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F-14 Tomcat

An F-14 in flight.

The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a twin-engine, supersonic, twin-crew, variable sweep-wing interceptor used by the US Navy's Naval Fighter Experimental program, which followed the decline of the F-111B project. Although it was known by many people as the ultimate jet fighter (and then moving to also operate in the role of precision ground-attack, with the aid of the LANTIRN Pod[1]), the F-14 was retired from USN service as well as the Imperial Iranian Air Force, although it still operates in the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force in small numbers.

DescriptionEdit

The F-14 has a two-seat cockpit with a bubble canopy that affords all-round visibility. It features variable geometry wings that swing automatically during flight. For high-speed intercept, they are swept back while they swing forward for lower speed flight and taking off/landing.

Its wing sweep can be varied between 20° and 68° in flight, and can be automatically controlled by the Central Air Data Computer, which maintains wing sweep at the optimum lift-to-drag ratio as the Mach number varies; pilots can override the system if needed. When parked, the wings can be "overswept" to 75° to overlap the horizontal stabilizers to save deck space aboard carriers. In an emergency, the F-14 can land with the wings fully swept to 68°, although this presents a significant safety hazard due to greatly increased airspeed. Thus, an aircraft would typically be diverted from an aircraft carrier to a land base if an incident did occur which resulted in wing damage. The F-14 has also flown and landed safely with an asymmetrical wing-sweep on an aircraft carrier during testing; this capability could be used in emergencies.

ArmamentEdit

The Tomcat's primary is the AIM-154 Phoenix, an ultra-long range air-air missile unique to the F-14. It can also use AIM-9 Sparrow medium-range air-air missile, though a combination of 6:2 in Phoenix and Sparrow missiles respectively is rarely used due to stress on the airframe. It can also mount various laser-guided munitions.

VariantsEdit

F-14A TomcatEdit

F-14B "Bombcat"Edit

F-14D Super TomcatEdit

F-14I Hyper TomcatEdit

F-14I launching AGM-84E

F-14I launching an AGM-84E.

The F-14I was introduced in 2029 and used until 2097. It uses a highly sophisticated biodome system to house the pilot and radar intercept officer, neurally connecting them to the aircraft systems. It also uses a number of canards to improve mobility.


ReferencesEdit

  1. F-14 Fact File | Placed 16:56, September 20, 2012 | Link

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