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Slicker
09-22-2006, 12:51 PM
Today at NAS Oceana is the final flyoff of the F-14 Tomcat. It's been in the fleet for around 30 years and is finally being retired. It's being replaced by the carppy F/A-18. I'm hopefully gonna be there to see it take off and land for the final time. If I can manage to get a camera I'll take pics and post 'em but don't count on it.

If you've ever seen the two planes side by side you'd be amazed at the sheer size difference in the two. While the 18 is a little sissy looking plane the 14 is just a beast. The 14 totally has the 18 in looks too as it looks tons more menacing. The two don't even compare in the air either with the F/A-18 struggling to hit mach (it has to be nearly totally unladen) while the F-14 climbs over mach in no time *little known fact alert* The F-14 is actually powerful enough to take off from the flight deck of an aircraft carrier without using the catapult. *end little known fact alert*

It's a sad day but it's the beginning as the F/A-18 is set to take over nearly all of the rolls of other aircraft in the fleet. It makes sense as it'll ease repair capabilites and standardize production...and make my job alot easier.

stillakid
09-22-2006, 12:55 PM
The two don't even compare in the air either with the F/A-18 struggling to hit mach (it has to be nearly totally unladen)
Is that an African F/A 18 or a European F/A 18?


It's a sad day but it's the beginning as the F/A-18 is set to take over nearly all of the rolls of other aircraft in the fleet. It makes sense as it'll ease repair capabilites and standardize production...and make my job alot easier.
Does this mean I can finally buy a used Tomcat for personal use? Seriously. I've always wanted one.

shammykenobi
09-22-2006, 01:09 PM
The F-14 is actually powerful enough to take off from the flight deck of an aircraft carrier with using the catapult.


You mean without a catapult?

shammykenobi
09-22-2006, 01:11 PM
The F-14 is actually powerful enough to take off from the flight deck of an aircraft carrier with using the catapult.
[/QUOTE]

You mean without a catapult?

darthvyn
09-22-2006, 01:11 PM
wow! what will our kids think when they see "top gun" now? the hero's a raging lunatic, and they're not even flying real planes!!!

the hornet is a little sissy of a plane. and it doesn't have swing wings... my brother got a die-cast model of one from the national air and space museum when we visited my aunt in DC... i got an a-10 warthog. i've always been partial to that plane. it just looks like it could never even get off the ground, but it's mean as hell.

Rogue II
09-22-2006, 01:15 PM
*little known fact alert* The F-14 is actually powerful enough to take off from the flight deck of an aircraft carrier with using the catapult. *end little known fact alert*


I did not know that. It is amazing something that big can do it. Then again, if you ever have been inside a C-5, it is a wonder how those get off the ground at all. (Especially since they seem to break down all the time)


It's a sad day but it's the beginning as the F/A-18 is set to take over nearly all of the rolls of other aircraft in the fleet. It makes sense as it'll ease repair capabilites and standardize production...and make my job alot easier.

For some reason, I thought you were medical. I guess not.

***hums a few bars of Kenny Loggins' "Danger Zone" in honor of the F-14***

Slicker
09-22-2006, 01:15 PM
You mean without a catapult?Duly noted...



For some reason, I thought you were medical. I guess not.Nope. I actually worked on the electronics from the F-14's and now I work on just the F-18's. You'd be surprised at how much crap is crammed into those damn planes...

LusiferSam
09-22-2006, 05:03 PM
That's really too bad. I was under the impression that the Super Hornet was an inferior air craft when compared to the F-14. Oh well I guess money is king.

Slicker
09-22-2006, 06:50 PM
That's really too bad. I was under the impression that the Super Hornet was an inferior air craft when compared to the F-14. Oh well I guess money is king.The Super Hornet is (in my mind) vastly inferior to the 14. Obviously the electronics are superior but that's because we knew the 14's were going away so we just left them as is. The 14 was old and everything has to pass at some point but the 18 isn't far behind the 14. I think the 14 is maybe 10 years younger. But, if you think about it, the 18'll be getting replaced in about that many years by the JSF (which I saw on base a bit ago. It's as carppy as the 18).


The 14 was an old bird. I worked on the electronics gear (i.e. FLIR pods, electronic control units, roll-pitch-yaw computers, etc.) and the F-14 pieces were very, very beat up when compared to the F/A-18 stuff. It may be more due to wear and tear by handlers though as I can attest. That stuff can take quite a beating *cough*falling3feetontoconcrete*cough* &

Darth Jax
09-22-2006, 06:56 PM
Does this mean I can finally buy a used Tomcat for personal use? Seriously. I've always wanted one.

maybe you could just rent Suri?

wonder if we'll get a reversion of top gun now with new aircraft

Phantom-like Menace
09-22-2006, 11:17 PM
I'm certainly no expert, but isn't the basic idea that the F-14 is largely just too maintenance-intensive to justify the cost even given its performance over other planes? The Navy looked at that plus the multimission capability of the F-18 plus a relatively high failure rate (I.e. crashes) for the F-14 and made the tough call.

That said, this is a total bummer. It's the first time I care that a type of plane is being retired, and the first time I would consider caring. As much as the Navy is defined by its ships, when I thought of the USN, the first image that came to my mind was the Tomcat. If it wasn't the Sky Striker when I was a kid or Top Gun (a movie I love and am not ashamed to admit to loving), it was the fact that that fighter just looked awesome. I would have wanted to imagine shear recruitment potential would have kept the F-14 flying. How many kids looked at an F-14 and said, "Yeah, some day?"

Of course, I'm from Pensacola (only nine more months till I move back!), so when the freaking "Cradle of Naval Aviation" lost first Lexington then Forrestal (Thanks Bush Senior, you goat diddling putz) and no more carriers replaced them (then I missed Enterprise's visit a few years back because I was in this miserable hole), I should have gotten used to the government depriving me of cool military hardware.

CaptainSolo1138
09-23-2006, 10:32 AM
There was a bit on CNN this morning from Oceana at the retirement ceremony or whatever it was you had. They were documenting the last time an F14 would fly (Which is kinda dumb. It might be the last official flight, but I have a feeling that there won't be an airshow for 50 years that doesn't have an F14).

Blue2th
09-23-2006, 11:30 AM
That's too bad. The Tomcat is a beautiful plane. Hope they just put them in mothballs, and not destroy them. You never know. They pulled the old A-10 Warthog out of retirement. Though the Hornet will probably be phased out by the Navy version of the new Tactical fighter (forget it's designation) anyways.

Slicker
09-23-2006, 11:32 AM
Tactical fighter (forget it's designation) anyways.Are you thinking of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)?

Blue2th
09-23-2006, 12:08 PM
Yes. The Navy version has vectoring thrust, to turn on a dime, and vertical take-off and landing capability like the Harrier, I do believe. Though that could just be a different version. The one I saw on the Military channel, was quite amazing.

seanmcfripp
09-23-2006, 12:47 PM
Hearing about this gives me the same feeling I had when the SR-71 Blackbird was retired some years back. If a plane looks cool, seems like the military should be required to find some way to keep it around.

I've always wondered though, what's the big difference between the F-15 and the F-14? Just going on looks, I've always thought:

F-14: 2-position wings, flies for the Navy
F-15: fixed wings, flies for the USAF

Other than that, cosmetically they look the same to me. Why does one work better as a Navy plane, and the other an Air Force plane.

While I'm asking, I have the same questions about the F-22 and F-35. They both kinda have the same look to them, so what's the difference?

Phantom-like Menace
09-24-2006, 12:51 AM
I figured I should mention that when I said, "It's the first time I care that a type of plane is being retired, and the first time I would consider caring," I could almost consider the cancellation of the RAH-66 Comanche as being a retirement of sorts, and I was definitely looking forward to seeing that helicopter in service. I still hope some other country would purchase the design.


I've always wondered though, what's the big difference between the F-15 and the F-14? Just going on looks, I've always thought:

F-14: 2-position wings, flies for the Navy
F-15: fixed wings, flies for the USAF

Other than that, cosmetically they look the same to me. Why does one work better as a Navy plane, and the other an Air Force plane.

While I'm asking, I have the same questions about the F-22 and F-35. They both kinda have the same look to them, so what's the difference?

I'll take a crack at answering some of these, though anyone is welcome to tell me I'm wrong.

The F-14 wings do not merely operate swept fully forward and swept fully backward but at all angles in between those two extremes as well. If I remember, the F-111 (an earlier US-designed sweep wing aicraft) required the pilot to manually adjust the angle while the F-14's onboard computer does it for the pilot based on the speed of the aircraft and the maneuver the pilot is performing.

As far as differences between the F-14 and F-15, I could quickly describe the problems carrier aircraft designers run into in designing their aircraft. Carrier aircraft have to be lighter than regular aircraft. Not only do they have less space to take off and land but they also need to be stored onboard an aircraft carrier. One way of cutting weight is to reduce fuel, so their range is shorter than comparable land-based aircraft, though this is not too much of a compromise since carrier aircraft bring their runways with them. In direct conflict with the requirement that carrier planes be light, they have to be durable enough to take repeated carrier landings, which in the best situation is a violent shock to the airframe. To reduce the space carrier aircraft take up, they also fold their wings, so the F-14's swing wings not only give it greater lift on take off and handling on landing and greater aerodynamics at his speed, but they automatically reduce the space the fighter takes up when stored. Also, due to weight restrictions, carrier aircraft generally have lighter weapons loads than land-based aircraft. Let me stress, though, that the F-14 could not be described as a carrier version of the F-15.

As for the F-22 versus F-35, the F-22 as far as I understand was built with supercruise (supersonic flight without using fuel-hungry afterburners), maneuverability (thrust vectoring) and stealth in mind while the F-35 was built with ease of maintenance, supercruise and stealth in mind. The primary purpose of the F-35 is to build one airframe that all of the services can use with little modification for their conflicting needs. A version was made for the Air Force. With larger wing surfaces, folding wings and a more rugged landing apparatus, you get the Navy version. The most radical departure would be the USM/RAF/RN version which is a VSTOL craft, but this craft still uses a significant percentage of parts it shares with the Air Force and USN versions of the aircraft. The Air Force however basically stuck its tongue out and said they were keeping the F-22, though they still plan to purchase some number of their version of the F-35. The F-22 as a dedicated air superiority fighter is more capable than the Air Force F-35 version simply due to the lack of compromises in its design. I don't believe the F-35 has thrust vectoring (ignoring the VSTOL version which articulates the entire nozzle on the main engine downward for VSTOL), but I could be wrong about that. Essentially it comes down to performance versus cost of purchase and maintenance.

Blue2th
09-24-2006, 09:20 AM
Yeah, though I'm a fan of aircraft, sometimes I only have a smigeon of a clue. I saw another show yesterday on Stealth aircraft. They were showing the F-22 with vectoring flaps over the exaust ports. This helps it turn on a dime. Quite different from the VSTOL version which articulates the engines downward for vertical take off and landing (what's the S for in VSTOL)? as you mentioned PLM. This version would replace the Harrier.

Darth Instigator
09-24-2006, 09:36 AM
:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: wow

Phantom-like Menace
09-24-2006, 09:50 AM
Quite different from the VSTOL version which articulates the engines downward for vertical take off and landing (what's the S for in VSTOL)? as you mentioned PLM. This version would replace the Harrier.

Aircraft designers used to refer to these types of designs as Verticle Take-Off and Landing, but in verticle flight, payloads are severely reduced. In practical use, these aircraft were usually launched with a running start, and in some instances such as the Invincible-class through-deck cruisers of the RN were launched with a short ski-jump to give them increased lift on take-off. Eventually, they changed the generally used acronym to Verticle/Short Take-Off and Landing. The "S" therefore stands for short.

Blue2th
09-24-2006, 11:42 AM
Technically though not designated STOL, all carrier aircraft have a short distance to take off. Hence the fold out wings of the F-14 for greater lift as you say. Now the Navy uses catapults, though I didn't know the Tomcat was powerfull enough to take off without it as Slicker said. They must have to "bring her into the wind" like they did in WWII, where the carriers didn't have catapults. Though battleships did for their seaplane scouts (no flight deck) They must have gotten that technology and applied it to aircraft carriers later on.

Slicker
09-24-2006, 04:04 PM
:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: wowAwesome!! Every thread should have someone that posts a useless comment that is totally inappropriate!

seanmcfripp
09-24-2006, 08:31 PM
Awesome!! Every thread should have someone that posts a useless comment that is totally inappropriate!

It was probably meant for the incredibly stupid thought thread. Something like:

Ever notice the word "wow" spelled backwards is "wow?" My son pointed that out to me, and I thought it was really insightful for a kid his age.

Maybe if we're lucky, D.I. will head on over to that thread and give us some more stupid thoughts.


I'll take a crack at answering some of these...

Thanx for the info, but now for the real question. Who would win in a fight between Starscream and a Skystiker???

Phantom-like Menace
09-24-2006, 10:39 PM
It was probably meant for the incredibly stupid thought thread. Something like:

Ever notice the word "wow" spelled backwards is "wow?" My son pointed that out to me, and I thought it was really insightful for a kid his age.


It's also mom spelled upside down.


Who would win in a fight between Starscream and a Skystiker???

Well, Starscream would win, but per the rules of the cartoon, Ace parachutes to safety at the last second. Yo Joe! Now you know. . . .

Slicker
09-30-2006, 07:12 PM
Apparently the flyoff on September 22 was just the "official" ceremonies for the end of the Tomcat. It's rumored that on October 3rd they'll fly off the base for the last time and it's also rumored that they'll fly to the aircraft graveyard in Arizona and that'll be the end of that.:cry:

Rogue II
11-02-2006, 05:56 PM
Looks its like the the end of an era for another jet:

F-117: A long, storied history that is about to end (http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?storyID=123030185)

It doesn't seem like its been around that long...

JimJamBonds
11-02-2006, 06:14 PM
Looks its like the the end of an era for another jet:

F-117: A long, storied history that is about to end (http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?storyID=123030185)

It doesn't seem like its been around that long...

25 years is pretty old, although I'd say it hasn't been "known" for that long.

I'm not sure if this was mentioned or not but there was a pretty cool special last night on Discovery about the Tomkat.

Blue2th
11-02-2006, 06:28 PM
That's too bad about the F-117. Though a great stealth aircraft, it's sub-sonic speed and age is probably the reason. Unlike the replacement F-22 Raptor which can go super-sonic. I'll bet the Airforce won't be selling any of them for surplus, or even let them sit in a regular boneyard for that matter. The stealth technology still works. They wouldn't want any other country to have that kind of an edge I'm sure.

Rogue II
11-02-2006, 11:49 PM
That's too bad about the F-117. Though a great stealth aircraft, it's sub-sonic speed and age is probably the reason. Unlike the replacement F-22 Raptor which can go super-sonic. I'll bet the Airforce won't be selling any of them for surplus, or even let them sit in a regular boneyard for that matter. The stealth technology still works. They wouldn't want any other country to have that kind of an edge I'm sure.

Supposedly, they never recovered the wreckage of a 117 that was shot down in eastern Europe. Therefore, it is assumed that the technology has been compromised.

JimJamBonds
11-03-2006, 12:54 PM
Supposedly, they never recovered the wreckage of a 117 that was shot down in eastern Europe. Therefore, it is assumed that the technology has been compromised.

One was shot down over Bosnia a few years ago and the wreckage was recovered by 'unfriendlys.'