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Posted: 9/14/2004 11:13:10 AM EST
The last five F-14A Tomcat fighter jets, the plane made famous in the 1986 movie "Top Gun" arrived at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base on Monday for retirement from active military service.

The planes were from Fighter Squadron 211 out of Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Va. They will be dismantled for parts and stored at the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center adjacent to D-M.

The F-14A was the original version of the famous Tomcat, designed to take the place of the F-111B fighter-bomber, which was too heavy to take off from an aircraft carrier. The first F-14 prototype flew on Dec. 21, 1970. The first production aircraft were delivered to the Navy on Oct. 8, 1972.

Between 1969 and 1992, Grumman Aerospace produced nearly 710 F-14s in different configurations, from the F-14A to the F-14D. The plane is capable of speeds in excess of 1,500 mph.

The F-14s are being replaced with the F/A-18 Hornet, built by McDonnell Douglas. But about 80 of the newer Tomcats will remain in service until about 2005.

The two Tomcats used in filming "Top Gun" are also retired at the center.

Leaving NAS Oceana, VA for the last time.












Arriving AMRAC, Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ

Harold Oliver, below, directs in one of the last five F-14A Tomcats as it taxis into the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center in Tucson, Monday, Sept. 13, 2004.


This F-14A Tomcat sits sealed up and "mothballed" at the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center in Tucson, Monday, Sept. 13, 2004.
This Tomcat is the actual airplane that was used in the 1986 hit movie "Top Gun." The A-model was retired from military service today. This particular airplane was retired some time ago, not today.


Pilot Lt. Lona Brooks writes a message on her F-14A Tomcat after delivering it to the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center in Tucson, Monday, Sept. 13, 2004.


Pilot Lt. Lona Brooks takes a picture of her F-14A Tomcat after delivering it to the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center in Tucson, Monday, Sept. 13, 2004.
The A-model, the Navy plane made famous in the 1986 hit movie "Top Gun", was retired from military service today. These last five were from Fighter Squadron 211 out of Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Va.


Aircraft mechanic Jerry Sablan tapes up an engine exhaust on one of the last five F-14A Tomcats after it was delivered to the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center in Tucson, Monday, Sept. 13, 2004.


Pilots Lt. Andrew Gephart, left, and Lt. Lona Brooks, right, climb down from one of the last five F-14A Tomcats after delivering their airplane to the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center in Tucson, Monday, Sept. 13, 2004.


Pilot Lt. Andrew Gephart, lower right, checks his belongings in the shadow of one of the last five F-14A Tomcats, Monday, Sept. 13, 2004.


One of the last five F-14A Tomcats taxis into the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center in Tucson, Monday, Sept. 13, 2004.


Pilots climb down from one of the last five F-14A Tomcats after delivering their airplanes to the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center in Tucson, Monday, Sept. 13, 2004.



Goodbye Kitty.....
Link Posted: 9/14/2004 11:15:56 AM EST
I just received my invitation to the last flight of the H-46 in Norfolk on 23 September. Sad to see those old birds go.
Link Posted: 9/14/2004 11:25:23 AM EST
What a sad day. That lawn dart will never be able to replace the likes of the A-6, A-7 and the F-14. In the future not far away the last Hoover will be flying her mighty way to the desert.

Dan Jones
S-3A/B Viking Senso
Link Posted: 9/14/2004 4:52:34 PM EST
Sucks. I can't say that I agree with the decision. The Super Hornet is a hell of a bird, but I will still miss the Tomcat. At least we're keeping them around "just in case" rather than drop them into the ocean like Clinton did with so many of our older (but still capeable) tanks and armored vehicles. And fuck him anyway for getting rid of the A-6 and EF/F-111.
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