Grumman F-14 Tomcat Fighter Jet

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The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a supersonic, twin-engine, two-seat, variable-sweep wing fighter aircraft. The Tomcat was developed for the United States Navy's Naval Fighter Experimental (VFX) program following the collapse of the F-111B project. The F-14 was the first of the American teen-series fighters which were designed incorporating the experience of air combat against MiG fighters during the Vietnam War.

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The F-14 Tomcat was designed as both an air superiority fighter and a long-range naval interceptor. The F-14 has a two-seat cockpit with a bubble canopy that affords all-round visibility. It features variable geometry wings that swing automatically during flight. For high-speed intercept, they are swept back and they swing forward for lower speed flight. It was designed to improve on the F-4 Phantom's air combat performance in most respects.

The F-14's fuselage and wings allow it to climb faster than the F-4, while the twin-tail arrangement offers better stability. The F-14 is equipped with an internal 20 mm M61 Vulcan Gatling cannon mounted on the left side, and can carry AIM-54 Phoenix, AIM-7 Sparrow, and AIM-9 Sidewinder anti-aircraft missiles. The twin engines are housed in nacelles, spaced apart by 1 to 3 ft (0.30 to 0.91 m). The flat area of the fuselage between the nacelles is used to contain fuel and avionics systems such as the wing-sweep mechanism and flight controls; as well as the underside being used to carry the F-14's compliment of Phoenix or Sparrow missiles or assorted bombs.[ By itself, the fuselage provides approximately 40 to 60 percent of the F-14's aerodynamic lifting surface depending on the wing sweep position.


The F-14's wing sweep can be varied between 20° and 68° in flight, and can be automatically controlled by the Central Air Data Computer, which maintains wing sweep at the optimum lift-to-drag ratio as the Mach number varies; pilots can manually override the system if desired. When parked, the wings can be "overswept" to 75° to overlap the horizontal stabilizers to save deck space aboard carriers. In an emergency, the F-14 can land with the wings fully swept to 68°, although this presents a significant safety hazard due to greatly increased airspeed, thus an aircraft would typically be diverted from an aircraft carrier to a land base if an incident did occur. The F-14 has even flown and landed safely with an asymmetrical wing-sweep even on an aircraft carrier during emergencies.

The F-14 was initially equipped with two Pratt & Whitney TF30 (or JT10A) turbofan engines, providing a total thrust of 5.670/9.480 kg/t and giving the aircraft an official maximum speed of Mach 2.34. However, the F-14 would normally fly at a cruising speed for reduced fuel consumption, which was important for conducting lengthy patrol missions. Both of the engine's rectangular air intakes were equipped with movable ramps and bleed doors to meet the oxygen requirements of the engine but prevent dangerous shockwaves from entering. Variable nozzles were also fitted to the engine's exhaust.