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Buster Hyman
30th Jul 2006, 10:03
http://www.theage.com.au/ffximage/2006/07/30/30n_tomcat2_wideweb__470x262,0.jpgAn era ends with the retirement of the F-14 Tomcat




July 30, 2006 - 3:00PM

The US navy's F-14 Tomcat, built to protect the fleet from Soviet bombers, took its last flight off an aircraft carrier yesterday, closing one of the final chapters in its 32-year history.
The retirement of the Tomcat, made famous in the movie Top Gun, clears the way for the navy to start using new military aircraft that supporters say can meet post-Cold War requirements more affordably.
But for Tomcat pilots and aircraft enthusiasts, the end of the F-14 does not just mark an end of an aviation era - it signals a trend in US government weapons spending that favours cost cutting over performance.
"It's a Cold War icon with modern day lethality," said Commander Jim Howe, commander of the navy's last Tomcat fighter squadron and the pilot on the last Tomcat to make the two second, 240kph catapult launch off the carrier.
Lieutenant Justin Halligan, the pilot who dropped the last bomb from a Tomcat over Iraq earlier this year, said the plane was "at the top of its game or better, but times are different, money's different".
Pilots and machinists aboard the USS Roosevelt aircraft carrier, off the coast of Virginia, echoed those sentiments this week along with industry analysts.
"We're kind of retreating from an era of best you can build and moving to an era of best you can afford," said Richard Aboulafia, an analyst with the Teal Group aerospace and defence consultancy.
"There's no better sign of that than the retirement of the F-14."
Beyond reflection about the aircraft's powerful image, supersonic speed and unmatched dog fighting capabilities, many sailors and analysts agreed the navy just doesn't need the Tomcat anymore.
While some in the navy criticise Washington, analysts say there is a lot more room for further cuts in the military aircraft budget given the changing face of war.
Simple but deadly ground-based threats such as the roadside bombs used against US forces in Iraq, difficulties securing access to foreign bases and the near total lack of a rival in the air, raise questions over the need for maintaining high spending levels.
- Reuters



Lots of angst down here over the future of the F111, but I didn't realise that the venerable Tomcat was on the outer from the USN!

Erwin Schroedinger
30th Jul 2006, 11:52
One of the most exciting, menacing looking and yet beautiful (yes, I said beautiful) warplanes ever made.

Not to mention deadly.

Amazingly, wouldn't exist if the F111 hadn't been such a mess, courtesy MacNamara (sp).

Same league at the very top, along with F15, Spitfire, Mustang, Typhoon.....argh!, No! Scrub Typhoon! I wandered into the "Most Ludicrously Expensive and Useless" category for a second, there!

Now it's all computer stabilised flying wings which look like they were designed by an origami expert. We'll never see the likes of the F14 again. :{

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
30th Jul 2006, 12:42
Not many people know the design was a development of the basic household fridge. You can see this quite plainly from the picture above...see how the door is open...and the ligtht is on :ok:

Erwin Schroedinger
30th Jul 2006, 13:26
Perfect Cold War weapon, then.

PLovett
31st Jul 2006, 01:47
Now it's all computer stabilised flying wings which look like they were designed by an origami expert. We'll never see the likes of the F14 again.

Come now. Nothing today can ever come close to the origami of an F4.

BombayDuck
31st Jul 2006, 05:02
:{ :{ :{ :{ :{

:(

Goodbye, sweetest.

Erwin Schroedinger
31st Jul 2006, 07:22
Come now. Nothing today can ever come close to the origami of an F4.



http://www.sky-flash.com/edwards/002.jpg

http://www.histoiredumonde.net/images/20_eme_siecle/avions/f4/intro.jpg

Erwin Schroedinger
31st Jul 2006, 07:28
http://www.shortfamilyonline.com/pictures/macdill-airfest-2004/images/f14-tomcat-01.jpg


Wotchoo lookin at? *Snarl*

:\


OK, that's got me started on Google-image-seeking every F14 picture in the universe.

See you all much later.

Buster Hyman
31st Jul 2006, 07:52
If anyone...ANYONE...dares put a picture of Tom Cruise in a Tomcat here...I'll delete the thread!!!

http://www.forumup.org/images/smiles/rk01_uata.gif

lexxity
31st Jul 2006, 08:11
Bloody hell! You can't retire such an icon! I love the F-14 and am so glad I got to see them at Mirimar before they moved out to Fallon. :{ :{ :{

http://www.voodoo.cz/tomcat/new/f14415.jpg


Highway to the danger zone, dum de dum........

Sorry, but someone had to.

BombayDuck
31st Jul 2006, 08:21
lemme just add a bit to Buster said - no pics of Tom Cruise. But if you post a shot from the movie with the F-14 and without the Cruiseman, it's awright.

M'me lexxy, 'sok, that tune. goes well with the 'cat launching off the deck...

Buster Hyman
31st Jul 2006, 08:38
...yeah...what Ducky said!:ok:

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
31st Jul 2006, 12:31
Were they separated at birth?

Artificial two dimensional image
http://ia.imdb.com/media/imdb/01/I/51/45/38m.jpg (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000129/photogallery)




Tom Cruise
:E

G-CPTN
31st Jul 2006, 12:40
Is that the guy who invented the missile?

Jordan D
31st Jul 2006, 13:07
Such a plane. You could almost say that it would take my breath away.

I'll get my coat.

Jordan

Taildragger67
31st Jul 2006, 13:35
Mind you, recruiting had a bit of a rush after 'that' movie, so maybe it did some good.

You just needed a scraper to get rid of the cheese.

Which is why we love DVDs - you can scene-select the air-air bits!!

What would be good, is a DVD just of the air-air sequences, including the out-takes - a sort-of 'making of Top Gun'. I'd buy it!!

I agree with the comments about different type of war, etc. - but find a terr training camp and send a few big, noisy monsters like the Tomcat in to do some low-level harassment in it can't hurt.

Retirements in 2006:
Canberra :{
Sea Harrier :{
Tomcat :{
- still five months to go - what's next??

Buster Hyman
31st Jul 2006, 13:43
Well, as long as they took out the superimposed tracers TD!http://www.pprune.org/forums/%5Bimg%5Dhttp://www.clicksmilies.com/s0105/spezial/Fool/popc1.gif%5B/img%5D

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
31st Jul 2006, 13:46
It certainly is a maverick design

HowlingWind
31st Jul 2006, 14:00
What would be good, is a DVD just of the air-air sequences, including the out-takes - a sort-of 'making of Top Gun'. I'd buy it!!Taildragger, it sounds like what you're looking for is "Danger Zone: The Making of 'Top Gun (2004)'" According to the IMDB listing (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0441613/): "A comprehensive 6-part documentary on the making of "Top Gun" featuring all-new interviews with the cast and crew. Available on Disc 2 of the "Top Gun" 2-Disc Special Collector's Edition DVD. " :ok:

Taildragger67
31st Jul 2006, 16:37
Taildragger, it sounds like what you're looking for is "Danger Zone: The Making of 'Top Gun (2004)'" According to the IMDB listing (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0441613/): "A comprehensive 6-part documentary on the making of "Top Gun" featuring all-new interviews with the cast and crew. Available on Disc 2 of the "Top Gun" 2-Disc Special Collector's Edition DVD. " :ok:

Thank you sir, will hit up relevant site forthwith. Much to my wife's chagrin...

Mycroft
1st Aug 2006, 00:12
http://www.news.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=24913

Pity they'll be also retiring the Phoenix. Always thought it strange that in Top Gun thay even bothered chasing the enemy MiGs attacking the carrier; if they were that threatening that should have launched the AIM-54s immediately then done back to bed. Surprised that although the F-14 could carry six, this was not done on patrol one reason being that they could not land with 6

wiggy
1st Aug 2006, 00:28
Given that the F-4, :} I think, still soldiers on with a variety of Air Forces, does this mean the mighty F-4 will out live it's successor, or are the ANG going to fly the F-14 for evermore?

Mycroft - My guess is that probably the problem with the pheonix was those pesky ROE......great weapon for a Ocean going Navy fighting WW3 but otherwise sod all use.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
1st Aug 2006, 01:12
So was Tom Cruise actually rated for the aircraft?

Rollingthunder
1st Aug 2006, 02:08
Not a chance, and he also wasn't rated for the bike.

Buster Hyman
1st Aug 2006, 03:13
...or Kelly McGillis for that matter!:rolleyes:

BombayDuck
1st Aug 2006, 04:59
Given that the F-4, :} I think, still soldiers on with a variety of Air Forces, does this mean the mighty F-4 will out live it's successor, or are the ANG going to fly the F-14 for evermore?

Mycroft - My guess is that probably the problem with the pheonix was those pesky ROE......great weapon for a Ocean going Navy fighting WW3 but otherwise sod all use.

wiggy - the 'cat won't fly in the US military again, but then again, neither does the Phantom. However both are still operated by other air forces, Iranian (whatever) they have left and the Germans, Turks and probably a couple of other Phantom operators. Don't know though how long the Iranian 'cats will last.

The Phoenix was retired a few years ago - and the main reason was that they were expensive to maintain. They cost a million each anyway. Add to that the 'cat was never wired for the AMRAAM. :mad: :ugh:

:{

Erwin Schroedinger
1st Aug 2006, 08:46
The longevity of the F4 does'nt mean it was/is a good military tool. :rolleyes: