Friday, 18 December 2015

Virtavia F-111C at RAAF Pearce, Western Australia

In the 70s, I used to live in Bullsbrook, right under the approach to RAAF Pearce and the F-111C was the most impressive aircraft to be seen flying in and out. The original variable geometry fighter/bomber was delivered to the RAAF in 1973 with 24 aircraft. The aircraft, compared to it's contemporaries in a similar role, has a very long combat range and high payload. The ferry range is 6760 km with a combat radius of 2140km.

A8-138 ready for takeoff
F-111C over RAAF Pearce
F-111C over Pearce, ORBX Global
The Virtavia model, includes repaints of some RAAF F-111C aircraft, including A8-138 that I was flying. The original aircraft is shown below.
I put it to the test, by flying to Kuala Lumpur, a distance of 4177km. I departed Pearce at 3:30am just before sunrise and got to WMKK at just before 5am, cruising at an altitude of 37000ft and 660 Knots.

Pilot's instrument panel
The model is a pleasure to fly, seems to have a really good flight model and looks fantastic. Most of the buttons and instruments work. I did not read the 63 page manual, but worked out how to use the autopilot and head-up display and terrain following radar. I dialled in the cruising altitude and heading and selected heading hold and altitude hold and auto-pilot master switch on. I managed to get to Kuala Lumpur with 44% fuel remaining, so almost possible to make the return flight. The wings sweep forward for takeoff and landing using the normal flap control keys.

Arrival at runway 32R, WMKK
I used the free scenery for Pearce and the excellent KLIA scenery by AA Sceneries for Kuala Lumpur International airport. There is some really good traffic at the busy airport that did hit my frame rate.

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