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The King is Dead! F14. Long Live the King! F/A18

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posted on Apr, 20 2006 @ 09:19 PM
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The world’s first carrier based variable sweep wing and the most recognizable aircraft - the fast and lethal F-14 - is roaring off into Naval history. The people who researched, developed, tested and trained for the mighty Tomcat will close down the program at Patuxent River Naval Air Station on April 27. R/Adm Venlet, Executive Officer for Naval Tactical Aircraft and a Tomcat aviator, will preside at the ceremony.

The Tomcat has been a mainstay in Navy aviation for 32 years. The F-14 has been transformed from a single mission air-to-air fighter into a combat proven strike and attack aircraft now equipped with digital tactical recon capability. It became an icon in popular culture starring in the 1986 motion picture “Top Gun” and made later appearances on the tv series “JAG.” Its swept wings design is quickly recognized around the globe.

The Tomcat program started in 1968 when the Navy decided to conceive a new carrier based air-to-air fighter. The first production F-14A was delivered in 1972. A significant improvement was made in 1987 with the upgrade to General Electric F110 fanjet engines. This aircraft was designated the F-14B. The F-14D added a new state-of-the-art digital avionics system, one of the most powerful and advanced digital processing radar systems at the time, as well as a high performance passive infrared search and track system.

Tomcats delivered precision-guided munitions over Belgrade, Kabul, and Baghdad. In 2003, Operation Iraqi Freedom saw the deployment of all three F-14D squadrons, and saw the F-14D’s first release of a Joint Direct Attack Munition in a combat environment. In late 2005, the Tomcat also became the first Navy plane to be equipped with ROVER compatibility, which allowed transmission of real-time streaming video to troops on the ground.

Two Tomcat squadrons were retired in March from their last deployment aboard the USS Teddy Roosevelt, CVN71. With an average service life of over 15 years, the aging aircraft has proved itself among the best multi-mission aircraft ever built. It ends its service life while flying alongside the F/A-18 Super Hornet, which the Navy has chosen as its successor. Based on a story in the “Navy News” for April 20, 2006.

F-14D Specs.
Wt empty 42,000 Max takeoff 72,900
Power 2 GE F110 rated at 13,000 lbs dry and 24,000 lbs wet (afterburner)
Max speed, Mach 2.34 (1,540 mph at altitude)
Combat range - 1 way plus loiter time, 570 miles
Service ceiling 78,000 ft
Rate of clime, 45,000 ft per min.
Armament, 1 M61 Vulcan 20 mm with 1,100 rounds
plus up to 10,000 lbs of mixed bombs and rockets
Purchase price $38 million

Here follows examples in the generally recognized generation guide to the world's fighter aircraft, posted by Waynos on another thread on ATS
Generation 1 - Meteor, P-80, Me 262
Generation 2 - F-100, Super Mystere, MiG 19
Generation 3 - Lighting, F-4, Su-15
Generation 4 - F-14, F-15, Tornado, Su-27
Generation 5 - Typhoon, Raptor, F-35.

The F-86, MiG 15 and Hunter were far superior to the Meteor and P-80 but they still belonged to the same generation, the leap came with the F-100. The MiG 21 was the ultimate 2nd gen fighter, later mods brought it to parity with many 3rd gen types but that doesn't change where the MiG 21 belongs. Same applies to the Mirage III and several similar types. The MiG 23 and 25 along with the F-111 in the USA are strictly 3rd gen.

The F-16 (first flight same year as Tornado, two years after F-15 and three years before Su-27, is quite obviously of the same generation as these aircraft. The same goes for the F-18 and MiG 29.



[edit on 4/20/2006 by donwhite]




posted on Apr, 21 2006 @ 06:18 AM
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A lot of people disagree with that quote you posted from me don, but I still hold it to be correct according to the reference material I have which consists of Books and magazines ( Observer's and Flight to be specific) from 1943 to the present day.

Regarding the first Carrier based variable seep fighter, you may not be aware of the Grumman F10F Jaguar, although ulimately unsuccessful, it was actually built and flown and is contemporary with the later F-86 models and the Hunter towards the back end of the first jet fighter generation.


Nice eulogy for the F-14 btw.



[edit on 21-4-2006 by waynos]



posted on Apr, 21 2006 @ 08:54 AM
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posted by waynos: “A lot of people disagree with that quote you posted from me Don, but I still hold it to be correct according to the reference material I have which consists of Books and magazines (Observer's and Flight to be specific) from 1943 to the present day. [Edited by Don W]


I am somewhat of an airplane buff although I have not followed the industry closely since the early 1990s. I’m just curious how you disposed of the Bell P59 - which deserved to be quickly disposed of, so the stories went. My hometown, Louisville, Ky, had one of the first commercial airports in the US, primarily due to its central location. As a child, my parents took me out to the airport on Sunday drives, to watch the DC3s come and go. I was given a small hard rubber toy - no plastic in the good ole days - of a B25 after the Doolittle Raid over Tokyo. 1942. It had spinable props.

As for magazines, I believe the world’s best was an English mag of course, called “Interavia.” Are you familiar with that title? I don’t see it anymore so I guess it was too good to stay around? Here follows an anecdote I have always taken to be true. In 1952, Eisenhower was elected along with enough Republicans in the Senate to give them a majority. One of their number was the now infamous demagogue Joe McCarthy of Wisconsin. (Not to be confused with the next decade’s Sen. Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota, the Lib’s “good guy.”) After the military had taken a beating - security wise - in hearings held by McCarthy, the Navy brass overreacted. Internal security was all the mantra of the Navy. A Navy flying officer at Charleston SC was arrested for possession of classified information when over zealous roommates turned him in for having a copy of Interavia. Somehow Interavia would get the vital statistics of every aircraft in the world while it was still classified by the easily provoked and overzealous US military establishment.


Regarding the first carrier based variable sweep fighter, you may not be aware of the Grumman F10F Jaguar, although ultimately unsuccessful, it was actually built and flown and is contemporary with the later F-86 models and the Hunter towards the back end of the first jet fighter generation.
Nice eulogy for the F-14 btw.


You are exactly right. I was unaware of the F10F. I believe the F9F - Panther? - was not well received either. Grumman, known here as the “iron works” for the heaviness of their products, was a very much “ify” type of plane to fly off a carrier deck due to low performance jet engines of the day. In a good will gesture you Brits gave the worlds leading jet engine to the Ruskies, which powered the MiG 15, to our chagrin. We could have used it in the F9F and maybe the F10F. The photo of the F10F empennage looks a little like the F9F. Are there any heavier military aircraft flying regularly in the fighter role than the F14?

Another anecdote: I was an Air Force mechanic working on radios and radars at Kimpo AB, near Seoul, when the 77 Squadron of the RAAF removed back to Australia. They were flying Meteors equipped with 4 20 mm cannons in the nose. As you know, all warplanes are to discharge their guns before landing. One Meteor had landing gear troubles. The ground crew put 2 55 gal drums under the wings and preceded to raise the landing gear. As soon as the gear switch was flipped, the 4 guns discharged, about 2 or 3 rounds each. Across the runway, in the Quonset hut next door to the one I was to work out of beginning later that week, a shell passed through the wall and struck a man, more of less having the same effect as the Japanese Hari Kari. What can you say? I’m sorry. Accidents happen.

The famous 4th Fighter Wing flying F86s shared the far side of the base with 77 Squadron. I was on the other side, with the 67th Tac Recon Wing. They flew discarded F80s. The last American pilot lost in the war flew recon out of 15th TRS, and his name was still posted on the Ops Room mission blackboard. I enjoyed your posting, Waynos.


[edit on 4/21/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Apr, 21 2006 @ 11:40 AM
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When I was doing the list I regarded the P-59 Airacomet as more of an experimental type like the Gloster Pioneer or the He 178 rather than a fighter.

I do rememebr Interavia, I saw several issues back in the 1970's but it was hard to come by for some reason I never knew, so I stuck with Flight.

Thanks for the kind words



posted on Apr, 21 2006 @ 11:53 AM
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Originally posted by donwhite


Here follows examples in the generally recognized generation guide to the world's fighter aircraft, posted by Waynos on another thread on ATS
Generation 1 - Meteor, P-80, Me 262
Generation 2 - F-100, Super Mystere, MiG 19
Generation 3 - Lighting, F-4, Su-15
Generation 4 - F-14, F-15, Tornado, Su-27
Generation 5 - Typhoon, Raptor, F-35.

[edit on 4/20/2006 by donwhite]



TYPHOON GENERATION 5 yeah right.............

Read this

4.5 GENERATION: 1990-2000
The 4.5 generation is typified by many of the same attributes as the 4th generation aircraft except that they incorporate advanced technology that could be interpreted as that for the 5th generation. Dominant performance and technology goals for 4.5 is reduced radar cross section through advanced airframe shaping and radar absorbant materials being used in the construction. Highly advanced avionics are also a prerequisite for this category. The 4.5 generation includes F-18 Super Hornet, Sukhoi Su-33, Sukhoi Su-35, Eurofighter Typhoon, Saab Grippen and the Dassault Raphale. (it bears acknowledgement that Aerospaceweb says that the Typhoon and the Raphale are arguably somewhere between 4.5 and 5th generation.)

5th GENERATION: 2000-
The attributes that characterize the 5th generation of fighter aircraft include highly advanced avionics and stealthy sensory suites giving the pilot a comprehensive view of the entire battlespace. Also characterizing 5th gen is a combination of stealthy design and efficient supersonic speeds.
Aircraft that stand as examples of 5th generation fighters are the F-22 Raptor, the not yet operational F-35, and possibly the MiG MFI and Sukhoi Su-47, should either of them ever see production.

Hopefully this will serve as a good reference source for ATSers as there really is not much on the web to assist the curious in determining what constitutes a specified generation of aircraft.

Taken from www.abovetopsecret.com...

intelgurls post Fighter Aircraft Generations: A Reference...

Not many 5th Gen fighters flying, maybe Mig and Sukhoi get their act together very soon



posted on Apr, 21 2006 @ 12:11 PM
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Jezza, I did say a lot of people disagree with me


For the record, I was speaking in strictly purely generational terms (as the word IS 'generation'which is a temporal distinction, not a technical one) rather than meaning capability, which is how people seem to be using the reference these days.

So you see the Typhoon is one of the fifth generation of fighters to reach service (almost exactly in the same time frame as the Raptor), I'm not saying that the Typhoon is as advanced and capable as the Raptor, which it clearly isn't.

Historically, when the 'second generation' jets came along in the mid/late 1950's it was not a specific reference to how much better they were, but merely that they were tasked with replacing the 'first generation' of Meteors, F-86's etc. ie the first load of jet fighters to come along.

Consequently when these aircraft also needed replacing Air Forces were said to be seeking a third generation, and so on.

As my specific intereest in Aviation is more biased towards its historical rather than technical aspect then this is perfectly logical and works for me as a referential framework.

It is only recently that the term 'fifth generation' seems to refer to a baseline technical level that planes must reach in order to qualify for inclusion. In the strictest meaning of the term this is as wrong as saying that a child who is slightly duller than his contemporaries does not belong to the current generation. Of course he does, he is just a bit dimmer than the rest, if you get my meaning.

It is this change in the understanding of the term that made invention of the spurious 4.5 gen category necessary, because if viewed from a technological viewpoint the Typhoon (and others) do not fit into either 4 or 5. I understand this and accept it but historically speaking a .5 gen is unnecessary.

So you see, you mocked my definition without really understanding what I was saying, but I forgive you because I like the stuff you write



posted on Apr, 21 2006 @ 02:13 PM
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Jezza, do you think the Russians really have the financial and industrial resources to keep up with the West in advanced aircraft? Or are they making 2 or 2 copies of something pieced together from a "wish list" parts bin?



posted on Apr, 21 2006 @ 02:18 PM
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Being called the MFI, I expect it comes flat packed, with ill fitting pieces and some screws missing and you have to put it together yourself.



posted on Apr, 21 2006 @ 03:40 PM
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Ah the good ole f14, sad to see it go.



posted on Apr, 21 2006 @ 07:34 PM
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Of the 5 generation of fighters, what plane is so outstanding in its generation that it is above any other fighter plane?

Consider,
WW2 Yak 9
WW1 Fiat CR42
The WW2 B18 Bolo - anyone know what plane it was derived from?
Also, WW2's most famous Fairey Swordfish - Do you know any more valuable torpedo bomber than this one?
The Fokker D XXI, can you pronounce the manufacturer in mixed company without raising eyebrows?
Or the Ryan Fairchild A10, one ugly plane!
www.studenten.net...

My choice is the Best of All Time is . . . . the F4U Corsair, by Vultee.

Fastest prop plane of War Two, long rainge, toughly build, and easy to fly based on pilot reports. I choose this one over the F6F knowing it downed more Japanese aircraft than any others of our planes. The F51 saved hundreds if not 1000s of US airmen flying B17s and B24s over Europe. The Yak 3 is the “tank buster” of choice on the Eastern front.
The F15s flown by the Israelis overwhelmed the Egyptian and Syrian air forces in one afternoon.
The SR71 Blackbird was the fastest and highest flying j2 seat jet plane ever built. There will never be another.

But my choice is the F4U.



posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 04:31 AM
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There are so many brilliant fighters in history that that is one of the hardest qestions anyone could answer. Its all completely subjective of course so there will be many different answers for different people so at least you can't give a wrong answer.

Personally I wouldn't think I'd choose the F4U, but I'd certainly agree that it was one of the finest carrier fighters ever produced and was also a great fighter in its own right, not just amongst carrier based fighters. It was certainly the preferred equipment of the Royal Navy fighter pilots over and above the Hellcat and Seafire and was only considered adequately replaced when the Sea Fury came along, the RN having handed back all its Corsairs when the war ended.

So outstanding in its own generation that it transcends all others? God that is so hard.

The SE5a perhaps or the Fokker DVII? I think the latter because it was so brilliant that it was the only individual aircraft type specifically included in the terms of the armistice in 1919 (btw, the Fiat CR 42 was a WW2 type).

Hawker Fury or Boeing P.26? The Fury was the first past 200mph and was gorgeous but was still designed around the WW1 pattern with two guns, open cockpit, fixed gear and biplane wings. I'll choose the P-26 because, although it was no better than the Fury as a fighter, it broke the design mould with its cantilever stressed skin monplane design.

Then there is only one, Spitfire, end of that category, though others, I'm sure will disagree


Next phase, F-86 or MiG 15? There was something about the MiG that was brutish, whereas the F-86 was more refined, more scientific. Sure the Hunter was excellent but it offered no great performance advance over the Sabre and was five years behind it at a time when new developments were appearing on an almost monthly basis, so its the F-86 for me here.

Next one, the BAC Lightning, it was what the F-104 always wanted to be but couldn't quite manage, it was only beaten in the pure Intercept stakes when the F-15 appeared, after an unchallenged 15 years of vertical climbing excellence


Then it becomes very cloudy, F-4? F-14? F-15? Tornado F3? Ha, that last one was just my little joke, a decent enough interceptor it was never at the top of the class, more of the 'Kwik Save' home brand version of the F-14. Which is the one that I choose here btw, the F-14.

Overall? 22,000 Spitfires can't be wrong, even the USAAF flew it with all the brilliant aircraft like the P-51 etc available on tap



posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 05:49 AM
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Your exactly right waynos,
There are so many brilliant fighters in history that that is one of the hardest qestions anyone could answer. Its all completely subjective of course so there will be many different answers for different people so at least you can't give a wrong answer.



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