The last days of a Champion.

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Soren, Nov 1, 2005.

  1. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    [​IMG]

    Its Goodbye to one of the world's greatest aircraft, the F-14 Tomcat.

    The F-14 Tomcat's last deployment ends this fall and they will be withdrawn from service, its going to be a sad day.

    The F-14's replacement is going to be the F-18 Super Hornet, which I think is going to have a hard time living up to the F-14D to be honest.

    What are your thoughts on this ? Do you think the Super Hornet will live up to the task, or should they have kept the Tomcat instead ?

    PS: No, your not crazy if you keep hearing the Top Gun anthem over and over again in your head. :D
     
  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    As a former USNR Maintainer (I worked P-3s and C-130s) I knew guys who worked on both - many love the -18 becuase it is "maintainer friendly," many have told me the -14 is a real b*tch and was getting worse as she got older. Even with the Mods and the "BombCat," many guys disliked being around her and her FMC rate was getting worse and worse. Either way she will be missed by both pilots and crews... :salute:
     
  3. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    indeed she is one of the greats, it will be odd no longer being able to see american carriers with F-14s sitting on deck.........
     
  4. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    I agree Lanc, it will be. It is a shame to see another of the great aircraft removed from front line service but these things happen. We will see if the F-18 lives up to the F-14 I'm sure, though I am not sure it will.
     
  5. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    I think the Navy is going to have problems with just the Super Hornet as a CAP fighter... Last time I checked the F-14's were still carrying the AIM-54 Phoenix missle, one which the F-18 is incapable of utilizing...

    Anyone have any idea how those Tomcat pilots did at the last Red Flag excercise in comparison to the F-18 Squadrons???
     
  6. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    The Tomcat was a cold war fighter, whose time has passed on.

    Its primary opponents would have been big bombers launching cruise missles from long distances. I dont see that happening anymore.

    I do hope the USN has some type of replacement missle for the Phoenix. The bomber threat isnt there anymore, but the cruise missles are.
     
  7. cheddar cheese

    cheddar cheese Active Member

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    Sad times, awesome plane...
     
  8. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    Yes, especially the last of the A models were a real buggar to work on. (Don't know about the D model though, as its rather new.)

    Especially the pilots, as she was getting better and better by each modification, and a really potent dogfighter in the end. The D model with its new aerodynamic and technical improvements could actually outmaneuver a F-15 under the right conditions, not bad considering the Eagle's reputation.

    Indeed, it'll be the first time in over 60 years that no Grumman a/c are serving on US carriers.

    I fully agree. The APG-71 radar on the -14D can pick out fighters at over 100 miles away, and bombers at over 285 miles. In single shot mode, the Phoenix has a maximum launch range of 145 miles. The AN/AAS-42 IRSTS has a comparable range, and with the the advantage of not giving away the Tomcat's position.
    As far as I know the Super Hornet has none such qualities, and so far there isnt any missile that the Super Hornet can carry to fully replace the AIM-54 Phoenix either.

    If it was up to me, I would've kept the -14 just abit longer.
     
  9. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I'm told the "D" sucked too.
     
  10. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    You still got Hawkeyes and C-2 Greyhounds...
     
  11. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    Well, compared to the -18 thats probably right as its a rather complex a/c to maintain. (Abit of a Hangar Queen I've been told)
     
  12. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    Yes of-cause, sorry my mistake, I meant fighter a/c. :oops:
     
  13. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    A few pictures of this remarkable fighter..

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  14. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    The newbes out of Navy "A" school would get all excited being assigned to the -14, after their first hitch they're ready to get a shore assignment or just get away from aircraft maintenance...

    Nice Photos!
     
  15. SM79Sparviero

    SM79Sparviero Member

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    The bomber threat will exist as long as aircrafts like Su-24 or Su-35 or the last Backfires will be on sale from ex-URSS state .I think that Us-Navy could find an up-to-date substitute for Phoenix, but they don't want .
    The engagement rules today impose to you to get as close as you can to your target to recognize it and avoid the danger of friendly fire or, worse, to shot down a civilian aircraft.

    The "stealth" philosophy follows this purpose, on the opposite direction respect to long range missiles: your target can't see you and you could ( in theory) approach it for a correct identification before firing.
     
  16. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Nice pics Soren.
     
  17. MacArther

    MacArther Active Member

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    Between this and the passing of the F4 Phantom, my love of the US Navy's fighters has begun to drop significantly.
     
  18. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    there's very few purpose built carrier planes around today, although many are designed to be carrier capable............
     
  19. cheddar cheese

    cheddar cheese Active Member

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    Nice photos Soren...I think the F-14 is one of the most beautiful aircraft of all time...

    Agreed...
     
  20. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    And one the most effiecient fighter designs ever aswell. The lifting body design of the F-14 is so efficient that the Russians copied it to create the SU-27 Flanker to the -35 Super Flanker, the two most maneuverable fighters today.

    And because of its high Aspect Ratio 'swing wings' combined with the lifting body design, the F-14 is capable of some really astonishing maneuvers. (Its the only western plane that can do a Cobra maneuver)
    At low alt the F-14D will also defeat most western fighters in a dogfight, that includes the F-16, F-18, and the F-15. (Although this is dramaticly reversed at high alt in the case of the F-15 )

    And since you guys liked the pictures I posted, here's a few more..

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    This Fly-by got the pilot grounded for a week, but he still thinks it was worth it, as it made a good picture 8)


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