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Grumman F-14 Tomcat

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miamiair (netAirspace FAA) 09 Apr 10, 13:57Post
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Triggered by the failure of the F-111B to meet Navy requirements, the VFX project was announced. On the 15th January 1969, Grumman was announced as competition winner for a new carrier-based fighter for the U.S. Navy. Emphasis had been placed on producing a comparatively small, light weight, high performance aircraft with a significant advance over the then current F-4 Phantom II. The primary mission was three fold; The first was as a fighter / Escort to clear contested air space of enemy fighters and protecting the strike force. The second mission was to defend the carrier task force with Combat Air Patrols (CAP) and interception operations. The third role was secondary attack on tactical ground targets.

The person responsible for the F-14 project was Admiral Tom Conolly, Deputy Chief, Naval Operations for Air. The aircraft was dubbed “Tom’s Cat” long before it was officially named “Tomcat”. (Naming their aircraft after ‘cats’ is a long held Grumman tradition of course).

The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a supersonic, twin engined, variable sweep wing, two-place strike fighter. The aircraft has visual and all-weather attack capability. It can deliver both Phoenix and Sparrow missiles; it has an M61 Vulcan rotary cannon and Sidewinder missiles for air-to-air combat. The F-14 also has the LANTIRN m Targeting system that allows a variety of laser-guided bombs to be delivered for precision air-to-ground strikes. Tomcats equipped with Tactical Air Reconnaissance Pod System (TARPS) are the U.S. Navy’s only manned tactical reconnaissance aircraft.

The first operational ‘Tomcat’ squadrons with the U.S. Navy were VF-1 and VF-2. VF-2 flew the first operational sorties from the U.S.S. Enterprise in March 1974.

Although the F-14 had an excellent airframe and equipment the ‘A’ version had problems with the TF30 engines. These were hard to maintain, and lacked the power needed to maneuver the aircraft properly. They were also prone to severe failure where compressor blades would break off and damage the rest of the engine. Modifications were made and steel cages were fitted to prevent broken blades from destroying the entire engine. The modifications were only a temporary solution and, in 1984, the General Electric F110-GE-400 engines were selected to replace the TF series engines.



F-14A

The F-14A was the initial two-seat all-weather interceptor fighter variant for the US Navy. It first flew on 21 December 1970. The first 12 F-14As were prototype versions (sometimes called YF-14As). Modifications late in its service life added precision strike munitions to its armament. The US Navy received 478 F-14A aircraft and 79 were received by Iran. The final 102 F-14As were delivered with improved TF30-P-414A engines. Additionally, an 80th F-14A was manufactured for Iran, but was delivered to the US Navy.


F-14B

The F-14 received its first of many major upgrades in March 1987 with the F-14A Plus (or F-14A+). The F-14A's P&W TF30 engine was upgraded with the GE F110-400. The F-14A+ also received the state-of-the-art ALR-67 Radar Homing and Warning (RHAW) system. Much of the avionics as well as the AWG-9 radar were retained. The F-14A+ was later redesignated F-14B on 1 May 1991. A total of 38 new aircraft were manufactured and 48 F-14A were upgraded into B variants.

The TF30 had been plagued from the start with susceptibility to compressor stalls at high AoA and during rapid throttle transients or above 30,000 ft (9,100 m) The F110 engine provided a significant increase in thrust, producing 27,600 lbf (123 kN) with afterburner. The increased thrust gave the Tomcat a better than 1:1 thrust-to-weight ratio at low fuel quantities. The basic engine thrust without afterburner was powerful enough for carrier launches, further increasing safety. Another benefit was allowing the Tomcat to cruise comfortably above 30,000 ft (9,100 m), which increased its range and survivability. The F-14B arrived in time to participate in Desert Storm.

In the late 1990s, 67 F-14Bs were upgraded to extend airframe life and improve offensive and defensive avionics systems. The modified aircraft became known as F-14B Upgrade aircraft.


F-14D

The final variant of the F-14 was the F-14D Super Tomcat. The F-14D variant was first delivered in 1991. The original TF-30 engines were replaced with GE F110-400 engines, similar to the F-14B. The F-14D also included newer digital avionics systems including a Glass cockpit and replaced the AWG-9 with the newer AN/APG-71 radar. Other systems included the Airborne Self Protection Jammer (ASPJ), Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS), SJU-17(V) Naval Aircrew Common Ejection Seats (NACES) and Infrared Search and Track (IRST).

Although the F-14D was to be the definitive version of the Tomcat, not all fleet units received the D variant. In 1989, Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney refused to approve the purchase of any more F-14D model aircraft for $50 million each and pushed for a $25 million modernization of the F-14 fleet instead. Congress decided not to shut production down and funded 55 aircraft as part of a compromise. A total of 37 new aircraft were constructed and 18 F-14A were upgraded to D variants. An upgrade to the F-14D's computer software to allow AIM-120 AMRAAM missile capability was planned but was later terminated.

While upgrades had kept the F-14 competitive with modern fighter aircraft technology, Cheney called the F-14 1960s technology. Despite some aggressive proposals from Grumman for a replacement, Cheney planned to replace the F-14 with a fighter that was not manufactured by Grumman. Cheney called the F-14 a "jobs program", and when the F-14 was canceled, an estimated 80,000 jobs of Grumman employees, subcontractors, or support personnel were affected.

Starting in 2005, some F-14Ds received the ROVER III upgrade and were designated as F-14D(R).



General characteristics

* Crew: 2 (Pilot and Radar Intercept Officer)
* Length: 62 ft 9 in (19.1 m)
* Wingspan:
o Spread: 64 ft (19.55 m)
o Swept: 38 ft (11.58 m)
* Height: 16 ft (4.88 m)
* Wing area: 565 ft² (54.5 m²)
* Airfoil: NACA 64A209.65 mod root, 64A208.91 mod tip
* Empty weight: 43,735 lb (19,838 kg)
* Loaded weight: 61,000 lb (27,700 kg)
* Max takeoff weight: 74,350 lb (33,720 kg)
* Powerplant: 2× General Electric F110-GE-400 afterburning turbofans
o Dry thrust: 13,810 lbf (61.4 kN) each
o Thrust with afterburner: 27,800 lbf (124.7 kN) each
* Maximum fuel capacity: 16,200 lb internal; 20,000 lb with 2x 267 gallon external tanks[26]

Performance

* Maximum speed: Mach 2.34 (1,544 mph, 2,485 km/h) at high altitude
* Combat radius: 500 nmi (575 mi, 926 km)
* Ferry range: 1,600 nmi (1,840 mi, 2,960 km)
* Service ceiling: 50,000 ft (15,200 m)
* Rate of climb: >45,000 ft/min (229 m/s)
* Wing loading: 113.4 lb/ft² (553.9 kg/m²)
* Thrust/weight: 0.91

Armament

* Guns: 1× 20 mm (0.787 in) M61 Vulcan Gatling Gun, with 675 rounds
* Hardpoints: 10 total: 6× under-fuselage, 2× under nacelles and 2× on wing gloves[68] with a capacity of 14,500 lb (6,600 kg) of ordnance and fuel tanks[32]
* Missiles:
o Air-to-air missiles: AIM-54 Phoenix, AIM-7 Sparrow, AIM-9 Sidewinder
* Loading configurations:
o 2× AIM-9 + 6× AIM-54
o 2× AIM-9 + 2× AIM-54 + 3× AIM-7
o 2× AIM-9 + 4× AIM-54 + 2× AIM-7 (Most Common Load)
o 2× AIM-9 + 6× AIM-7
o 4× AIM-9 + 4× AIM-54
o 4× AIM-9 + 4× AIM-7
* Bombs:
o JDAM Precision-guided munition (PGMs)
o Paveway series of Laser guided bombs
o Mk 80 series of unguided iron bombs
o Mk 20 Rockeye II
* Others:
o LANTIRN targeting pod
o 2× 267 US gallon drop tanks for extended range/loitering time

Avionics

* Hughes AN/APG-71 radar
* AN/ASN-130 INS, IRST, TCS
* Remotely Operated Video Enhanced Receiver (ROVER) upgrade




















And let's get one thing straight. There's a big difference between a pilot and an aviator. One is a technician; the other is an artist in love with flight. — E. B. Jeppesen

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Click Click D'oh (Photo Quality Screener & Founding Member) 09 Apr 10, 14:06Post
While upgrades had kept the F-14 competitive with modern fighter aircraft technology, Cheney called the F-14 1960s technology. Despite some aggressive proposals from Grumman for a replacement, Cheney planned to replace the F-14 with a fighter that was not manufactured by Grumman. Cheney called the F-14 a "jobs program", and when the F-14 was canceled, an estimated 80,000 jobs of Grumman employees, subcontractors, or support personnel were affected.


Which is why we had to make sure every last one was destroyed so Iran couldn't get a hold of any parts... because you know, they were so outdated and all...
We sleep peacefully in our beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on our behalf
 

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