted 2012-03-25 03:11:09 and read 5738 times.

I think my rather unusual question is still not clear.


I did not mean taking off or landing with the wings fully swept.



I was referring to a situation were they might take off or land with the wings slightly less than the full forward position.

Topic: RE: Swing Wing Aircraft Take Off / Landing?
Username: legs
Posted 2012-03-25 04:35:51 and read 5710 times.

I can only talk about the F-111, but takeoffs and landings would be pretty achievable at 26 degrees of sweep (17 is full forward). Though like I said, past this point the flaps and slats are inhibited, so any further back is essentially out of the question.

However, full forward was normal operating procedure. Short of a mechanical malfunction, Im almost positive it didnt happen otherwise.

Topic: RE: Swing Wing Aircraft Take Off / Landing?
Username: ZANL188
Posted 2012-03-25 05:44:32 and read 5687 times.

I'm not sure about the 111 however I know the 14 was flight tested with the wings in less than full forward & sweep asymmetry. There's a pix of a test 14 with one wing full forward & the other fully swept.

Pix is in this thread...

F-14 Swing Wing (by Andz Jan 9 2009 in Military Aviation & Space Flight)

[Edited 2012-03-25 05:51:16]

Topic: RE: Swing Wing Aircraft Take Off / Landing?
Username: KC135TopBoom
Posted 2012-03-25 07:58:12 and read 5644 times.

I know on the FB-111, and possibly on the other "long wing" F-111 models the leading edge slats, trailing edge flaps, and the spoilers were fully functional back to 26 degrees of sweep. IIRC, the Mig-23 had a similar feature, but I don't know about the F-14.

But I also seem to recall if the outboard wing hardpoints (the ones that did not swivel as the wings swept aft) you had to take-off with the wings set to 17 degrees (full open) and then sweep back to 26 degrees after take-off.

Topic: RE: Swing Wing Aircraft Take Off / Landing?
Username: legs
Posted 2012-03-25 13:54:57 and read 5527 times.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):

Thats right, the 4 outer wing points were fixed at 26 degrees, but were the only ones where the entire pylon was jettisoned, not just the payload. Wing sweep aft of 26 degrees was locked out by a switch that the pilot could toggle on the wing-sweep control handle.

Topic: RE: Swing Wing Aircraft Take Off / Landing?
Username: LMP737
Posted 2012-03-27 09:38:49 and read 5093 times.

I never saw and F-14 have it's wing sweep system fail in the air. A lot of redundancies were built into the system. The pilot could move the wings electrically with a switch on the throttle. If that failed he could control it manually with a handle next to the throttle that was mechanically linked to the system. If a hydraulic system failed the actuator with the operational hyd system would drive the other one.

Topic: RE: Swing Wing Aircraft Take Off / Landing?
Username: KC135TopBoom
Posted 2012-04-01 13:46:13 and read 4720 times.

I don't ever remember hearing of any F-111 model or any F-14 ever having a wing sweep failure in flight. I'm not saying it never happened, I am saying I never heard of one happening.


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