Goodbye to the Turkey
October 24, 2004 2:03 PM   Subscribe

Last operational flight of the F-14s

Speaking of gravity-defying cats... Remember the F-14, Tom Cruise's favorite ride? It's the end of an era for the venerable warbird. The variable-geometry Tomcat was the last carrier aircraft built specifically for fleet defense and long-range interception -- in fact, it grew up with a dedicated weapon system just for the job. Like any cat with nine lives, it showed up doingnew and different things. In its later years it found a new role as a precision-strike aircraft (the "BombCat") and nearly lived to be the bridge to the new F-35 multirole Joint Strike Fighter. Excuse the warmongering. What can I say...I was bored with the lousy NFL early games on TV this afternoon..
posted by alumshubby (9 comments total)
Also to be noted is the commissioning yesterday of the 2.2 billion $ lead ship in a new class of attack submarines, the USS Virginia.
posted by JohnR at 2:26 PM on October 24, 2004

Philly at Cleveland rocked.
posted by euphorb at 3:15 PM on October 24, 2004

At baseball stadiums in Fort Myers and Lakeland, Bush dazzled the crowd by landing his helicopter in the outfield to the theme music of the movie "Top Gun." The Jacksonville event closed with a fireworks display.

Must resist nausea, must resist nausea . . .
posted by sixdifferentways at 2:07 AM on October 25, 2004

Maybe Canada could buy them from you. We're into lemons. Don't worry, we won't wuss out again.
posted by shepd at 4:35 AM on October 25, 2004

Remember the F-14, Tom Cruise's favorite ride?

and I thought it was Val Kilmer.
posted by biffa at 7:01 AM on October 25, 2004

Just for the record - that's NOT the last operational flight of the F-14... it's only the last WestPac (i.e. Western Pacific cruise) for an F-14 squadron.

The last two remaining Tomcat squadrons are supposed to deploy (in tandem) from the East Coast next year.
posted by matty at 7:23 AM on October 25, 2004

I thought the Phoenix was originally deployed on F-111s.

Shepd: Speaking of F-111s, Australia flies a squadron of them, mostly remaindered from the USAF. So Canada buying F-14s would put you one up on them....
posted by lodurr at 10:17 AM on October 25, 2004

I was always a little bit more partial to the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle. Thought it just had incredible lines to it. The swing wing aspect of the F-14 made it seem weird, but it was designed for to land on carriers. Whereas the F-15 is land based. It's amazing the the designs for both of those hardworking venerable planes originated in the late-60's. They still look so modern to me. Glad Lockheed Martin won out with it's F-35 design over Boeing's ugly mulipurpose fighter. Boeing had no experience designing/building fighters and was relying mostly on it's acquisition of McDonnel Douglas to do the trick. The F-35 is capable of short take offs (STOL) and Vertical take off ala Harrier so it's going to be shared by the air force, navy and marines.

Of course the Tomcats little brother the F-18 is almost identical in looks and capabilities (I think) and is going to be around on Carriers for quite a while yet.
posted by Skygazer at 9:29 PM on October 25, 2004

matty -- oops. (blush) From one linked article I didn't finish reading...

The remaining B and D model F-14's are still flying with other squadrons from Oceana Naval Air Station. Some of them are even on deployment in the war on Iraq at this time. Those jets will be retired by the year 2006.

Guess I started the retirement party a little soon!

lodurr -- yes, but not operationally. The Navy couldn't use the F-111 and the F111-B concept was cancelled. But the Phoenix system was intended all along for the Navy, which needed an AAM for killing bombers and ASMs a long way out from the CVBG. The Phoenix operationally was deployed only on the 'Cats. The bomber/ASM threat's mostly a memory, although the Navy now has the other weapons to deal with it, like the RAM.
posted by alumshubby at 9:26 AM on October 26, 2004

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