Thursday, July 14, 2011

The F-14 Tomcat

I kind of thought I was going to be boring tonight and not go out to take pictures, so I decided to take a picture of one of the diecast models on my desk at work. As it turns out, I did go out to take pictures but I liked how these pictures turned out, so I will use them.The F-14 Tomcat is a US Navy fighter that was in service from 1974 to 2006. The Tomcat's first flight was in 1970 and it's design came from lessons learned with the F-111B (the Navy's version of the F-111 that never really went anywhere) and the Vietnam War.

One of the first lessons learned from the Vietnam War was despite the invention of air to air missiles, planes still needed guns. Because of this, the F-14 was equipped with the M61A Vulcan cannon which was a gatling gun. It was also equipped with the AIM-54 Phoenix Missiles and a pretty impressive fire control radar which could engage 6 targets at one time. It was primarily used in the role of Fleet Defense but could tear it up if it had to.

The F-14 also took some cues from the F-111 in that it was a swing wing fighter. This allowed it to optimize its flight profile depending on what kind of flying it was doing. Basically, it can behave as a delta wing aircraft in supersonic flight and a straight winged aircraft in normal flight. It could go a little over Mach 2 if it had to.
This particular version is the D model of the F-14 which gave it a larger engine and more maneuverability. In the early 1990's, the Tomcat was given the ability to attack ground targets and did a pretty good job of it. Sadly, it was retired in 2006.
This particular F-14 is in the scheme of the Jolly Rogers squadron. It was this squadron that was used in the movie "The Final Countdown" and is the reason why I like the F-14.

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