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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/3/2005 9:37:01 PM EDT
I don't know if it's proper to thank an airframe but I hate to see this one go. Final combat tour just headed out. You've GOTTA read the article, some guys extended their tours to be on this final voyage!

{And yeah we all have our opinions on the do-it-all E and F hornets, but I talked to a couple of guys who work at CNA this weekend and even they are sad to see her go. They basically said if the over the horizon concept had worked (they still call teh phoenix a concept, how funny is that? They claimed success rates hovered around 30 percent and dropped once you got out of medium ranges...), we might see another decade or two of service... but as it now stands, teh tomcat's speed was overcome by the aegis/super hornet combo in terms of CAP capabilities and the single airframe capability of a multi role airplane.}

Personally, I'm just sad to see Maverick's ride retired....

Is it true for machines too? Old soldiers don't die, they just fade away.......


And even if they only worked some of the time, carrying six of those bad boys sure must've scared the spit outta some Flogger, Foxbat and Blackjack drivers out there!







Carrier Roosevelt deploys for Persian Gulf

By KATE WILTROUT, The Virginian-Pilot
© September 1, 2005

Their namesake is about to become history.

The venerable F-14 Tomcat, a mainstay of naval aviation, Hollywood movies and air show awe since the 1970s, will retire for good after a final combat deployment, which began Thursday.

The Navy’s final Tomcat squadron – VF-31, known as the “Tomcatters,” – left behind the tarmac of Oceana Naval Air Station for the busy flight deck of the Theodore Roosevelt.

The nuclear-powered carrier and a coterie of smaller ships in its strike group are steaming toward the Persian Gulf, where the Roosevelt will relieve the Nimitz. The Tomcatters will be joined by the “Blacklions” of VF-213, the other of the last two F-14 squadrons.

Cmdr. Rick “Twig” La­Branche said his crew of aviators and technicians are aware they’re making history.

“Epic. Historic. I’m looking for words,” said LaBranche, who took over the squadron in February. “It’s not lost on any of these guys. They understand that being the last Tomcat squadron is a historic event. They’re proud to be here, they’re proud to put it to bed. They’re very excited.”

The Blacklions will change over to the Super Hornet upon the carrier’s return, probably in late winter. The Tomcatters will be the last to trade in their rides, probably next summer.

That day has been a long time coming.

The Grumman F-14, with its variable sweep wings and distinct profile, has slowly been phased out and replaced with the F/A-18 Super Hornet, a smaller, more advanced jet that’s lauded for technical prowess but lack s the Tomcat’s “muscle car” reputation.

One of the biggest differences is wingspan: With its wings fully forward, the Tomcat covers 64 feet of airspace; the Super Hornet measures less than 45 feet from wingtip to wingtip.

“The Tomcat is to aviation what the Harley-Davidson is to motorcycles. It is the airplane,” LaBranche said.

“You go to an air show and people are looking for the Tomcat. It’s the last of the big-wing fighters. Even today, it’s still a very, very capable aircraft.”

So capable, the commander said, that the squadron has won two awards for its retention rate.

The Tomcats require between 40 and 60 hours of maintenance for every hour in the air, LaBranche said. For the F/A-18s, it’s more like 10 to 15.

LaBranche said the men and women who keep the jets in flying shape are happy to work the long hours – but the Navy has decided it’s not a prudent use of their time or money.

“How can you, in good conscience, make them work four times harder than they need to work?” LaBranche said of the enlisted forces whose dark blue coveralls get covered in grease and hydraulic fluid.

Until the end comes, the Tomcats still have to do a lot of flying , including combat sorties that require mid air refueling and, often, nighttime carrier landings.

In Iraq, the Hornets and Tomcats focus on air-to-ground missions, supporting U.S. forces on the streets. Called urban close-air support, the planes respond to service members below who want extra firepower in the area.

After decades of training for air-to-air combat – think Tomcats vs. Soviet MiGs in “Top Gun” – working in sync with military units below is a challenge that offers unprecedented precision attacks.

LaBranche said the Iraq mission often consists of loitering above hot spots.

“Where you make your money is letting the bad guys know you’re overhead,” he said.

The Tomcatters have embarked on their third deployment in three years – a tempo that might ordinarily have sailors grumbling.

Not this time.

“I had a lot of people actually extend just to be part of the last Tomcat cruise,” LaBranche said.

“People are beating my door down. They want to come here, and I don’t have room for everybody.”

Link Posted: 9/3/2005 9:38:56 PM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 9/3/2005 9:39:29 PM EDT
Good ol classic American whoop-ass.
Link Posted: 9/3/2005 9:40:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Matthew_Q:
Good ol classic American whoop-ass.



my sentiments exactly, its like teh article says 'the muscle car' of our fleet!
Link Posted: 9/3/2005 9:47:50 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/3/2005 9:48:24 PM EDT
From My old Squadron, The Jolly Rogers and Victory 200

Link Posted: 9/3/2005 9:52:37 PM EDT
DUPE.

9/1/2005 4:45:10 PM PDT
by KA3B
Last of the last: F-14 Tomcat makes its last cruise......
www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=384809
Link Posted: 9/3/2005 9:59:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By KA3B:
DUPE.

9/1/2005 4:45:10 PM PDT
by KA3B
Last of the last: F-14 Tomcat makes its last cruise......
www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=384809




Yeah but yours didn't have pics.

Link Posted: 9/3/2005 10:17:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By KA3B:
DUPE.

9/1/2005 4:45:10 PM PDT
by KA3B
Last of the last: F-14 Tomcat makes its last cruise......
www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=384809



New Arfcom rule.... There is no such thing as an F-14 topic DUPE
Link Posted: 9/3/2005 10:24:32 PM EDT


Link Posted: 9/3/2005 10:52:35 PM EDT
It is to aircraft what the mucscle car is to cars. Big, agressive, shapely, curvy, heavy, big engined, and completely BAD ASS.

I am sad to see it go. I hate the super(slow)bug.
Link Posted: 9/3/2005 10:56:14 PM EDT
I guess they are getting old & warn. They are definitely outclassed in technology, but the SuperBug, F-22, and F-35 just don't do it for me.

If I join the .mil after college, I will probably try for the Warthog or C-130s.
Link Posted: 9/3/2005 11:17:49 PM EDT
So long Tomcat. You've pretty much protected me and kept me safe since I've been here on earth. Thank you.
Link Posted: 9/3/2005 11:27:31 PM EDT
Double bonus.

VX-4

Link Posted: 9/3/2005 11:32:46 PM EDT









Link Posted: 9/4/2005 4:13:16 AM EDT
Sorry for the dupage, wanted this to be a pic threac of the massive bird
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 4:43:34 AM EDT


Link Posted: 9/4/2005 4:56:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2005 4:56:49 AM EDT by rifleman2000]
tag

I lived in Virginia Beach as a kid, those things were constantly flying overhead.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 5:04:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Painter:
img178.imageshack.us/img178/5647/cockpit6xx.png



What the hell, they made a convertible too?
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 5:21:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2005 7:33:33 AM EDT by 2A373]

Originally Posted By zer04evr:

Originally Posted By Painter:
img178.imageshack.us/img178/5647/cockpit6xx.png



What the hell, they made a convertible too?




A non-aviation O-6 was riding in the back and during the flight the pilot took the acft inverted, the O-6 grabbed the first thing he could find to hold on. Guess what the first thing he found was?


Full story found here
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 5:30:28 AM EDT
What an aircraft.

Link Posted: 9/4/2005 5:37:41 AM EDT





Link Posted: 9/4/2005 5:37:56 AM EDT


Link Posted: 9/4/2005 5:55:55 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 5:56:59 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 5:58:02 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 5:58:34 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 6:21:13 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 6:47:13 AM EDT


Link Posted: 9/4/2005 6:59:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 2A373:

Originally Posted By zer04evr:

Originally Posted By Painter:
img178.imageshack.us/img178/5647/cockpit6xx.png



What the hell, they made a convertible too?




A none aviation O-6 was riding in the back and during the flight the pilot took the acft inverted, the O-6 grabbed the first thing he could find to hold on. Guess what the first thing he found was?


Full story found here



That story is AMAZING!!!! two great quotes:


"OK. Understand your RIO ejected. You're flying the plane, and you're OK?" I almost said I was far from OK, but I just told them I was all right, except I was flying a convertible.





but it renewed my faith in our escape systems. A 48-year-old man ejected from the jet when it was inverted, at negative .5 Gs, at 320 knots, and the only injuries he had were two minor cuts to his face.



wow. just wow!
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 7:00:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2005 7:01:47 AM EDT by chapperjoe]
the big pics are beatiful but I have two favorites so far:
this is without a doubt the greatest pic so far! (I take it that's a whole wing?):



Link Posted: 9/4/2005 7:25:44 AM EDT
Great pics!
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 8:14:19 AM EDT




Link Posted: 9/4/2005 8:25:00 AM EDT
God bless the Turkey. no other machine since approaches its badness. It was Regan's baby.

Now we can look back at the glory days of the bird and say, "IT WAS FUN"
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 8:33:39 AM EDT


Link Posted: 9/4/2005 8:41:20 AM EDT


Link Posted: 9/4/2005 8:47:17 AM EDT
man i would love to take a ride in a 14.
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