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Tomcat May Not Be Ready For Retirement Just Yet

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posted on Jul, 19 2006 @ 12:14 PM
There are signs that the F-14 Tomcat may not be put out to pasture just yet. An F-14 that was supposed to be flown to the Evergreen Aviation Museum had it's flight cancelled abruptly. The F-14 which is part of Fighter Squadron 31 is assigned to the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt. The Roosevelt is currently the "ready carrier" for the East Coast and with current events in the Middle East could be called back to duty in the event of a US response. As no new fighter squadrons have been attached to the Roosevelt's Air Wing this would mean that the F-14 would go back for one more deployment if the Roosevelt was called up.

F-14 Trip Cancelled

[edit on 19-7-2006 by JIMC5499]

posted on Jul, 19 2006 @ 12:23 PM
I'm no avionics expert but the Tomcat is by far my all time favorite fighter.
I hate to see it go.

[edit on 19-7-2006 by mecheng]

posted on Jul, 19 2006 @ 07:03 PM
I agree. Public is totally against the retirement of F-14 Tomcat because it represent the power, strength and symbol of our nation's defense and also represent us. I hope that F-14 would be still going strong for few more years. I remember that Lockheed had proposal for NATF, the copy of F-14 with F-22 technology with only one seater, I wish they could've had went ahead with that! I love swing-wing aircraft but not MiG-23! Navy should had keep NATF going strong with F-22-like performance jet with F-14 looks-like. Its beautiful concept on painting in case you guys didn't had seen it. I wish you all would.

posted on Jul, 19 2006 @ 10:52 PM
Even if I say that the F-14 needs to be retired I ca't help but suppress a sigh of relief-the F-14 is a great bird. I would love to see it revamped from the inside-pull a Super Hornet

posted on Jul, 19 2006 @ 10:53 PM
Yes, the F-14 is something too good to let go (...especially considering the piece of garbage that's replacing it...'grumble grumble'...)
A couple of years back at the lobrary I gazed through a Jane's-type book and it had quite a few concept drawings for a Navy F-22 aicraft, including one that was a cross between the F-22 and F-14; facetted surfaces, blended contuors, swing wings, two seats,...the works. A great concept that should have been pursued. Called the A/F-22X. Too bad Congress canned it.

posted on Jul, 20 2006 @ 03:57 AM
Always wanted to fly one of these... or at least work on one (which my current enlistment entails - working on various aircraft.... once I get through basic and a-school...) - In my opinion it is the best fighter there is for air-to-air engagements - especially over a flat and 'barren' wasteland such as the sea. No hills to hide behind - a straight-shot for a Phoenix - and nothing you can do about it.

Northrop-Grumman had a design for a twin-seat aircraft resembling the JSF and the F-14 combined with the F-23. In my personal opinion - that thing would have cleaned house with attitude.... but... whatever....

I vote for a revamped F-14 with supercruise and updated avionics. Whether or not it's 'stealth' doesn't matter - with an updated engagement system and, hopefully, updated Phoenix missiles..... you would not need to fear anything except the wrath of God or hell coming to Earth (assuming it's not already here....)

Does my heart good to see that our fan-favorite might have some extended time to write more tales of glory.

posted on Jul, 20 2006 @ 07:31 AM
While I'm a big fan of the F-14, I have to agree that its time has come. What I'm not too thrilled about is its replacement. The US Navy has stated that one of the main causes for retiring the Tomcat is the Maintaince hour to Flight hour ratio. In English it means that the cost to maintain the Tomcat isn't worth the flight hours that the Navy gets.

posted on Jul, 20 2006 @ 06:52 PM
I haven't talked to my buddies at NAS Oceana, the only base with F-14s left that I know of, so I think a phone call is in order.

I miss the F-14 very much, working on it sucked, but watching it fly around was worth every drop of blood from that damn safety wire that would always prick your finger when you least expect it....

I didn't think all the F-14 squadrons were decomissioned yet, so why wouldn't they keep flying them until they fell apart?

I think I have to scan my pics of these birds and post them online. Got some cool shots from back in the day and got one or two of the VX-9 birds, on ground and on the boat as wel as the birds they used for "Executive Order". The days of Dets to Key West, El Centro, and those damn CQs are gone but not forgotten.

Sorry for rambling on, but working on Tomcats for a few years is something you won't forget easily. I am lucky to have gotten the chance to climb in/out and all over of these awesome machines.

posted on Jul, 21 2006 @ 03:27 AM
I think we will need the F-14 or an aircraft of similar role and performance in the coming years.

China is over there gloating around and probably building their own version of NORAD (I would fail to see why they wouldn't). Sources also indicate they are spending a lot of money on 'nothing' (hey, we recognise that!!!) and that should be enough to keep some of our guys in Washington wide awake.

The Tomcat is simply the best interceptor aircraft there is, period. I'm not aware of anything more terrifying to fly against.

posted on Jul, 21 2006 @ 07:28 PM
TOMCAT DONT GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

F-14 Tomcats are my best ever fighter planes ever made, I dont care how old they are, they are still effective fighters and still worth keeping.

Which was the hardest thing to maintain on them?

The Engines?

The Airframe?

The Whole Plane?

If anyone knows, please let me know

I was thinking if its just the engines, We could just shove F-15 Eagle engines in them since they are easier to maintain

We even done a thread about the F-15N Sea Eagle

posted on Jul, 24 2006 @ 01:38 PM
Eh.... you can't just play switcheroo with the engines. Their weight, thrust, dimentions, and acceleration (as well as 'wind-down') is also in the avionics.....

The airframe is the hardest part of an aircraft to maintain. Metal (and possibly composites - not sure on that one) in an airframe gets small cracks in it as time goes on, causing it to weaken and eventually fail. That's why most airframes have been retired after about 30-40 years of service.

Add to that the fact that the Tomcat has some additional stress on its airframe - I'm sure quite a few people were getting concerned about the safety of the pilots. That.... and the Tomcat is notoriously departure-prone (the A model had some serious issues with the engines and their effect on the way the plane flew).

I would like to see the Tomcat come back in a resurected form - an E model - .... but I think we'll be fighting the war against Tiberium and witnessing the simultaneous release of MechWarrior V (which is not yet even rumored to be in development) while a squadron of F-23 A Black Widows undergo their first combat sortie against Brittain is more probable.

Not going to argue logic and reason - since that seems to get you yelled at for being stupid (and that being evidence for your stupidity - the statement that you are stupid), though.... but if we were using that - we'd develop a resurected Tomcat and a hot-off-the-press D model of the Phoenix missile. Or just forego that and place four particle cannons on it, instead (hey - why not? Simultaneous land and air strike ability with the ability to blow things up from the INSIDE). Make the two wing-mounted cannons capable of pivoting (so you're not having to constantly aim the Tomcat at a new target....) - and the enemy's grilled - so we're good to go (tocobell pun).


posted on Jul, 24 2006 @ 04:31 PM
^^^^^Drugs are bad - K!

Seriously the consensus of opnions is that the F-14 Tomcat is an iconic plane, not least because of the film TopGun, which i'm sure raised the profile of the aircraft to un-preceedented levels.

Well, it is a such a shame its going, but hey all those take offs and landings on carriers must seriously batter the airframe and i'm not surprised they are getting far too expensive and time consuming to maintain.

Similar, in a way, to concorde, they could of easily kept those birds flying but politics and money always dictate their fate.

posted on Jul, 25 2006 @ 08:55 PM
F-14 B/Ds use the same engines that are in Air Force F-16s, so the engines aren't a problem. The airframe is. Like it was posted above me, carrier landings and high G manuevering take a toll on the airframe. You can't fix that as easily as the other parts.

I wish you can work on one of these to appreciate the hard work that all the mechanics have done over the years. Some of these jobs require massive amounts of man hours and parts. Others can get done in an hour with one mechanic. It just depends on the job. Time and parts cost lots of money, and the end results can't be justified any longer. This sucks.

posted on Jul, 29 2006 @ 01:01 PM
What was the actual combat record of the F14?
Was the phoenix missile fired in combat?

posted on Jul, 29 2006 @ 07:21 PM
As much as I loved the Tomcat, sooner or later, down the road, we have to face the fact that it was more legend than actual substance. While it is 5-0 in air-to-air-engagements, the F-14 was never really tested at what it was designed to do.

The late Colonel John Boyd, who is a legend in the USAF, stated in his biography that the Tomcat "is a lumbering, poor-performing, aerial truck." While Boyd never approved of the swing-wing concept, his assessment has some truth to it. While "poor-performing" is a real stretch, many pilots have stated both publically and in published, mainstream media, that the F-14 is not an easy plane to fly. In fact, a book once said flying the F-14 "still takes muscle." Anybody who's played the ultra-realistic game Fleet Defender have gotten a taste of how difficult it is to fly. Empty, the F-14 weights around 52,000. With a full fuel load and missiles, especially the Phoenix, it goes up to about 70,000. Not very light for what was supposed to be a fighter/interceptor. On top of that, the F-14 is notoriously difficult to land on a carrier. If you culled footage of all the carrier landings since the F-14's first deployment in 1974, you'd probably see that the F-14 was waved off or went bolter the most of all the air wing aircraft. Despite the fact it is surprisingly quite manueverable for a heavy, swing-wing fighter, the weight meant that the F-14 lost energy very quickly. Fighters like the F-16 can regain energy very quickly, the F-14 takes several seconds.

Maintenance was pretty much the biggest factor. I'm not going to restate anything anybody has already stated, but for those who need perspective or more proof, the F-14 capable of only .028 sorties daily, while the F-15C is capable of .5. Carrier-based fighters are by nature inferior to land-based fighters. In addition, the results aren't openly availiable, but many in the know have stated the F-14s have been defeated soundly by Air Force F-15s and F-16s in simulated combat engagements.

At the same rate, the Super Hornet is in no way an adequete replacement for the F-14.

posted on Jul, 29 2006 @ 07:24 PM

Originally posted by mojoberg
What was the actual combat record of the F14?
Was the phoenix missile fired in combat?

Two F-14As from VF-41 off the Nimitz shot down two "Fitters" over the Gulf of Sidra in 1981. Then in 1989, two F-14As from VF-32 off the Kennedy shot down two "Floggers" over the Gulf of Sidra. Then in the Gulf War, it shot down an Mi-24, I believe.

The Phoenix was fired in combat once, and missed. We will never know ust how good the Phoenix system was, but the poor testing program tells many that it wasn't really an effective system at all.

posted on Jul, 30 2006 @ 03:38 AM
has anyone got the film footage of the Tomacats shooting down the 2 Syrian aircraft i remember seeing it on tv awhile back

posted on Jul, 30 2006 @ 08:12 AM

Originally posted by mojoberg
has anyone got the film footage of the Tomacats shooting down the 2 Syrian aircraft i remember seeing it on tv awhile back

It was Libyan, not Syrian. The footage as well as audio recording is readily availiable online, and on Fleet Defender Gold (if you can still get a copy of it).

There is also a 20+ minute recording of the 1981 Gulf of Sidra incident, which, for the purposes of "enjoyment," is actually a lot more tense than the 1989 incident.

posted on Aug, 3 2006 @ 07:45 AM
I've always had a problem with them trying to retire the F-14. The plane is a legiond and it has become a symbol of our military might. If the D model is outdated, why not just build an F-14E? It worked for the Hornet!

As for the Hornet replacing the Tomcat, I say that's BS! the capibilites are too different. The F-18 is Great as a compliment to the F-14, but not a replacement! The famous planes of Top Gun may have a special place in history, but let's NOT rush them to the museaum yet!


posted on Aug, 5 2006 @ 05:00 AM
In all reality - it's more cost-effective to design a completely new airframe incorporating the new technologies (and a more effective use of them) than to try and apply them to an older airframe. As much as I would like to see it - the F-14 would definately benefit from composite structuring, more advanced avionics and weapons systems - but it would not be an effective use of those technologies.

As for the performance of the F-14 - it varries from a wonder to fly - to a departure prone nightmare. And engaging the F-14 in a dogfight is not exactly what one would consider wise. It was designed to strike from long range with the Phoenix missile. Reliable missile or not - no one knows because it's never been used worth any mention. It would definately pose a greater threat to less maneuverable aircraft - precisely those carrying heavy, long-range anti-ship missiles. Their effectiveness on a maneuvering target is, obviously, unknown.

However, any realistic test of 'which fighter is better' allows each to have their own elements in turn. The F-15 has a greater thrust to weight ratio over the F-14 as well as a higher G-tolerance. Therefor the F-14 is at a statistical disadvantage in a merger. Which, looking at the aircraft, is NOT where it is supposed to be. It's not designed as a 'dogfighting' aircraft. It's meant to cary an air-to-air ballistic missile and launch it at enemy aircraft before they can launch their equally big anti-ship missile that threatens the home of the Tomcat.

And really - it's the pilots. You can defeat an F-16 in a P-51 if you were good enough...... You'd have to be REALLY good - but the advantage the pilot of the P-51 is that the enemy is overconfident from the beginning.

I hope the masterful engineering of Grumman and Northrop from the F-14, YF-23, and B-2 live on in whatever they roll out from here on out.

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