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F-14 Tomcat
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Probably one of the most charismatic Naval fighters of all time, with the possible exception of the old Vought Corsair. This Mach 2+ swing wing fighter and its Phoenix long range air-to-air missile were a formidable team. Shooting down Libyian jets over the Gulf of Sirta in the early 1980's cemented the aircrafts place in history. Upgrades to the aircraft were slow and painful however, leading to a slow reduction in the aircrafts usefulness. The mostly analog systems of the F-14A were meant to be replaced by the digital and more powerful F-14B, but development issues more or less kept the B out of service. An F-14D model with all digital systems but lacking some of the advanced features of the Super Tomcat (F-14C) did go into limited production and now forms what remains of the Navy's Tomcat fleet. These are often now used in the bombing role, rather than as air-superiority fighters, that place being taken over by the F/A-18.

I saw my first F-14 at the 1976 Farnborough Airshow, the aircraft was a late A model being ferried to the US fleet in the Pacific, by way of several international airshows through the mid-east and beyond.

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On the display line at Davis Monthan (1999)

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Many F-14's lined up at Davis Monthan (1998)

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Tails of more F-14's lined up at Davis Monthan (1998)

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The sleak profile of an Air superiority fighter. Davis Monthan (1998)

an F-14B of VF-134 at NJ Wings and Wheels (Sept 2004)

USS Intrepid, New York, NY (2002)


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