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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 10/31/2001 5:43:48 AM EDT
This copied from military.com ABOARD THE USS THEODOE ROOSEVELT When the U.S. Navy's F-14B Tomcats streak over Afghanistan dropping laser- and satellite-guided bombs, the legendary fighter planes represent the military's massive and modern firepower. But when the VF-102 Diamondback squadron returns from Operation Enduring Freedom, the 12 Tomcats based on the USS Theodore Roosevelt will be turned in, and the pilots sent to train on a new generation of aircraft. One of the Navy's most recognizable fighters, with the swept-back wings, is 30 years-old, older than some of the pilots that fly them. ``Tomcats are a piece of history, I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to fly a Tomcat,'' Lt. Matt, call sign ``Rub,'' a 27-year-old from Blythe, Calif., said. ``But it's going to be nice to fly a brand-new airplane.'' However, Matt is likely to be flying Tomcats against terrorist and military targets in Afghanistan for many weeks. On board another warship in the Arabian Sea on Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of the Navy Gordon England warned service personnel not to expect results quickly. The Diamondback's commander, Cmdr. Roy Kelley, said he will miss the plane he has flown for the last 15 years and still the world's fastest and most maneuverable fighter plane. ``About a year and a half ago, when I was told this squadron was going to transition (to the F/A-18F), I wasn't really excited about it,'' Kelley, from Newark, Ohio, said. ``That's going to be the hard part, walking away from an airplane you are comfortable in.'' But Kelley said he warmed to the Super Hornet after visiting the Boeing factory where they are being built and flying one earlier this year. ``Getting a brand-new airplane is like getting a brand-new car, everybody gets excited,'' he said. Kelley also admitted that the Tomcat is breaking down more and more often. Lt. j.g. Dave Woods, in charge of the Theodore Roosevelt's general aviation maintenance department, said the 20-30 year-old planes have begun to show their age and are now considered ``high maintenance.'' ``They are very similar to an automobile, the older it gets, the more often things are going to wear out and break,'' said Woods, of Chesapeake, Va. ``A lot of the air frames have been put through a lot of stresses ... as a result I'm going to get a lot more work.'' All Navy F-14s, which can carry 13,000 pounds of explosives, are scheduled to be retired by 2010. Kelley praised the Super Hornet's new technology, saying it is a far better fighter-attack plane than the Tomcat, which was designed solely for air-to-air combat. But he said it can never match the Tomcat's long range, mach 1.8 speed and predator mystique. Kelley said when his wingman is in an F/A-18C, he must be careful not to leave the slower plane behind. ``The capability the Tomcat has for speed is amazing, there is not another plane in the Navy's inventory that can come anywhere close to it,'' Kelley, 40, said. ``You look at the plane on the ground and it looks intimidating, it looks like something that is made for war.''
Link Posted: 10/31/2001 6:38:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/31/2001 6:34:00 AM EDT by geek4guns]
[img]http://www.voodoo.cz/tomcat/s/f14007_s.jpg[/img] Another beautiful plane headed for the graveyards. Just hope we won't come to regret it. Whatever happened to the carrier version of the F-22? Is there any hope of that program being revived now that we're at WAR?! If the Super hornet can't keep up with the F-14 I don't see how the JSF will.
Link Posted: 10/31/2001 6:45:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/31/2001 2:39:12 PM EDT by warlord]
I remember when the military retired the SR71 Blackbird recon plane. I think during the Gulf War, they couldn't see some areas because of the weather. I hope we are not going the same way.
Link Posted: 10/31/2001 6:58:09 AM EDT
I was working at a naval base when the F-14Ds were being developed and tested, using the APG-73(?) radar. The radar upgrade was a big upgrade over the AUG-9. Back then (1994) they were planning to phase out all F-14s by early 200x.
Link Posted: 10/31/2001 9:29:59 AM EDT
Yeah, I've heard that pilots are referring to the F/A-18E's and F's as the [i]Super SLOW[/i] Hornet. It's a bomb truck with just a bit more endurance than it's mosquito-ranged cousin the F/A-18C. (Rant)Dick Cheney killed the F-14D line after the A-12 debacle to feed the Super Hornet program. What a clusterf*ck! Cheney single handedly screwed naval aviation for an entire generation. He's the same genius who wants to axe the V-22 Osprey, which coincidentally would be an awesome compliment to the Afghan campaign.(/Rant)
Link Posted: 10/31/2001 10:46:24 AM EDT
ok, the pilots can move to f18s or whatever, but what about the RIOs? Isn't the f18 a one seater?
Link Posted: 10/31/2001 11:34:04 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Chaingun: I was working at a naval base when the F-14Ds were being developed and tested, using the APG-73(?) radar. The radar upgrade was a big upgrade over the AUG-9. Back then (1994) they were planning to phase out all F-14s by early 200x.
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Are the newer Hornets able to carry the Phoenix missile, or are they going to scrap those, too?
Link Posted: 10/31/2001 11:44:17 AM EDT
F/A 18F Hornets are twin-seaters. Its a stretched, widened and rengined F18. Much bigger.
Link Posted: 10/31/2001 12:24:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/31/2001 12:20:13 PM EDT by HiramRanger]
Link Posted: 10/31/2001 1:22:39 PM EDT
The F14 and F18 are different aircraft for different roles. The tomcat was designed for fleet defense unlike the F18 which was designed for projecting force beyond the fleet cap. This sounds like political decisions to me. Probably to offset the JSF contract.
Link Posted: 10/31/2001 1:32:02 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/31/2001 1:40:28 PM EDT
About the F-22...There are currently 8 in service, with plans to construct 10 using 2001 fiscal funds, and 13 more using 2002 fiscal funds. As far as I can tell, the Carrier Version was scrapped about 2 years ago under the Clinton Administration. They appear to be a great aircraft (though a bit expensive), better than the F-14's and F/A-18's.
Link Posted: 10/31/2001 1:46:07 PM EDT
I have been in tiltrotor design and I think the V-22 needs the axe. I am not really sad to see the 14 go. More of that bittersweet retirement of a great workhorse feeling; as if you could snap a salute to an aircraft. Planerench out.
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