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Old Aug 18, 2006, 08:03 AM
Time for me to Fly...
Mr. Wiz's Avatar
United States, MI, Fenton
Joined Jan 2000
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The end of an era. The final flights of the Tomcat

I picked up this up off the NSRCA mailing list and thought you guys here might enjoy seeing it.

http://www.navytimes.com/static.php?...ight080206.php
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Old Aug 18, 2006, 08:54 AM
Out of Time
United States, TX
Joined Jul 2003
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Nothing to discuss... I cried like a baby.

Highflight
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Old Aug 18, 2006, 08:59 AM
Time for me to Fly...
Mr. Wiz's Avatar
United States, MI, Fenton
Joined Jan 2000
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I see several of you had a look at it. Any thoughts? I'm not a military man, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. My first thought is good riddance. Yes it was a cool and remarkable plane, but the total cost was just too high. The F/A-18Es should be a good replacement. I understand their mission is a little different, but as a tax payer I welcome the change.
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Old Aug 18, 2006, 09:31 AM
LcJ
Forever TMWT Pilot #11
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United States, LA, Monroe
Joined Mar 2003
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Mike, I agree about the operational costs, but I would imagine they are high for all such.

The Tomcat always reminded me of the Cutlass (1950), especially in profile view.

Totally different, but one always makes me think of the other.

Lyle
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Old Aug 18, 2006, 09:40 AM
All under control, Grommit!
leccyflyer's Avatar
United Kingdom, Aberdeen
Joined Sep 2000
12,605 Posts
Nicely done Wiz

It's the end of an era- the last pure carrier borne fighters the man said, so presumably in future squadrons such as The Tomcatters are going to be multirole mudmovers as well. The Hornet is a prettier aeroplane (IMO) but the sheer size of the F-14 has always been very impressive and there will be a lot of people who will miss them.
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Old Aug 18, 2006, 10:31 AM
Eye Drather Beef Lying
ElectRick's Avatar
Jacksonville, FL
Joined Aug 2002
2,696 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Wizynajtys
I see several of you had a look at it. Any thoughts? I'm not a military man, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. My first thought is good riddance. Yes it was a cool and remarkable plane, but the total cost was just too high. The FA-18s should be a good replacement. I understand their mission is a little different, but as a tax payer I welcome the change.
Speaking from a Naval Aviation prespective, the Tomcat--for its time--was perhaps the most capable US fighter aircraft of the modern era. Considering that it entered Naval service around 1974, it's time for retirement has come, due to the enormous cost to maintain the airframe and engines, having reached its normal end of service life, and the fact that its capabilities have been long since superceded by newer aircraft (e.g. the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet) in the Navy inventory.

It's actually being retired just about right on time, if you do the math. The Navy has specific service life criteria set for everything that flies, floats, or rolls in its vehicle inventory. The Tomcat has reached the end of that lifespan (it was supposed to be extended until 2008, but was cut). Other recently retired Naval aircraft like the A-6 Intruder saw essentially the same operational service life (1962-1997). Interestingly, there are some of the EA-6B variants STILL in service. The F-4 Phantom had a ten year shorter service life span (1960-1986).

I will always respect the F-14's capabilities and it's service to the Navy. She was a grand old fighting bird.

Rick
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Old Aug 18, 2006, 10:33 AM
"Cracking Toast Grommit!"
metalbuggy's Avatar
Sanford, NC
Joined Feb 2005
679 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElectRick
I will always respect the F-14's capabilities and it's service to the Navy. She was a grand old fighting bird.
Rick
Here here!
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Old Aug 18, 2006, 11:50 AM
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sarge's Avatar
Fayetteville, NC
Joined Dec 2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElectRick
The F-4 Phantom had a ten year shorter service life span (1960-1986).

Rick
That fact suprised me. Maybe because my service overlapped that of the F14, I just thought of it as a fairly new addition. The F4 was mostly before my time, so I assumed it served longer than the F14.
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Old Aug 18, 2006, 12:32 PM
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Blissfield, Michigan
Joined Apr 2005
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Just for kicks what about the lifespan of the F-16? Now theres one that's surpassing many others, mostly because it's cheap and can do most missions. Last I heard they were still making them. They still fly them over my farm here in SE Michigan, belonging to the 180th in Toledo - my old ANG base where I was stationed thru the seventies.
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Old Aug 18, 2006, 12:47 PM
"Cracking Toast Grommit!"
metalbuggy's Avatar
Sanford, NC
Joined Feb 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maineiac63
Just for kicks what about the lifespan of the F-16? Now theres one that's surpassing many others, mostly because it's cheap and can do most missions. Last I heard they were still making them.
On that vein, what about the service life of the C-130?
The J model just came out last year.
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Old Aug 18, 2006, 12:55 PM
Time for me to Fly...
Mr. Wiz's Avatar
United States, MI, Fenton
Joined Jan 2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maineiac63
Just for kicks what about the lifespan of the F-16? Now theres one that's surpassing many others, mostly because it's cheap and can do most missions. Last I heard they were still making them. They still fly them over my farm here in SE Michigan, belonging to the 180th in Toledo - my old ANG base where I was stationed thru the seventies.

Everything you wanted to know about the F-16 but were afraid to ask.

http://www.voodoo.cz/falcon/
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Old Aug 18, 2006, 02:10 PM
Fly it like you stole it..
Tram's Avatar
Florence, Al
Joined Oct 2000
29,301 Posts
I'll miss the Tomcat, but man.. You should see the Super Hornets leave the factory in St. Louis..

They (the military) have a deal with TRACON to depart the runway and climb at max power to 10K before proceeding on course.. This keeps them (TRACON) from having to sequence them into the normal traffic at STL International..

It's fun to watch them climb straight up before they even hit the numbers on the far end of the runway..
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Old Aug 18, 2006, 02:12 PM
dusty bible = dirty life
Majortomski's Avatar
Oklahoma City OK USA Where fakts still exist even if they are ignored
Joined Aug 2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maineiac63
Just for kicks what about the lifespan of the F-16? Now theres one that's surpassing many others, mostly because it's cheap and can do most missions. Last I heard they were still making them. They still fly them over my farm here in SE Michigan, belonging to the 180th in Toledo - my old ANG base where I was stationed thru the seventies.

The USAF and USN look(ed) at fatigue life in different manners. Back when I was doing it, the USAF relied on Durability and Damage Tollerance Assesments as a mathematical model as to when to start looking for cracks. If the cracks appeared in the lead the fleet aircraft they'd institute programs to prolong the airframe in problem areas. Either by early parts replacement or by cold working or some other fatigue limiting process. USN just used the DADTA data as the phase out date without spending money on fatigue mitigation. This is why the Buff and KC-135 have served so long.
MTC
YMMV
T
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Old Aug 18, 2006, 03:21 PM
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Blissfield, Michigan
Joined Apr 2005
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Oh, I remember the cracks - I used to crawl down inside the tunnel where the engine mounted just to take pictures of those cracks. They used some kind of floresent paint to show those cracks - I still have pictures and a good guy letter in my records from them. I was a photographer back then. We had the old "Hun" then we converted to the A-7. Right after I left they got the 16s that was about "83 and they are still flying them.
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Old Aug 18, 2006, 03:52 PM
Wake up and smell the veg
norite's Avatar
Canada, SK, Regina
Joined Aug 2004
172 Posts
I always loved the shape of the Tomcat. I built one of the Tamiya kits (1:32nd) years ago. i happen to have the 1:48 plastic Revell kits still lying around, which I haven't gotten round to building yet
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