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F-14's

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How many guys do you think retired with their plane?  Sure miss them!!

 

 

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Doubt many retired because the 14 was retired. Most pilots I've know were pretty excited about new aircraft that would give them more of an edge. Sure a few who were over 20 years who just didn't want to learn a new system.

 

Rick

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I remember seeing F-14's perform flying demonstrations at air shows back in the 1990's and early 2000's.

I was lucky to spot an F-14 as recently as last summer, (of 2016) so a little over a year ago now, while driving on I-71 near Austin. It was low and on approach in to Austin's Bergstrom Airport.

I got really excited when I spotted it and I was trying to drive and watch the F-14 at the same time. Wifey was with me and she was yelling at me to keep my eyes on the road or I would get us killed, lol. 

I sure wish I knew what that F-14 was doing. There can't be too many left flying around these days. I figure it was in transit somewhere, perhaps it was being used for experiments or research, or maybe it was some sort of a one time ferry flight on its way to like a museum or something. Or maybe it was making its way to Florida as its final destination to be converted and used as an unmanned target drone. Isn't there a base in Florida where they fly those target drones out of, and out over the ocean to be shot down? Or does anyone here know if someone is flying any F-14's for demonstrations on the air show circuit around the country?

I wanted to exit  I-71 to stop in to the airport to see if l could catch a closer look at the F-14 that had come in, but of course I was over-ruled by the boss and was told to keep driving. She didn't appreciate the rarity of the situation. So I will never know what the real deal was with that F-14, being that they were retired from Naval military service several years ago. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sure was a great plane, I hope the replacements are better........I am like you Rick, I swear I saw one the other day landing at a tune airport in West Nashville.  I was working several miles away and it came over, by the time I really put two and two together it was out of sight.  Could have been an 18 but from what I saw sure looked like a 14.  It's long life says a lot about how good a plane it really is/was.  

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Cool, thanks for your sighting report red211. So for what ever reason, or various reasons, apparently there are still at least one or maybe more airworthy F-14's floating around, contrary to what some people may say or think.

I am also a member at the so-called bash board, and this F-14 topic came up similarly over there last month. One of the guys there reported seeing an F-14 recently, and so then I also posted about my 2016 Austin, TX F-14 sighting. One of the guys then posted that he was told that there are no longer any F-14's left flying. I posted back, contesting that claim. Be warned, over there I exercised my vocabulary in my reply, lol. I still need to take time to research this out. There might be some clandestine / unpublicized  reason that some F-14's are still being sighted from time to time.

Here is the link to that thread:

http://www.allthingsagriculture.com/Bashboard/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=101567&p=1160645&hilit=Tomcat#p1160645

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2 hours ago, Rick G. said:

I remember seeing F-14's perform flying demonstrations at air shows back in the 1990's and early 2000's.

I was lucky to spot an F-14 as recently as last summer, (of 2016) so a little over a year ago now, while driving on I-71 near Austin. It was low and on approach in to Austin's Bergstrom Airport.

I got really excited when I spotted it and I was trying to drive and watch the F-14 at the same time. Wifey was with me and she was yelling at me to keep my eyes on the road or I would get us killed, lol. 

I sure wish I knew what that F-14 was doing. There can't be too many left flying around these days. I figure it was in transit somewhere, perhaps it was being used for experiments or research, or maybe it was some sort of a one time ferry flight on its way to like a museum or something. Or maybe it was making its way to Florida as its final destination to be converted and used as an unmanned target drone. Isn't there a base in Florida where they fly those target drones out of, and out over the ocean to be shot down? Or does anyone here know if someone is flying any F-14's for demonstrations on the air show circuit around the country?

I wanted to exit  I-71 to stop in to the airport to see if l could catch a closer look at the F-14 that had come in, but of course I was over-ruled by the boss and was told to keep driving. She didn't appreciate the rarity of the situation. So I will never know what the real deal was with that F-14, being that they were retired from Naval military service several years ago. 

 

 

 

 

 

If you saw an F-14 in the air you were in Tehran- the Iranians are the only people with flying Tomcats.  All of the US Navy ones are either destroyed or museum pieces now.  There was actually an attempt by Snort Snodgrass and a few others to get some in private hands for the airshow circuit, but the Pentagon nixed that.

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Whelp I don't know what to tell you. I know what I saw and I was not hallucinating or dreaming. It was most certainly an F-14 Tomcat. Again, this was summer of 2016, so over a year ago. But also now above red211 said he just spotted one the other day. Somebody is flying one or more for some reason. Some sort of research experiments I bet. 

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There aren't any flying in America.  There are however European countries that operate swing-wing Panavia Tornadoes over here for training, and from a little distance they could look very similar to a Tomcat.   

The AF does however still operate a handful of F-117 stealth jets, even though that type is "officially" retired.

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I am as far away from an expert as there is on aircraft, so what I saw could have been something else.  It had twin verticals on rear and what looked like swing-wings A.K. F-14 Tomcat.   I was not super close and only saw it when it was overhead and from the rear as it eased toward the strip.  BIL is a pilot and used to keep His Mooney out there so I will ask Him if something came in and what it was.  He will have to ask around since He moved to a defferent airport.  

  Did they used to fly F14s out of the base North of Atlanta?  In 85 I moved down there and had to pick out light fixtures across the road from a runway.  There was a pilot doing touch and go's in some fighter jet.  He would pull almost straight up and invert a roll then parrallel runway to where We were and turn it upside down and roll in to touch down and straight up again, I know it wasn't straight up but Y'all get it.  When He rolled in I could see inside cockpit plan as day.  Just can't remember if it was a single cockpit or twin.  Heck it could have been an F16, just seemed like a 14 but I have slept since then.  

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After a quick search I bet it was an F15 out of Dobbins that day.

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Hey there Clay, yes I am aware of the European swing wing Panavia Tornado and also aware that they at times come to the U.S. to participate in exercises with our American forces. The Tornado has a single vertical tail fin where as the Tomcat has the twin vertical tails.  

I stand by my eyesight from that day. It was not a single tail fin Tornado. It was not an F-15. It was not an F-18. It was not a bigger swing wing B-1B. It was not a swing wing F-111, (which also had only a single vertical tail fin, and I don't believe any F-111's are left flying these days). It was not the F-117. And it was not a jet powered radio control F-14 model. Lol. It was an F-14 with his swing wings deployed straight out / all the way forward, landing gear down, on approach to land. 

Maybe this one is no longer flying today, but on that day in July or maybe it was August, of 2016, I saw it, no doubt in my mind.

Something hush hush / "Area 51" type of thing may have been going on. Maybe he was not planning on putting down at Austin Bergstrom but perhaps had developed mechanical problems and was forced to land there.  Who knows. 

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man I miss the old F-14's. They were kinda of our symbol of airpower along with the B-52's during the tail end of the cold war. When I was a kid and top gun came out I wanted to be a "naval aviator" and fly tomcats. Alas it was never meant to be!

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16 hours ago, Rick G. said:

Hey there Clay, yes I am aware of the European swing wing Panavia Tornado and also aware that they at times come to the U.S. to participate in exercises with our American forces. The Tornado has a single vertical tail fin where as the Tomcat has the twin vertical tails.  

I stand by my eyesight from that day. It was not a single tail fin Tornado. It was not an F-15. It was not an F-18. It was not a bigger swing wing B-1B. It was not a swing wing F-111, (which also had only a single vertical tail fin, and I don't believe any F-111's are left flying these days). It was not the F-117. And it was not a jet powered radio control F-14 model. Lol. It was an F-14 with his swing wings deployed straight out / all the way forward, landing gear down, on approach to land. 

Maybe this one is no longer flying today, but on that day in July or maybe it was August, of 2016, I saw it, no doubt in my mind.

Something hush hush / "Area 51" type of thing may have been going on. Maybe he was not planning on putting down at Austin Bergstrom but perhaps had developed mechanical problems and was forced to land there.  Who knows. 

Rick, I have always been fascinated with the swing wings on the F14. Can you explain how they were used? How they worked?  I remember watching Top Gun and pretending to fly a model kit F14 around the living room!

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I thought we were talking about the F-12 replacement......

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37 minutes ago, jass1660 said:

I thought we were talking about the F-12 replacement......

:lol:

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All righty then. There's been a break through on this subject at the so called bash board. I can't get the link to work here when I try to copy and paste the thread here. 

But in a quick nut shell the great F-14 mystery seems to have been solved. One of the members there posted to remind us that NASA flies an F-14 as a research aircraft. While he says the craft is based at the NASA Dryden Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California, it's entirely possible that it could bop around the country at times for what ever reason.

He suggests that it is most likely this NASA operated F-14 that I spotted in Austin last summer. So there you have it. 

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20 hours ago, nepoweshiekfarmalls said:

Rick, I have always been fascinated with the swing wings on the F14. Can you explain how they were used? How they worked?  I remember watching Top Gun and pretending to fly a model kit F14 around the living room!

The swing wing was their answer to making a Mach 2 capable interceptor that also had high maneuverability and safe handling at slow speeds to get aboard the boat.  Here's an old Tomcat demo showing wing sweep and lots of awesome vapes too.

 

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That was a great watch, thanks.

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Awesome, thanks Clay.  I still think that the Tomcat is the sleekest plane that ever took to the sky.

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Sorry guys I've been busy with farming stuff and didn't get back to this topic, some of you would be interested in the Fighter Fling series of videos that the F-14 squadrons used to put together for their annual ball.  Also a link the the modern Rhino Ball one, C-Rock was on the west coast Super Hornet Demo Team this season and he has some spectacular footage.

 

 

 

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