Friday, September 22, 2006

The Pattern Is Full

A moment of silence for the F-14, which the U.S. Navy retired today in Virginia. The Skystriker, er, um, I mean Tomcat, was a tactical fighter jet meant to protect carriers from Soviet bombers. And only few other aircraft shared its swept-wing design (I can only think of the F-111). One of the more impressive stats about the F-14 Sky--I mean Tomcat, was its ability to track 24 targets simultaneously. This especially became useful when, in 1986, a squadron of MiG-28s confronted several F-14s over the Indian Ocean, leading to one of the only occasions where the United States actually engaged in air combat with the Soviet Union. Luckily, our side won though the Soviets denied the entire episode.

8 comments:

NL said...

You can be my wingman anytime.

jon said...

Bullshit, you can be mine.

I cannot believe this. Maybe because I'm a child of the Top Gun era, but this is maybe a little like Wayne Gretzky's retirement: I've never known the Navy to not have the F-14, and I am sad to see such a sturdy pillar of my world move on.

What happens to all of those RIOs?

And doesn't this seem very wasteful on the part of the DOD? I mean, any enemy we're going to fight these days doesn't have half the technical capability of the F-14. It doesn't matter when you're bombing tents and mudhuts whether the bomb comes from a B-17, or a F-14. Unless the Iranians have perfected some secret flying carpet we don't know about. It seems to me the money sunk into F-22s and JSFs could be better spent devising and implimenting better methods to make the too-few boots we have on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan safer and more effective.

Requiescat, Goose.

MKL said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUVqig9aYLc

truthprobe said...

Life goes on. The old is replaced by the new. They call it "progress."

TruthProbe

Anonymous said...

"I want some butts and I want 'em now! I WANT SOME BUTTS!!!"

Bugz, former USAF F-4 EWO said...

"What happens to all those RIO's?"

Probably the same thing that happened in the USAF when they retired the F-4 Phantom - all the WSO/EWOs were passed over for promotion and were involuntarily separated from the service, like I was. But, what the Hell...

As far as other swing wing aircraft, there was the MiG-23 Flogger, and I think the Navy had a large recon aircraft with variable geometry wings as well, but that's about all I remember.

Anonymous said...

That would be the A-5 Vigilante, one of the most beautiful aircraft ever!

The Tornado (flown by the RAF, Germany and Italy) has variable wings as well.

Franklin D. Rosenfeld said...

...as does the world's most beautiful aircraft, and America's premier bomber, the B-1B (killed off by Jimmuh Carter, and re-born under Ronnie and Cap Weinberger).