Tomcat. Turkey. Bombcat. Peeping Tom. The Big Fighter.
The first flight of the Grumman F-14 was 21 December 1970 and was made its first deployment aboard the USS Enterprise in September 1974. It saw several upgrades over the course of its career, including improved engines, avionics, and the capability to move earth by transforming from a dedicated air-to-air fighter into a ridiculously-capable bomb truck.
The REAL star of the movie Top Gun, there was always something just…amazing about seeing this airplane fly. Big, heavy, and fast with its variable-geometry wings sweeping back and forth in accordance with its speed and energy state. In the hands of BFM maestros such as “Snort” Snodgrass and “Heater” Heatley, this airplane, despite its size was a NASTY dogfighter.
The Libyan Air Force found out, on two different occasions, that when when you try to grab a (Tomcat) by the tail, you darn well better have a plan to deal with its teeth. USN 4 – Libya 0.
So here’s to you, Tom the Cat…forever shall we miss and adore thee.
Well Done, Baby!