Thursday, January 8, 2015

My F-14 Tomcat Model

I'm going to try something new on this blog.  Mainly I'm going to try to post at least one picture per day this year.  It's kind of tough to this during the week, so my pictures during the week may not be the best or the most exciting subjects but with those I will try to give a little story or something.  I will continue to post my weekend pictures the way I normally do (although I could probably spread those over the week if I wanted to but I don't like to do that).

I may also use this opportunity to do some experimental shots.  I feel that when you experiment with things, it is a way to grow.  So I hope you enjoy.
For my first picture, I will use my normal fall back subject, one of my models on my desk.  I'm pretty sure I've taken quite a few pictures of this very Tomcat, but the Tomcat is my favorite aircraft.

The F-14 was sort of an outgrowth of the Navy's version of the F-111.  The Navy wasn't particularly satisfied with the F-111 because of it's weight and other issues but they needed a next generation fighter.  Grumman decided to use some of the elements of that plane to develop a new aircraft.  One of those features was the variable geometry wings.  They give improved flight characteristics through the entire flight envelope.  The first flight was 1970 and the plane reached operational capability by 1974 (compare that to the timing of the F-35 or F-22 sometime).  It was retired in 2006 (although the plane is still used by Iran).

The squadron depicted is known as VF-111 or the Sundowners.  It was first formed in 1942 and it's emblem was a hope for their prowess in defeating the enemy at the time (although it was known as VF-11 at the time).  That squadron was retired in 1959 but the name was retained by another squadron.  That particular squadron was designated as VA-156 and was originally an attack squadron.  It took the VF-111 designation in 1959.  During this period, they flew F-8 Crusaders.  In 1971, they acquired the F-4 Phantom and they received their first F-14 in 1978.  This squadron operated in the Pacific and was retired in 1995 as the F-14 started to get phased out.

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